Chuck Norris

Case in point, in 2007, a national survey commissioned by the U.S. Mint found that only 30 percent of Americans knew that Thomas Jefferson was our third president, and only 7 percent could name the first four presidents in order. If you're a part of the 93 percent, you should know that they were George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The fact is most Americans don't have a clue why our Founders created this country, what principles motivated them or why they framed our Constitution the way they did.

To restore America, we need to reclaim our past and learn from it. It is only by turning back and examining our beginnings that we can reawaken -- or, if you will, reboot -- our country. So if, like most people, you're a little rusty on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, here's a quick primer or reminder of what our government was meant to be -- and should be.

In 1776, by an act of the Second Continental Congress, the original 13 Colonies adopted a Declaration of Independence, dissolving their relations with England. America would be a confederation of independent countries ("states"). In 1777, the Articles of Confederation (our first constitution and governing document) was written and adopted by the Second Continental Congress, though it was not ratified until 1781. The Federalists soon recognized the deficiencies in the Articles of Confederation, so they called for the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. By the end of their four-month convention, the United States Constitution was adopted, though it was not ratified completely until 1790. It has been amended 27 times since. (The first 10 amendments constitute the Bill of Rights.)

The Framers set out a path for us, and we've strayed from it. And the first thing any rational man does when he's lost his way is to look at a map. If you think, as I do, that America has taken a wrong turn, studying America's Revolutionary history is the first step to helping us find our way back -- just as millions of Tea Party patriots have done already.

Happy first birthday, Tea Party movement! If participants in the Boston Tea Party of 1773 laid the groundwork for the Declaration of Independence just three years later, imagine what impact you can have by the time you celebrate your third birthday.

To find a Tea Party birthday celebration in your area this Saturday, Feb. 27, check out the various gatherings under "events" at

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.