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Institute for Constitutional History


Over the past twenty-five years, American constitutional history has been de-emphasized in favor of "trendier" subjects at the nation's universities and colleges. As historian Gordon Wood has noted, "most universities have long since given up teaching undergraduate courses in American constitutional history, and most of those few remaining professors who do teach it are retiring and not being replaced with constitutional scholars” (New York Review of Books, February 23, 2006). Fewer college students than ever are studying the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society. One result is a distressing level of constitutional ignorance among all American citizens.

The Institute for Constitutional History was created to address this crisis. By helping to prepare young scholars and teachers, and by providing new resources to current faculty members in all relevant disciplines, the Institute seeks to make the study of the Constitution a regular and vibrant part of both the liberal arts curriculum and public life. The Institute promotes an inclusive, non-partisan approach to interpreting the Constitution and provides opportunities for scholars to develop and publish interdisciplinary research. Though based in New York City and Washington, D.C., we serve scholars, educators and students across the country.

The Institute received pilot funding from the Supreme Court Historical Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a “We the People” Challenge Grant for the Institute that has allowed the New-York Historical Society to establish a $2.2 million endowment.

Your support of this crucial initiative will have a direct impact on important research and teaching and will further the mission of the Institute to increase the influence of research on the Constitution and American society. Contributions to the Institute for Constitutional History are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Checks should be made payable to The New-York Historical Society. Please indicate on the check that your contribution is intended to benefit the Institute for Constitutional History.

Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Morgan, Director of Institutional Giving, at (212) 485-9277 or



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The Institute for Constitutional History is supported, in part, by a
"We the People" challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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