Featured Course – Creating the Constitution (HIST 423)

Nahom Nega



By Nahom Nega


“We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, ‘We, the people.'” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg

More than 200 years after it was written, the U.S. Constitution remains the legal backbone of this country. First penned in 1787 (and later amended 27 times), the Constitution governs both federal and state level laws, and its original legal intent is often the topic of debate. 

When Colin Kaepernick expressed his 1st amendment right to freedom of expression and knelt to protest the social injustices facing African Americans in the U.S., it is all anyone could talk about. The debates flooded our news feeds and social media timelines. Was this disrespectful? Was this appropriate? But there was one thing most people could agree on – Kaepernick had the Constitutional right to peacefully protest in any way he deemed appropriate.

HIST 423 – Creating the Constitution explores the creation of the federal Constitution of 1787 and the Bill of Rights, and examines the many crises that the Constitution was designed to solve. Students in the course will also investigate the politics behind the constitutional convention and the contest between the two opposing political movements of that time: Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

HIST 423 is a fully online course and offers Social Science GEP credit. It is recommended but not required that students enrolling in this course will have taken HIST 101. 

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Get to know the Instructor:

Terry BoutonTerry Bouton is a distinguished author and associate professor of History at UMBC. He is also the 2012-2015 Presidential Teaching Professor as well as a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians(OAH). Professor Bouton has taught courses on the American Revolution, the Early National Period and the Atlantic Revolutions of the late-18th to mid-19th century. Professor Bouton won the 2008 Philip S. Klein Book Prize as well as earned an Honorable Mention for the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award for his first book titled: Taming Democracy: “The People,” the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution(Oxford, 2007). He is currently working on a new book titled: “Foreign Founders: How European Financiers Helped Write the Constitution” which explores how the nation’s pillar has been influenced by foreign investors.



Nahom Nega


Nahom Nega has been a marketing intern at the Division of Professional Studies since August of 2018. He is a sophomore Media and Communication Studies major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Nahom is also a writer for the Retriever as well as co-founder of OCA Mocha, a entrepreneurial student led initiative to foster a relationship with local communities.