Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article I

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the limits of presidential power

August 7, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

It was 54 years ago today that a joint session of Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, an act that led to the Vietnam War’s escalation and the eventual passage of another act seeking to curb presidential powers.

Blame Abraham Lincoln for the nation’s first national Income Tax

August 5, 2018 By NCC Staff

Most people aren’t big fans of a national income tax, but it was on this day back in 1861 that the first one was levied by the new President, Abraham Lincoln.

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

May 15, 2018 By NCC Staff

Philadelphia was the early capital of the United States after the Constitution was ratified, but on May 14, 1800, the nation’s capital moved to Washington. So who was behind the deal that changed the face of American government?

Happy birthday to First United States Congress

April 6, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1789, the First Congress under our current Constitution met in its first joint session in New York and undertook an important order of business: confirming George Washington’s election as President.

The Alaska purchase: Folly or good fortune?

March 30, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1867, United States Secretary of State William Seward signed a deal acquiring Alaska, an agreement that was ridiculed by some as “Seward’s Folly” and opposed in the House.

Andrew Jackson, presidential censure and the Constitution

March 28, 2018 By NCC Staff

On March 28, 1834, the U.S. Senate censured President Andrew Jackson in a tug-of-war that had questionable constitutional roots but important political overtones.

The cotton gin: A game-changing social and economic invention

March 14, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

On this day in 1793, young inventor Eli Whitney had his U.S. patent for the cotton gin approved, an invention that would definitely have an impact on social and economic conditions that led to the Civil War.

Supreme Court set to tackle Internet sales tax question

March 8, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

One of the most closely watched Supreme Court cases in April could affect the shopping habits of millions of Americans, as the Justices consider taxes paid on Internet product sales.

On this day, government begins under our Constitution

March 4, 2018 By NCC Staff

It was 229 years ago today that the federal government started to operate under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, as the Confederation Congress ceded power. However, there was a major problem with the first session of the new Congress: not enough members showed up.

Gibbons v. Ogden: Defining Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause

March 2, 2018 By NCC Staff

On March 2, 1824, the Supreme Court ruled in Gibbons v. Ogden, holding that Congress may regulate interstate commerce.

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