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Why is the US Constitution so hard to amend? - Peter Paccone

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When it was ratified in 1789, the US Constitution didn’t just institute a government by the people – it provided a way for the people to alter the Constitution itself. And yet, of the nearly 11,000 amendments proposed in the centuries since, only 27 have succeeded as of 2016. Peter Paccone explains why the US Constitution is so hard to change.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Peter Paccone
  • Collaborator Loren Kleinrock
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Director Jeremy Jusay
  • Animator Katie Wendt
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Want to take a look at copy of the US Constitution and the amendments? Click here to do just that! Now take a look at this Wikipedia article entitled “List of Proposed Amendments to the United States Constitution.” For more about those proposed amendments and their success, the Pew Research Center also has an article entitled “A Look at Proposed Amendments and How Seldom They Go Anywhere.” Need more insight into all of this? Check out this article from a HuffPost blog entitled The Public and Proposed Constitutional Amendments: We Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,

Interested to find out just how you compare in opinion to others on amending the Constitution? Here is a ten-question survey created by the educator that is designed to find out whether millennials and the generations that follow will be more inclined than previous generations to amend the Constitution. For the results to that survey, click here.

Forbes also has an article entitled “What is a Millennial Anyway?” Read it to find out exactly what it means to be referred to as “a Millennial.” Interested in finding out about political views of most Millennials? Here is an Atlantic article entitled “When It Comes to Politics, Do Millennials Care About Anything?” There are also two more articles about this topic: for an Atlantic article entitled “Millennials' Political Views Don't Make Any Sense,” click here. And for a Pew Research Center survey entitled “How Millennial Are You?” click here.

Retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ book entitled Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, is another great read. For an excerpt from his book, click here.

What does President Obama have to say about amendments? Here is an “On Politics” article that details a proposed amendment that he appears to support. Finally, for more to think about and consider, here is a Pew Research Center article entitled “Political Polarization in the American Public.”

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Peter Paccone
  • Collaborator Loren Kleinrock
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Director Jeremy Jusay
  • Animator Katie Wendt
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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