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Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution$
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George Anastaplo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125336

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125336.001.0001

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. Time and the Constitution

. Time and the Constitution

(p.46) 7. Time and the Constitution
Reflections on Life, Death, and the Constitution

George Anastaplo

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter shows that an awareness of human mortality is evident throughout the Constitution of 1787 and in its Amendments. It notes that such an awareness is implicit in the traditional civic trinity of “Life, Liberty, and Property.” It observes that the conversion of “Property” into “Pursuit of Happiness,” as in the Declaration of Independence, may acknowledge further the transitory aspects of human existence. It further observes that the Preamble, in expressing the concern of the Framers to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to [them]selves and [their] Posterity,” attempts to build upon the stable elements in our ever-changing lives. It notes that “posterity” suggests that although one may not personally endure forever, at least on Earth, one may have descendants, just as one has had ancestors.

Keywords:   human mortality, Constitution of 1787, Life, Liberty, Property, Pursuit of Happiness, Declaration of Independence, human existence, Preamble, posterity

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