Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prose Wars™ II: The Articles of Confederation vs. the Constitution

Yesterday's inaugural Prose Wars™ post pitted a page from Eliot A. Cohen's Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen And Leadership In Wartime against a parenthetical remark from Adrian McKinty's upcoming novel In the Morning I'll Be Gone, with McKinty winning handily.

Today, two of the founding documents of the United States of America face off, with the Constitution kicking the Articles of Confederation's butt. No shock there; the Articles are the Wally Pipp of founding documents to the Constitution's Lou Gehrig.  Here's the preamble to the Articles, preserving the spelling and inconsistent punctuation as reproduced in the Library of America's Debate on the Constitution:
"To all to whom these Presents shall come, we, the undersigned, Delegates of the States affixed to our Names, send greeting: Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled, did on the fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and Seventy seven, and in the second year of the Independence of America, agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, in the Words following, viz. "Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia."
Here is the preamble to the Constitution:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Case closed.
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A previous Detectives Beyond Borders post shows how editing made the Declaration of Independence better.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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6 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

But what writers and what editors! Thomas Jefferson being edited by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams!

October 17, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And they probably got more respect from George Washington than copy editors get from Washington's inferior descendants.

October 17, 2013  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

There's a reason why Schoolhouse Rock didn't set the Articles to music.

October 17, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

May I presume that implies Schoolhouse Rock did set the Constitution to music?

October 17, 2013  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

The preamble, yes. I can still sing it.

October 17, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ha! If I were not otherwise occupied, I would call you and ask you to sing it to me.

I am pleased to work five blocks from Independence Hall, one from where Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and in a building on the site of the house were he lived when he was secretary of state.

October 17, 2013  

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