The Founding and the Constitution
Readings and Links
Beard, Charles. An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. New York: Macmillan, 1913.
The most famous critic of the framers, Beard argues that the Constitution was written to protect landed elites.
Dahl, Robert. How Democratic is the American Constitution? 2nd ed. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002.
Dahl raises provocative questions about the government created by the American Constitution.
Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. New York: Vintage, 2002.A popular and fascinating portrayal of the founders.
Jensen, Merrill. The Articles of Confederation. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.
An account of the first government of the United States.
Storing, Herbert, ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. Seven vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
A comprehensive collection of Antifederalist writings.
Wills, Gary. Explaining America. New York: Penguin, 1982.
A leading public intellectual explores and explains the founding of the United States.
Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic. New York: Norton, 1982.
One of the most influential and controversial accounts of the American founding.
Home website of the National Constitution Center, which has a great deal of history, news, and analyses of current debates about the Constitution.
The University of Oklahoma Law Center’s site has many historical documents.
The National Archives website has in-depth information on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
This website contains a through archive of documents relating to the American Revolution and the Constitution.
This website has electronic versions of the papers of Thomas Jefferson, a founder perhaps best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence.