“In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example . . . of charters of power granted by liberty.”
James Madison wrote these words in 1792, five years after the Constitution began its journey toward ratification by the states. Today marks the 227th anniversary of that beginning — the signing of the Constitution by the 39 delegates to the Philadelphia convention. Madison’s statement is one of my favorites because it conveys, more than any other quote I can think of, the proper relationship between individuals and government, which is a key part of the profound moral significance of the Constitution and the government it created.
On Independence Day, I recommend reading (or re-reading) the insightful essay by ARI’s senior fellow and chief content officer Onkar Ghate titled “Atlas Shrugged: America’s Second Declaration of Independence.”