The History Of The U.S. Constitution Essay, Research Paper
The History of the U.S. Constitution By 1786, the Confederation of the United States was in danger of resolution. They were not satisfied with a national government that did not have much authority or have the power to enforce its decisions. Shays Rebellion and the interference of other countries gave reason for a drastic revision of the Articles of Confederation if the United States was going to be successful at becoming a nation. A solution to the problem came to a convention of representatives of five states. These men met in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1786, to formulate a code of trade regulations that applied to all 13 states that were in the union. This convention, which was held in Annapolis, suggested to the 13 states that they should send delegates to a different convention. This second convention would approve of the changing or fixing of the constitution. The Congress of the Confederation settled on the date and place where this meeting should occur. It was in May 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that the meeting was held, and later came to be known as the Constitutional or Federal Convention. At this convention, there were twelve states represented by 55 delegates. Rhode Island, scared that this convention would ruin their lucrative trade, sent no representatives. George Washington was conscripted to be the president of the convention. These men listed below were present at the convention: James Madison, George Mason, Edmund Randolph, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Roger Sherman, Oliver Ellsworth, Rufus King, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Dickinson, Alexander Hamilton, William Patterson, and Luther Martin. Neither Patrick Henry nor Samuel Adams, both of whom were strongly against a central government, attended this convention. The convention was in continuos session until it was finished with its work and had a unanimous agreement of the States present. The sessions went relatively well, except the occasional uproar. Some of the delegates withdrew from the convention stating that the convention had no grounds for making a new constitution. James Madison, called The Father of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, who was 81 years old, John Dickinson, and Roger Sherman were very skillful in settling most of the disputes. All the disputes and arguments were settled by compromises that made possible a national republic with a government with limited powers.
The first major dispute was over what kind of legislature there would be bicameral or unicameral. The bicameral legislature, which provided for a House of Representatives elected by popular vote and a Senate elected by the House, would have given more power to the larger states. The unicameral legislature that provided all states was equal. This dispute was settled by the Great Compromise; establishing equal representation in the Senate and the House of Representatives according to the states population. Other disputes were mostly on economics and were easily resolved.On September 12, 1987, the convention came to an end. The members of the Constitutional Convention gave a copy of the United States Constitution to a committee on style to polish the language. On September 17, 1987, 39 delegates opposed or absent, signed the Constitution and sent it to the Congress of the Confederation. Then on September 28, 1787, Congress sent the Constitution to the states for ratification.The constitution went through a lot to become ratified. Most of the states were frightened by a strong central government and would not sign the document. Some states finally, at the end of the year, signed it, but some still did not trust it. By June 21,1788, the Constitution had two-thirds vote and was ratified. “Constitution of the United States,” Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. American Government in Christian Perspective, Copyright 1997, and 1984 Pensacola Christian College All rights reserved.Encyclopedia Britannica Published in 1974 by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Copyright under International Copyright Union.The Annals of America Published in 1968 by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Copyright under International Copyright Union.