Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Preamble to the United States Constitution, 1787
Full PDF of the United States Constitution.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”
These Library databases can provide further information on the Constitution and related issues:
American History Online
Search comprehensive coverage of 500 years of American political, military, social, and cultural history.
U.S. History In Context
Discover contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events and topics in U.S. History.
Get started with overview and background articles in every subject. Show me how
Not on campus to find a book? Try our online collection of eBooks. This collection features over 65,000 complete titles and covers a broad range of subject areas. Below are just a few on the U.S. Constitution!
The Annotated U. S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence by Here in a newly annotated edition are the two founding documents of the United States of America: the Declaration of Independence (1776), our great revolutionary manifesto, and the Constitution (1787âe"88), in which âeoeWe the Peopleâe#157; forged a new nation and built the framework for our federal republic. Together with the Bill of Rights and the Civil War amendments, these documents constitute what James Madison called our âeoepolitical scripturesâe#157; and have come to define us as a people. Now a Pulitzer Prizeâe"winning historian serves as a guide to these texts, providing historical contexts and offering interpretive commentary. In an introductory essay written for the general reader, Jack N. Rakove provides a narrative political account of how these documents came to be written. In his commentary on the Declaration of Independence, Rakove sets the historical context for a fuller appreciation of the important preamble and the list of charges leveled against the Crown. When he glosses the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the subsequent amendments, Rakove once again provides helpful historical background, targets language that has proven particularly difficult or controversial, and cites leading Supreme Court cases. A chronology of events provides a framework for understanding the road to Philadelphia. The general reader will not find a better, more helpful guide to our founding documents than Jack N. Rakove.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2009
U. S. Constitution by The United States Constitution, as amended, is a complex legal document which sets out the structure of the federal government, the legal authorities of that government (and, to a lesser extent, state governments), and, finally, a series of legal disabilities on the exercise of those authorities (such as protections for individual rights). The document also addresses the complicated legal relationship between the federal government, state governments, and the persons subject to their respective jurisdictions. Judicial interpretation of some of the Constitution's provisions, however, has varied over the last two centuries, leading to concerns regarding the ultimate validity of these decisions. This book examines the historical basis for theories of constitutional interpretation, and the role of judicial precedent and pragmatism. Also discussed are the theories relating to the identification and justification of heightened constitutional protections for fundamental rights.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2012
The Lives of the Constitution by In a fascinating blend of biography and history, Joseph Tartakovsky tells the epic and unexpected story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals-some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Tartakovsky brings to life their struggles over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the era of Obama and Trump. Sweeping from settings as diverse as Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, and crowded with a vivid Dickensian cast, Tartakovsky shows how America's unique constitutional culture grapples with questions like democracy, racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, and the role of government. Joining the ranks of other great American storytellers, Tartakovsky chronicles how Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War; how Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America; how Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism; and how Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court. From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, this is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history as never told before, and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2018
The Federalist Papers by Perhaps the most essential distillation of the Founders' vision of America, The Federalist Papers consist of a series of 85 essays in favor of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Attributed to Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, the essays tackle an array of topics that are just as relevant today as they were more than 200 years ago, including human rights, republican governance, the proper scope and jurisdiction of a federal government, and much more.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2011
American Political History: a Very Short Introduction by The Founding Fathers who drafted the United States Constitution in 1787 distrusted political parties, popular democracy, centralized government, and a strong executive office. Yet the country's national politics have historically included all those features. In American Political History: A Very Short Introduction, Donald Critchlow takes on this contradiction between original theory and actual practice. This brief, accessible book explores the nature of the two-party system, key turning points in American political history, representative presidential and congressional elections, struggles to expand the electorate, and critical social protest and third-party movements. The volume emphasizes the continuity of a liberal tradition challenged by partisan divide, war, and periodic economic turmoil. American Political History: A Very Short Introduction explores the emergence of a democratic political culture within a republican form of government, showing the mobilization and extension of the mass electorate over the lifespan of the country. In a nation characterized by great racial, ethnic, and religious diversity, American democracy has proven extraordinarily durable. Individual parties have risen and fallen, but the dominance of the two-party system persists. Fierce debates over the meaning of the U.S. Constitution have created profound divisions within the parties and among voters, but a belief in the importance of constitutional order persists among political leaders and voters. Americans have been deeply divided about the extent of federal power, slavery, the meaning of citizenship, immigration policy, civil rights, and a range of economic, financial, and social policies. New immigrants, racial minorities, and women have joined the electorate and the debates. But American political history, with its deep social divisions, bellicose rhetoric, and antagonistic partisanship provides valuable lessons about the meaning and viability of democracy in the early 21st century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2015
National Constitution Center
A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.”
Interactive Constitution - National Constitution Center
Learn about the text, history, and meaning of the U.S. Constitution from leading scholars of diverse legal and philosophical perspectives.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
The Library of Congress site provides an overview and history of Constitution Day.
Charters of Freedom - The Constitution and more
Provided by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), this site includes not only the complete text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other amendments (downloadable), but also the history behind these documents and others. Included are articles on the making and impacts.
Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute - U.S. Constitution
From the Cornell University Law School is a full text of the Constitution and amendments. If you click "annotations" next to each section, you will find explanations of the original text. Searchable.
Primary Documents in American History
Constitution, Bill of Rights, and selected amendments in all three of the era categories listed.
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): The Charters of Freedom
This page from the Charters of Freedom website contains facsimiles, transcripts, and background information on the Constitution. You can download copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all amendments, images, brief biographies of the Founding Fathers who were delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and much more.
Constitution Questions and Answers
These FAQs, developed by the National Archives, provide quick answers to questions ranging from population to delegate age and information on the first inauguration.
PA Online Voter Registration
Register to vote in PA. Deadline Alert: 10/19/2020 is the last day to register before the 11/03/2020 election.
CCAC Library Election 2020
View our comprehensive Election 2020 guide to find out more about registering, voting, and background information on the candidates and issues.
CCAC Libraries | Community College of Allegheny County | Pittsburgh, PA | © 2021