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Join the conversation! There are now 16 comments on “What were they thinking? pg 16
  1. Conan says

    I navigated to this page and saw an April Fools overlay fade out. What was that? Or is the information on this page bogus?

  2. Raen says

    “I wasn’t anywhere near the room where it happened.”

    …we all knew it would come sooner or later…

    • Although, seriously, I thought Hamilton was on the five-man drafting committee? Him, Madison, Morris, and… two other people.

      • You’re thinking of a different committee. We’ll get to that soon.

        I think the main lesson from this page is “don’t believe everything you read.”

        You would be amazed how much about the Constitutional Convention gets mis-reported in history books. The delegates were sworn to secrecy, so they didn’t tell anyone what happened. Except for the handful who spotted a chance to write their own legacy after the fact. When the first historical accounts were written down, some things that simply didn’t happen got recorded as gospel truth. It would be more than a hundred years before some of the actual details would come to light. And even then, the histories still reported some things as actually happening. In a comment on an earlier page, I mentioned the Pinckney Plan as a perfect example — it wasn’t formally introduced, was never debated, the one that made it into the history books was one that Pinckney invented decades later, and Madison himself privately confirmed that it was bogus, and yet there it is in the history books.

        Nobody bothers to go back to check this stuff, because it’s all settled history — there’s nothing new to learn, so why bother reinventing the wheel? But if you do go back and read their letters and other primary sources, you can find some interesting contradictions.

        Well, I shouldn’t say “nobody.” Textbooks are notoriously inaccurate, and popular histories rarely rely on primary sources, but there are solid historians who do the work. Even so, there are widely-cited — even foundational — works of scholarship on the Convention that simply get certain details wrong, and then these get cited by later academics who trust the first ones. (This is why we make students on law reviews “cite check” articles before publication — does the source really say what is claimed? How about its source?) When it comes to Article V, the Hamilton Plan keeps getting cited as including a section on amendments, but it didn’t. As he says here, that comes from a completely different document that Hamilton gave to Madison at the end of the Convention in the hopes of preserving a legacy of his ideas.

        So who was on the drafting committee? We’ll be getting to them in two pages. Hamilton was not one of them.

    • 36 U.S.C. §31301 and 37 C.F.R. §398.14(d)(6) make it a federal crime to make a literary or artistic reference to Alexander Hamilton without at least one reference to the Broadway production.

      [Hey, it could be true! We already had more federal crimes on the books than the government itself could count (not making that up, they tried and gave up.) But then, after Trump got elected, the Obama administration got busy. So many thousands of pages of federal regulations were rushed through before his inauguration, it’s almost like the “infinite universes” trope — if you can imagine that it exists, it probably does exist.]

  3. UsaSatsui says

    So it’s gonna do that in the book too, right?

    • I was counting on using this paper stock that dissolves within x seconds of contact with the air. But APPARENTLY it’s made by a mill that has an exclusive contract with some government agency or other. So I’ve got one of my kids working on a substitute formula for his school science project. Hopefully he’ll have the kinks worked out in time for-

      Hold on, there’s someone at the door. I’ll be rig

        • I don’t think so. RT only dissolves if it’s about to get wet. Sadly, it’s moot anyway — chronochemicals haven’t been produced anywhere since the USSR collapsed, so even including a single page of RT per book would price out dozens of potential buyers. Dozens!

  4. The GIF fake-out is pretty cool! But for someone on an archive binge, they might read really quickly and miss the actual comic.

  5. Linebyline says

    My personal recommendation would be either to include the page as an appendix or to include it inline and then put the APRIL FOOLS overlay immediately after as a separate page. (The latter is more fun but I think the former would be less prone to misunderstandings.)

  6. Linebyline says

    Well that ended up not being a reply to whom I thought it would be. Sorry, folks.

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