Open Daily, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Tickets Are Available Online.

The Center for the Constitution

The Montpelier Foundation established the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution in 2002. The original “Center for Constitutional Studies” was meant to be a national academy to provide seminars for educators on topics related to the U.S. Constitution. Robert H. Smith shared our belief that helping educators become better teachers helps students become more knowledgeable about the Constitution, and that both are key to the future of America.

In addition to educators, the Center now works with professionals who have a responsibility to implement and protect the Constitution. We have developed a partnership with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to offer programs for law enforcement officers whom we entrust to uphold the values and ideals of America’s governing documents through their actions.

We also host a variety of international professionals, including journalists, non-profit leaders, elected and appointed officials, and human rights lawyers in an effort to promote the rule of law and good governance abroad. Since its inception, the Center for the Constitution has trained more than 60,000 people from over 110 countries.

Importantly, the Center is not a place where original or new research and interpretation of the US Constitution is created. Rather, we see it as our mission to explore the historical context of the Constitution and examine modern Constitutional issues in a non-partisan way.

We know that the Constitution profoundly affects our day-to-day lives, but deciphering and applying it can be intimidating. That’s why the Center exists. We strive to help people gain a better understanding of the document that still serves as the foundation of our nation. We give people the tools to more fully appreciate and understand the Constitution and encourage informed debate, deeper involvement in democracy, and continuous improvement to our nation.

“Consider the Constitution” is a new podcast from the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. The show provides insight into constitutional issues that directly affect every American. Hosted by Dr. Katie Crawford Lackey the podcast features interviews with constitutional scholars, policy and subject matter experts, heritage professionals, and legal practitioners. Subscribe and join on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Google Podcasts.

For more information, contact us.



Montpelier Educator Seminars offer teachers a unique opportunity to explore Constitutional government with scholars. Join a small cohort, uncover diverse seminar topics, and enhance your teaching in 2024.


International Groups

Explore our global impact through IVLP, connecting foreign leaders with Americans. Our partnership with the Presidential Precinct, including the Mandela Washington Fellowship, shapes emerging global leaders.


Law Enforcement Officers

Montpelier's law enforcement training. Empowering VA law enforcement pros with Constitutional policing, co-creating safety strategies with communities. Join us in shaping the future of policing.


As the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, Montpelier's mission is to communicate Madison's role in creating our modern, democratic government.