James Madison's Montpelier We The People Fall 2013 - Page 4

We The People 4 MOntpelier celebrates the constitution The signing of the U.S. Constitution has been described as “the hinge point” in world history. At events in Washington, D.C., and on our historic grounds, Montpelier brought together thousands of people of all ages to celebrate Constitution Day. what do americans really know about the constitution? Seventh Annual State of the Constitution Address On September 17, Montpelier’s Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, in collaboration with the National Archives, hosted the Seventh Annual State of the Constitution Address, where nearly 300 people tested their knowledge and participated in a discussion entitled “What Do Americans Really Know about the U.S. Constitution?” Using personal polling devices, the audience answered a series of questions about perceptions and interpretations of the Constitution. Results were tabulated in real time, compared to national survey results, and discussed by the panel, including Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Jay, Partner at Goodwin Procter, and Kat Imhoff who moderated the discussion. Test your own knowledge—the results might surprise you. This event was generously supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. Audience 85% National Which are the first words of the U.S. Constitution? 1. We the People 2. When in the course of human events 3. Article 1 4. Congress shall make no laws It’s a fact – only 35% of those in a national survey recognize the first words of the Preamble. 35% 1 17% 7% 5% 2 27% 21% 3% 3 4 78% Who is the “Father of the Constitution”? 1. Thomas Jefferson 2. James Madison 3. Benjamin Franklin 4. John Adams 5. Not sure 20% 17% 14% 3% It’s a fact – 50% of voters aged 21-34 think Jefferson. He was in France at the time. 1 2 3 4 5 55% 4. 1791 5. Not sure 13%11% 21% 7% It’s a fact – 55% of those in a national survey thought 1776. 12% 2% 0% 4% 62% When was the Constitution written? 1. 1787 2. 1776 3. 1789 50% 1 2 3 21% 3% 4% 4 3% 5