Sunday, January 20, 2002


A snowy day in Delaware; our first winter storm of the season. It was a good day to kick back, and reflect upon the past. Some history, from various sources on the web:

In the period of time between 1774 and 1789, a group of conspirators gathered together to discuss governance and treason, and became the fathers of our country. The Library of Congress captures many of the difficulties they faced, using a combination of narrative and primary resources including documents, paintings, and prints in a presentation entitled To Form a More Perfect Union: The Work of the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.

Colonial Hall: Biographies of America's Founding Fathers is an introduction to some of the people who shaped the country. In addition to biographies of those from other states, Delaware is represented by Ceasar Rodney (you may have seen him on the back of the Delaware quarter), George Read, and Thomas McKean.

Black Robes and powdered wigs are symbols of office that many attribute to the Judiciary. In Wigs, Coifs, and Other Idiosyncrasies of English Judicial Attire, we learn about how these articles of clothing came to be associated with the legal system.

One of the historical and legal precedents for the Declaration of Independence came from a gathering near where Windsor Castle stands today, on June 15, 1215. The document signed on that day gave the colonists an example they drew strength from, as described in an article called Magna Carta and Its American Legacy.

Judicial review, and the power of the Supreme Court to declare an act of the legislature or executive unconstitutional found its origin in a decision of Chief Justice John Marshall. A page on the case involved, Marbury v. Madison, is an introduction to the history and the people involved in the controversy behind the legal opinion.
- William Slawski