Underpinning our American society is a document that is now over 220 years old, one that was fashioned by some of the finest minds of the 18th century. What those Colonial intellects created was the United States Constitution, the supreme law of the land since its adoption at the Philadelphia Convention on September 17, 1787. On that day, a combination of merchants, land and financial speculators, slave owners, farmers, public officials, retirees, scientists, physicians, and persons engaged in other pursuits successfully completed a wide-ranging legal document in culmination of an effort that began with altogether different aims. The assemblage originally gathered with the intent of amending the Articles of Confederation, the document that defined the American system of government in de facto manner since the Second Continental Congress adopted it on November 15, 1777, and which defined American law since its ratification on March 1, 1781. However, in the 10 years since the Articles of Confederation were created, serious flaws were seen in its design, and those flaws, highlighted by the collection of fliers now collectively known as the Federalist Papers, could only be surmounted by scrapping the Articles of Confederation entirely in favor of a different national document. 21st century America remains guided by that document, one forged by men and men alone in a far distant era that not only preceded the crucial turning point in American history that was the Civil War by eight decades, but the Industrial Revolution, women's liberation, the civil rights movement, gay rights, electric lights, space travel, automobiles, and telecommunications as well. Given this, I seriously question the continued viability of such a document.
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