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Old 05-17-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
Hamlet53
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United States: U.S. Constitution with Amendments. v1 17 May 2010

So I was surprised to find that while the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with the Bill of Rights was here, the full current Constitution with all amendments was not. So here it is.

This is of course subject to change, but fortunately with great difficulty. The writers of the original document were wise to make modification through amendments difficult. This has served to keep all sorts of nonsense out of this great document.

In fact reading this entire document I was impressed with it once more and could only find one foolish amendment: Amendment XVIII better known as the Prohibition Amendment. There was actually an interesting piece in Smithsonian Magazine about how this amendment came to pass in such short order. It was due to the coming together of some strange bedfellows: The Ku Klux Klan, The Industrial Workers of the World (wobblies), Suffragettes, the Temperance Movement, as well as various churches. This confluence also produced ratification of Amendment XIX—women’s suffrage—so there really is a silver lining to every cloud.

The prohibition amendment banned the manufacture, importation, and sale of “intoxicating liquors” but not possession or use; weed advocates should note. In any case it was voided by Amendment XXI fourteen years later. Though this just removed the Federal prohibition, to this day some areas of the country remain ‘dry.’

Arguably one of the most important amendments subsequent to the Bill of Rights was the Amendment XIV that guaranteed equal protection under law to all persons in the U.S. The intent of this amendment, passed shortly after the Civil War, was to guarantee equal rights to blacks. This intent was pretty much ignored from the end of Reconstruction up until the modern Civil Rights movement. The amendment was used as one of the bases to set the precedent that corporations have the same rights as individual citizens (Louisville etc. R.R. vs. Letson). I consider that ironic.

Two other things I found of interest in reading through this.

In Article I Section 8 paragraph 8 one finds that the original writers were concerned with promoting creativity by guaranteeing intellectual property rights.

The entire body of the Constitution and Amendments contain no reference to God, and in fact the only mention of religion is to prohibit the government from establishment of religion.


I have also uploaded all the XHTML files and other associated files as a single ZIP file for those who would like to view just using a web browser. Just unzip the files to a folder and used index,xhtml to navigate.
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