Interesting Facts about the US Constitution

There are a few things universally known about the US Constitution. They include “We the People” and the most popular amendments in the Bill of Rights, like the 1st that guarantees free speech, the much-debated 2nd that gives one right to bear arms, the 5th which you can use to refuse to answer questions in order not to incriminate yourself, and so on. However, the act of writing the Constitution in itself is a load of interesting bits of trivia.

Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was known as a philosopher, inventor, and prankster, but his age finally caught up with him when it was time to sign the Constitution. An 81-year-old man at the time, Franklin literally had to be carried into the room on a chair and even needed help for the actual signing of the document.

Interestingly enough, we also have to thank him for the ability to impeach presidents that misuse their power or betray the public trust. His reasoning was that impeachment could allow the president in question to defend their decisions and the action would also prevent assassinations.

Electoral College

In most countries that elect their leaders, the person with the most votes, i.e. the person that wins the popular vote, becomes the leader of the country. This is only partially in the effect in the US, thanks to the rule in the Constitution. The Electoral College serves as a compromise between the popular vote and the Congress vote. Every state has a number of votes equal to the number of senators (2 per state) and representatives. In other words, the votes of the people only work on a state level and the numbers are added up, which is why it is certainly possible for a candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election. There have been a few attempts to overturn this mode of electing a president, but the Electoral College is still in effect.

His Highness

Old habits die hard and, when choosing a proper title for the leader of this new nation, one of the proposed ways of addressing the president was: “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of Their Liberties”. Other options included “His Elective Majesty” and “His Mightiness”. In order not to become a monarchy, the title was settled as “The President of the United States”.

Founding Fathers on Vacation

Several people are referred to as the Founding Fathers, but two of them were not even present during the making of the Constitution. John Addams and Thomas Jefferson were on diplomatic missions in Europe. As surprising as that is, they have never signed the Constitution.