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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TWU professor shares beliefs behind U.S. laws on Constitution Day

By Matthew Berger/reporter

The U.S. Constitution was ratified 212 years ago and has been the law of the land since.

Paul Travis, a history professor at Texas Woman’s University, gave a lesson on the Constitution to a roomful of NE students Sept. 17, which is Constitution Day.

“Though the Constitution was ratified in 1791,” he said, “it was not widely accepted.”

Various states opposed the Constitution as they were satisfied with the original Articles of Confederation. Massachusetts, one of the biggest colonies at the time, had a vote to ratify the constitution, and 187 delegates voted for and 168 voted against. The same was true for New York — 30 for, 27 against — and Virginia — 89 for, 79 against.

“So therefore, it really wasn’t the ‘miracle of Philadelphia,’” he said. “That’s just what we are told to believe.”

Whether or not it was 100 percent accepted, the U.S. Constitution is still here today 212 years after it was ratified and is still going strong, Travis said. With only 27 amendments in 212 years, 10 in the first year known as the Bill of Rights, the Constitution has remained constant.

“The most important part of our history were the dissenters,” he said.

Without dissenters’ backlash to the Constitution, the U.S. would not have had the Bill of Rights amended to the Constitution, he said.

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