A Partnership with the Brookings Institution

Center for the Constitution

The Center for the Constitution at Montpelier and the Brookings Institution established a five-year partnership in 2009 which melds Brookings research on legal and constitutional affairs with the Center's approach to constitutional theory. 


One major initiative in this partnership was the creation of ConText, an online crowd-sourced commentary of James Madison's notes on the federal convention, widely considered the best record of the debates that led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Register  today to contribute and become a part of the ConText community.


What So Proudly We Hailed: Essays on the Contemporary Meaning of the War of 1812

New from the Brookings Institution Press, What So Proudly We Hailed looks at the War of 1812 in part through the lens of today's America. On the bicentennial of that formative yet largely forgotten period in U.S. History, this provocative book asks: What did Americans learn—and not learn—from the experience? What instructive parallels and distinctions can be drawn with more recent events? How did it shape the nation?

Exploring issues ranging from party politics to sectional schisms, distant naval battles to the burning of Washington, citizens' civil liberties to the fate of Native Americans caught in the struggle, these essays speak to the complexity and unpredictability of a war that many assumed would be brief and straightforward. What emerges is a revealing perspective on a problematic "war of choice"—the nation's first, but with intriguing complications for others, including at least one in the present century. 

Order online today!

Pietro S. Nivola & Peter J. Kastor, eds. 


Montpelier-Brookings Conference on Contemporary Constitutional Issues

The Montpelier-Brookings Conference on Contemporary Constitutional Issues series exposes its participants to the interaction of Founding Era thought and contemporary legal policy challenges in a relaxed environment at the symbolically significant home of James Madison, the Constitution's chief architect. 

Participants in The Legal Architecture of Counterterrorism: Constitutional Principles and Contemporary Policy included journalists from The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, The Atlantic, ProPublica, SCOTUSblog, National Journal, and WVTF Public Radio.  Click here for more information on this conference's speakers and agenda.

The Madisonian System and Modern America: Is it Broken and Can We Fix It? hosted participants from National Journal, Wilson Quarterly, and Free-Lance Star, along with several non-profit leaders, who gathered to discuss the state of Madisonian institutions in America today.  


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What So Proudly We Hailed: Essays on the Contemporary Meaning of the War of 1812

Forthcoming by Brookings Institution Press, October 2012