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ERIC Number: EJ849634
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
George Washington's Printed Draft of the Constitution and Mike Wilkins's "Preamble"
Potter, Lee Ann; Eder, Elizabeth K.
Social Education, v73 n4 p156-160 May-Jun 2009
On July 23, 1787, delegates at the Constitutional Convention established a Committee of Detail to prepare a report and a printed draft of a Constitution "conformable to the proceedings of the convention." Two weeks later, the committee submitted a printed rough draft to the delegates for their consideration. In this first draft, the Preamble began with a list of the 13 states in order from north to south. Ultimately, state names were omitted in part because the delegates did not know which states would ratify the Constitution, and future states were expected to join. This change also strengthened the idea of popular sovereignty, The Preamble also expanded to explain the document's intention, which was to establish a new government for the United States, and to articulate the purposes of that new government. In 1987, in honor of the document's bicentennial, conceptual artist Mike Wilkins presented his interpretation of the relationship between the individual and the collective population embodied in the text. He did so in a sculpture known as "Preamble." This article describes the development of the printed draft of the Constitution and Wilkins's sculpture. The first page of George Washington's annotated copy of the draft and an image of Wilkins's "Preamble" are featured. The article includes teaching suggestions and suggestions for further reading.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A