Treasures of Congress
Bruce I. Bustard
with Kenneth Kato
Few institutions have been as central to the course of American history as the U.S. Congress. Most of the great issues in our national life have been played out there, and many of our most memorable political figures have served in the House of Representatives or the Senate. Congress's pivotal position was built into the American system in 1787. The framers of the Constitution described Congress as the “first branch.” This label came about not only because the duties, powers, and responsibilities of Congress are listed in the Constitution before those of the other two branches, but also because the framers believed in legislative supremacy. The Constitution gives Congress the critical powers of raising revenue, regulating commerce, declaring war, coining money, and fleshing out the executive and judicial branches.
Few institutions have been as central to the course of American history as the U.S. Congress. Most of the great issues in our national life have been debated there, and many of our most memorable political figures have served in the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the move of the Congress to Washington, DC, from Philadelphia, Treasures of Congress showcases the role the House and Senate have played in our history through reproductions of fascinating petitions, resolutions, roll call votes, and bills. Chapters feature congressional documents from events such as the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the Missouri Compromise, the Civil War, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Coupled with illustrations, these records connect us intimately to the great decisions made by our representatives and personalize the lawmaking process in ways that no textbook can.
8 1/2" X 11", 78 pages, 115 illustrations
National Archives and Records Administration, 2000