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Constitution Week: Home


Explore books, streaming videos, databases, and more from the SCC library to learn about Constitution Week.

What is Constitution Week?

Photograph of Carter G. WoodsonWhat is Constitution Week?

Constitution Week is an annual observance in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and promotes awareness and understanding of the nation's founding document. It takes place from September 17 to September 23 each year.

Photo Credit: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration



The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national  government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.

The Constitution of the United States. (2022, September 21). National Archives


Browse selected titles below from the SCC Library then search for more print books and ebooks.

Browse Non Fiction ebooks from the SCC Library

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The People's Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union

"The People's Constitution" tells the 233-year story of how subsequent generations have improved the American constitution through twenty-seven amendments. It highlights the battles, controversies, and transformations that shaped the document, from the Bill of Rights to the Fourteenth Amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment. 

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The Cult of Constitution

"The Cult of the Constitution" challenges the concept of constitutional fundamentalism and highlights its role in perpetuating white male supremacy. The book argues that both conservative and liberal ideologies selectively interpret the Constitution to serve their own interests. Examples include the conservative focus on the Second Amendment and the liberal emphasis on the First Amendment. The author argues that the Constitution itself provides a remedy to this issue and encourages readers to embrace a comprehensive understanding of the Constitution.

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Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution

"Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution" delves into the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, examining their roles in shaping the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It explains how the two political compatriots could have produced such seemingly dissimilar documents but then come to a common constitutional ground.

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First Amendment For Beginners

First Amendment For Beginners explores some of the biggest cases to come before the Supreme Court and answer questions such as whether it really is okay to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, burn the flag, burn your draft card, join the Communist party, ban Ku Klux Klan marches, and publish confidential government secrets in a newspaper, to name just a few. Whether you're a court watcher, political junkie, history buff, civil libertarian, news enthusiast, or just curious about the most important amendment in the Constitution, this book is for you!

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The Heart of the Constitution: How the Bill of Rights Became the Bill of Rights

"The Heart of the Constitution"  uncovers the untold story of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The book reveals that the term "Bill of Rights" was not commonly used until the 20th century and that it was initially invoked to expand rather than restrict federal government authority. It was during the Cold War that the Bill of Rights gained its modern significance as a check on government power. Ultimately, the book portrays the Bill of Rights as a dynamic document that reflects the core principles of the Constitution across different generations.

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A Pocket Guide to the US Constitution: What Every American Needs to Know

Provides concise explanations of the Constitution's meaning and history, offering little-known facts and anecdotes about every article and all twenty-seven amendments. This handy guide won't tell you what the Constitution ought to say, nor what it ought to mean. It will tell you what the Constitution says and what it has meant. A Pocket Guide to the US Constitution presents a straightforward way to understand the American Constitutional system.

Check Out These Books from the SCC Library

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The Constitution: An Introduction

A lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution's history and meaning in clear, accessible terms.  The Constitution: An Introduction provides readers with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues -- a skill that is ever more essential to the continued flourishing of American democracy.

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A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution

A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution is a rich narrative portrait of post-revolutionary America and the men who shaped its political future. Though the American Revolution is widely recognized as our nation's founding story, the years immediately following the war -- when our government was a disaster and the country was in a terrible crisis -- were in fact the most crucial in establishing the country's independence. The group of men who traveled to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 had no idea what kind of history their meeting would make. But all their ideas, arguments, and compromises -- from the creation of the Constitution itself, article by article, to the insistence that it remain a living, evolving document -- laid the foundation for a government that has surpassed the founders' greatest hopes. 

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The U. S. Constitution: a Very Short Introduction

Though the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788, its impact on our lives is as recent as today's news. Claims and counterclaims about the constitutionality of governmental actions are a habit of American politics. This document, which its framers designed to limit power, often has made political conflict inevitable. It also has accommodated and legitimized the political and social changes of a vibrant, powerful democratic nation. The U.S. Constitution: A Very Short Introduction explores the major themes that have shaped American constitutional history: federalism, the balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. 

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The Constitution Explained

The Constitution Explained takes an even-handed approach to controversial issues and explores various points of view. It sheds a light on the differing and changing interpretations of the many broadly worded key phrases in the Constitution. You'll learn how the Constitution has been adopted to different times and various situations. You'll learn what it does-and does not-promise U.S. citizens.  This invaluable resource is designed to help you understand the power and strength of the U.S. Constitution.

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Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution

The dramatic story of the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, the first new account of this seminal moment in American history in years.

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Religion, Law, and the Constitution

This book explores and evaluates the Supreme Court's contemporary First Amendment doctrine under the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses, as well as its protection of religious speech under the Free Speech Clause. A separate chapter discusses other important sources of religious freedom, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. 

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We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century

From gun control to reproductive health, a conservative court will reshape the lives of all Americans for decades to come. The time to develop and defend a progressive vision of the U.S. Constitution that protects the rights of all people is now. This book exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employees, and government power over individual rights. 

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How Free Speech Saved Democracy

A historical demonstration of the indispensability of the First Amendment. How Free Speech Saved Democracy is a revealing reminder that First Amendment rights have often been curtailed in efforts to block progress, and that current measures to reduce hurtful language and to end hate speech could backfire on those who promote them. 

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Taking Back the Constitution: Activist Judges and the Next Age of American Law

How the Supreme Court's move to the right has distorted both logic and the Constitution. The Court has never simply evaluated laws and arguments in light of permanent and immutable constitutional meanings. Social, moral, and yes, political ideas have always played into the justices' impressions of how they think a case should be decided. A passionate and informed argument for replacing judicial supremacy with popular constitutionalism--a move that would restore to the other branches of government a role in deciding constitutional questions.

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The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment

This book examines how guns have played important roles throughout American history, from early European settlement to the Revolutionary War and Manifest Destiny, through the use of Slave Patrols in the Deep South (which became the "well-regulated militias" so debated in 1787), to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and recent school massacres. 

Watch Streaming Videos from the SCC Library

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The U.S. Constitution

We all know what the US Constitution is – but do you know it’s origins story? Let’s delve into history and discover more about the most document in US history.

What is the Constitution?

How has the U.S. Constitution endured when it was created over 200 years ago? Why is it still the supreme law of the land today?

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The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism

John Green teaches you about the United States Constitution. When the founding fathers decided try their hand at nation-building, they created the Constitution of the United States. John will tell you how the convention came together, some of the compromises that had to be made to pass this thing, and why it's very lucky that the framers installed a somewhat reasonable process for making changes to the thing.

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Are We to Be a Nation? 1783-1788

Peace comes to the United States, but governing the world's newest republic is no simple task. Congress is ineffectual and individual states act like sovereign nations. By the time the Constitutional Convention convenes in 1787, many wonder if the country can survive. The long ratification process helps define what sort of nation the United States is to be — a process that continues to this day.

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Why wasn't the Bill of Rights originally in the U.S. Constitution?

When you think of the US Constitution, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Free speech? The right to bear arms? These passages are cited so often that it's hard to imagine the document without them. But the list of freedoms known as the Bill of Rights was not in the original text and wasn't added for three years. Why not? We go back to the origins of the Constitution to find out.

Library Databases For Researching the U.S. Constitution

Find articles, images, and more in these library databases. 

General Research Resources