Orientation and Getting Started
Early Development of the Legislative Branch and the Problem of Representation
Enumerated Powers of Congress
Implied, Expansive, and Limited Powers
The Two Congresses: Representation and Lawmaking
Separation of Powers and Interaction between the Branches
Institutional Development and Change
Congress and the American People

Welcome to “American Institutions II: Congress, the Constitution, and Contemporary Politics

The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution

The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution was established by The Montpelier Foundation in 2002 with a goal of becoming the nation’s leading resource in high-quality constitutional education. The Center serves as a teaching academy, a place where professionals are immersed in an intellectual engagement with the theory and meaning of the American Constitution. Program activities take place in the Constitutional Village, where participants read, think, and discuss the ideas and innovations that underlie our nation’s great experiment in self-government.

Over 43,000 professionals from all 50 states and over 90 countries have participated in the Center’s programs—among these are teachers, law enforcement officers, state supreme court justices, and elected officials.

James Madison’s Montpelier

James Madison’s Montpelier inspires continuing public engagement with American constitutional self-government by bringing to life the home and contributions of James and Dolley Madison. James Madison, Father of the Constitution, Architect of the Bill of Rights, and U.S. president, shared his lifelong home, Montpelier, with his beloved wife, Dolley, whose political and social flair inspired the title “First Lady.” The 2,650-acre plantation in Orange, Virginia, includes the historic home, galleries, gardens, archaeology, forest trails, and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Montpelier is a National Trust Historic Site administered by The Montpelier Foundation. Visit montpelier.org and follow us on Twitter at @JMMontpelier.

Special Gratitude

The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s would like to recognize its partnerships with the Brookings Institution and James Madison University. It would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.