Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

How the Constitution was Defeated in 1788

In a parallel universe, the United States of America is somewhere still governed under the Articles of Confederation. Here’s what happened in this other United States: To the dismay of Federalists (called “nationalists” or conservatives at the time) the proposed constitution of 1787, which would have replaced the Articles of 1781, was defeated in four crucial state conventions and never became the framework of the American union.The hard political battle pitted radicals (called anti-Federalists) against conservatives and the radicals won, barely. The “United States, assembled in Congress”, remained the political subordinate of the states. Continue Reading »

Leaping Headfirst Into the Smith Trap

ichard John Neuhaus has joined the chorus of those singing a lament to the death of religious liberty (“Polygamy, Peyote, and the Public Peace,”October 1990). The cause of the choir’s mournful tune is the Supreme Court’s decision in the so-called peyote case, Employment Division v. . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles