Generally speaking, a Constitution is a set of governing principles for a state or organization. Many countries have or had Constitutions. Among the most unique is the Constitution of the United States.

Speech Relevance[edit]

The Constitution is mentioned a couple times in Reagan's speeches. In 'A Time For Choosing':

Senator Fulbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best.

So, Fulbright's complaint is that the President (at the time Lyndon B Johnson) wants to help people, but can't, because the Constitution prevents him from doing so. In 'Encroaching Control':

We have a tax system that in direct contravention to the Constitution is not designed solely to raise revenue, but is openly and admittedly used to regulate and control the economy and the level the earnings of our citizens, aiming again at that mediocrity which is the utopian dream of the socialists.

In 'A City Upon a Hill':

Those who remained of that remarkable band we call our Founding Fathers tied up some of the loose ends about a dozen years after the Revolution. It had been the first revolution in all man’s history that did not just exchange one set of rulers for another. This had been a philosophical revolution. The culmination of men's dreams for 6,000 years were formalized with the Constitution, probably the most unique document ever drawn in the long history of man's relation to man. I know there have been other constitutions, new ones are being drawn today by newly emerging nations. Most of them, even the one of the Soviet Union, contain many of the same guarantees as our own Constitution, and still there is a difference. The difference is so subtle that we often overlook it, but it is so great that it tells the whole story. Those other constitutions say, "Government grants you these rights," and ours says, "You are born with these rights, they are yours by the grace of God, and no government on earth can take them from you."

Reagan, here, touches on the fundamental difference which makes the United States Constitution so unique. The United States exists to aid our population, by unifying them, in ways that those people couldn't on their own or in smaller groups. For example, an individual or a family or even a city would have a hard time defending itself against an external foe. This ties to Natural Rights and the Declaration of Independence's reference to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." That is why the Constitution provides for "the common defense".

Source Links[edit]

Declaration of Independence (

The United States Constitution

Some Available Texts[edit]

Additional information about the Constitution is available in e-books which this Wiki's Administrator has restored and made available to purchase through Amazon.

The United States and the States Under the Constitution

The Harvard Classics Volume 43: American Historical Documents

A Plea for the Constitution of the United States of America