On May 14, 1787, Philadelphia saw one of the most remarkable gatherings in human history as 55 delegates convened to write what would become the U.S. Constitution.
Men of vision but not visionaries, men of intellect but not intellectuals, drawing on history and theory with a deep understanding of human nature and the needs of the day, working in secret without public petitions or pressure, they created a document that, for nearly a quarter of a millennium, has been the basis of one of the best systems of government the world has ever seen.
Could we furnish such a gathering today?
And if we could, would we understand, appreciate and endorse its work?
If not, we should not be too smug about the supposed dazzling enlightenment of the present and our superiority to the benighted past.
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