25 September 2014 Constitutional Convention and The Constitution
The Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, is one of the most, if not the only, important meeting in American history. The Constitutional Convention produced the single most surviving written document ever created by some of the greatest and influential minds of the time, the Constitution of the United States. The men who attended the convention created a document that has shaped and formed the United States government of today. Without the Constitutional Convention the United States could to this day still be operating under the Article of Confederation which continuously proved to be inadequate in managing the conflicts among the states and gave the federal government absolutely no taxing powers for its money.
With the news of Daniel Shays and his rebellion spreading throughout the nation many leaders saw this as a time to take action. Shay’s Rebellion may have met with military defeat, but it forced the Federal government to reconsider their powers, “alarming many previously apathetic leaders, including George Washington, who promptly made plans to travel to Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. Washington's support gave the meeting wide credibility” (Brinkley). At the start of the convention there were few ideas on how to fix the government that existed under the Articles of Confederation. One thing that all agreed on was the fact that Congress held limited power, and they also did not want to give the federal government too much power. As stated by Madison “if men were angels, no government would be necessary” (Lloyd). The men of the convention knew that to accomplish the things necessary to build a government worth keeping and following, power must be had, but too much could and would be corrupting to a new government. Most at the convention held the interests of the people of each state and felt that considerable control of the law should remain within each state. The most populated state Virginia, was well prepared and led by James Madison who had prepared a new plan for a modern and advanced government. “The Virginia Plan shaped the agenda of the convention from the moment Edmund Randolph of Virginia opened the debate by proposing that “national government ought to be established, consisting of a Supreme Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary” (Brinkley)
Our Founding Fathers had their issue with writing the Constitution and making it fair to all, the issue of slavery and larger states versus smaller states and representation, to the point that the convention almost came to a halt, but compromises were made and the Constitution was written and accepted. There are five basic principles of the Constitution that our founding Fathers addressed and wrote in the Constitution. Popular sovereignty, meaning that the government’s authority comes from the people. Limited government, which gives the government limited power over the people. Separation of powers making sure that no branch has too much power over the other branches. Checks and Balances dividing the power within the government, and the last one federalism, the Constitution designed this to protect the rights of states (Yalof). The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the Federal Government of the United States. It provides the framework for the organization of the United States Government. The document defines the three main branches of the government: The legislative branch with a bicameral…