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Constitutional Convention

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It was the year of 1787, behind the closed doors of what is now Independence Hall, when our nation's constitution was created. This meeting was known as the Constitutional Convention. Over the course of four months the delegates at the Constitutional Convention created the United States Constitution. This document has been able to run our government for over two hundred years. Delegates from each state were invited to attend the convention. The purpose of this convention was to discuss the problems that the Articles of Confederation had and how they could be fixed.

There were Fifty-five delegates that attended the Convention. Each state had representatives except Rhode Island. Rhode Island chose not to attend the meeting because they wanted the ability to continue to print their own money, since a large portion of their economy was based on debt collection.

Many important men were involved in the Constitutional Convention. James Madison was known as the father of the convention. He knew the most about constitutional law and wrote the majority of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Bill of Rights for the Constitution. He with the help of Gouvenur Morris, James Wilson, and Alexander Hamilton wrote the Constitution. George Washington served as the president of the convention, and was the glue that held the convention together. Alexander Hamilton was an instrumental part of getting the constitution ratified. Gouvernur Morris had an amazing ability to write and think therefore he wrote the final words of the constitution.

During the Convention there was much to discuss. They had to try to find a way to stay organized and be time conscious. To do this they gave each state one vote on each matter brought up. A majority vote would pass any proposal. Out of the hundred six-teen day time period that the convention was held they delegates met on eighty-nine of them.

On May 30, the delegates decided to establish a new national government in which there were three forms; legislative, executive ,and judiciary. From this decision came many arguments and two main plans. Those plans were the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan.

Edmund Randolph and James Madison developed what they thought was the best idea for the new national government. The Virginia Plan was a bicameral government. There would be two houses. Representation in each house was to be based on the state population or how much money that a state gave to the federal government. Members of the lower house of representatives were elected by voters from every state. Upper house, or the senate, was to be chosen by the lower house. This government would allow the national government to enforce its own laws. This plan was heavily supported by the larger states

The Ne w Jersey plan was developed by those in the smaller states. The plan called for a unicameral government. Representation would be done equally by the states; each state would get one vote.



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