The Founders' Constitution. 5 vols. | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Edited Volumes

The Founders’ Constitution. 5 vols.

Edited by Ralph Lerner (NHC Fellow, 1981–82) and Philip B. Kurland

United States Constitution; American History; Legal History; Primary Sources

Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987

From the publisher’s description:

Hailed as "the Oxford English Dictionary of American constitutional history" (Columbia Law Review), the print edition of The Founders’ Constitution has proved since its publication in 1986 to be an invaluable aid to all those seeking a deeper understanding of one of our nation’s most important legal documents.

In this unique anthology, Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner draw on the writings of a wide array of people engaged in the problem of making popular government safe, steady, and accountable. The documents included range from the early seventeenth century to the 1830s, from the reflections of philosophers to popular pamphlets, from public debates in ratifying conventions to the private correspondence of the leading political actors of the day.

These rich and varied materials are arranged, first, according to broad themes or problems to which the Constitution of 1787 has made a significant and lasting contribution. Then they are arranged by article, section, and clause of the U.S. Constitution, from the Preamble through Article Seven and continuing through the first twelve Amendments.

Awards and Prizes
Gordon J. Laing Prize (1987)
History / United States Constitution / American History / Legal History / Primary Sources /

Lerner, Ralph (NHC Fellow, 1981–82), ed. The Founders' Constitution. 5 vols. Edited by Ralph Lerner and Philip B. Kurland. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987.