Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Treaty and Appointments Power

On this day: Panama regains the Panama Canal

December 31, 2020 by NCC Staff

On December 31, 1999, the United States officially handed the Panama Canal over to Panama’s government, ending a long saga that had started a century and a half earlier.

The Gadsden Purchase and a failed attempt at a southern railroad

December 30, 2020 by NCC Staff

On December 30, 1853, a treaty was signed where Mexico sold the United States 29,000 square miles of territory for what eventually became southern Arizona and New Mexico. That deal, however, was part of plan related to the worsening North-South conflict before the Civil War.

America’s “forgotten war” ended on this day, and few people knew

December 24, 2020 by NCC Staff

On December 24, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent officially ended the War of 1812, but the delayed news couldn't stop nearly 1,000 British troops from being killed at the Battle of New Orleans.

On this day, the Louisiana Purchase is completed

December 20, 2020 by NCC Staff

Life in the newly formed United States changed forever on December 20, 1803 when the American flag flew over New Orleans, signifying the completion of the Louisiana Purchase and doubling the country’s size.

On This Day: Senate rejects Robert Bork for the Supreme Court

October 23, 2020 by NCC Staff

On October 23, 1987, the United States Senate held one of the most-controversial votes on a Supreme Court nominee in its history, when it rejected Robert Bork’s appointment.

The Louisiana Purchase: Jefferson’s constitutional gamble

October 20, 2020 by NCC Staff

On October 20, 1803, the Senate ratified a treaty with France, promoted by President Thomas Jefferson, that doubled the size of the United States. But was Jefferson empowered to make that $15 million deal under the Constitution?

The man who delivered California to the U.S., and was fired for it

March 10, 2020 by Scott Bomboy

On March 10, 1848, the Senate approved a treaty that led to California and much of the Southwest joining the United States. But the man who negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was promptly fired on his return to Washington.

On this day, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed

February 2, 2020 by NCC Staff

On February 2, 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico without President James K. Polk’s knowledge. The United States acquired about 55 percent of Mexico’s territory for $15 million.

On this day: Wilson’s 14 Points puts U.S. on world diplomatic stage

January 8, 2020 by NCC Staff

President Woodrow Wilson’s speech to Congress on January 8, 1918 made the United States a global player in the world of foreign diplomacy, as his 14 Points statement established a framework for peace after World War I.

A look at the Vacancies Reform Act

September 26, 2018 by Scott Bomboy

This week, an obscure act of Congress is getting a lot of attention in the discussion over Rod Rosenstein’s future in Washington. What is the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 and why are many people discussing it?

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