Constitution Day Resources from the Gilder Lehrman Institute

Pierce Butler's notes on the draft of the preamble to the US Constitution, AugusPierce Butler's notes on the draft of the preamble to the US Constitution, August 6, 1787. (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, GLC00819.01)

Explore the New Nation section of our History Resources. You will find Essays by eminent scholars such as James O. Horton, Larry Kramer, Gary B. Nash, Peter Onuf, and Jack Rakove, as well as Featured Primary Sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and Teaching Resources to share with your students.

New Online Exhibitions

We have recently added “We the People,” festuring the Gilder Lehrman Collections set of the first five printings of the US Constitution in 1787, and “Alexander Hamilton and the Ratification of the Constitution,” one of six new exhibitions in Alexander Hamilton: Witness to the Founding Era.


New Teaching Resources

Differences between Federalists and Antifederalists, an infographic

Opposing Viewpoints on the Ratification of the Constitution, a lesson plan




Abraham Lincoln and the Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by Allen C. Guelzo

Andrew Jackson and the Constitution by Matthew Warshauer

George Washington and the Constitution by Theodore J. Crackel

The Legal Status of Women, 1776–1830 by Marylynn Salmon

Natural Rights, Citizenship Rights, State Rights, and Black Rights: Another Look A Lincoln and Raceby James Oakes

The Reconstruction Amendments: Official Documents as Social History by Eric Foner

Why We the People? Citizens as Agents of Constitutional Change by Linda R. Monk

Winning the Vote: A History of Voting Rights by Steven Mintz

Featured Primary Sources from the Gilder Lehrman Collection

The Articles of Confederation, 1777

Speech in favor of the Twelfth Amendment, 1803

A proposed Thirteenth Amendment to prevent secession, 1816

Ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment, 1866

The Fifteenth Amendment, 1870

Women’s suffrage poster, 1915


Anti-Federalism and Dissent in Constitutional History by Saul Cornell

Dred Scott and the Constitutionality of Slavery by Larry Kramer

Freedom of Religion: A Radical Innovation by Jack Rakove

Introduction to Supreme Court Controversies throughout History by Larry Kramer

Key Moments in American Freedom by Orlando Patterson

Lincoln, Civil Liberties, and the Constitution by Mark Neely

Nixon, Executive Power and the Constitution by R. B. Bernstein

Reconstruction and Citizenship by Eric Foner