Washington’s Copy of the Constitution

June 14th, 2012 by

Washington’s Copy of the Constitution In 1789, the United States Constitution went into effect and George Washington was elected as the first leader of the country. If you know your early American history, you’ll remember that Washington was the president of the Constitutional Convention as well. Even though he was in attendance for much of Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Virginia Plan Debated

June 1st, 2012 by

Philadelphia – The end of May saw the Convention responding to the Virginia delegation’s bold plan. The Virginians had proposed replacing the Articles of Confederation – a task far beyond what many Convention delegates thought they were authorized to do – with a powerful national government. When proponents of this plan failed to win agreement Read more…

George Washington, An American Character

February 22nd, 2012 by

On what would have been George Washington’s 280th birthday, we celebrate his life with an excerpt from our middle school curriculum, Being an American: Exploring the Ideals That Unite Us. George Washington wanted his presidency to be an example of moderation, just as he lived his life.  On September 19, 1796, Washington gave his Farewell Read more…

Delaware: The First State

December 7th, 2011 by

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the new United States Constitution.  Delaware was concerned about their small size and lack of economic viability and decided that ratifying the Constitution would be in their best interest. . Because the Articles of Confederation did not provide an effective national government, a Constitutional Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Final Details

September 16th, 2011 by

Philadelphia, September 10 – 15, 1787 As the weather finally cools a bit and the Convention enters what will be the final week of deliberations, the main topics of discussion are the amendment process and the ratification process.  On Monday, September 10, Elbridge Gerry raises a concern about the amendment process—he fears that the new Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Brearly Committee – Executive Branch

September 9th, 2011 by

It has become evident to the delegates that they cannot make the decisions about the executive independent of a conversation that discusses the executive’s election, term, powers, and removal in a holistic way. Thus the Brearly Committee is tasked with such a conversation. The result – Article II of the Constitution. Read on for some Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Brearly Committee – Powers of Congress

September 7th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – As September began, the Convention had made remarkable progress toward drafting a new Constitution, but many questions had been left for later. The delegates agreed “to refer such parts of the Constitution as have been postponed, and such parts of Reports as have not been acted on, to a Committee of a member Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Reviewing Committee of Detail Report

August 29th, 2011 by

Philadelphia—The delegates, having now tackled topics as challenging as representation in Congress and several issues related to slavery, are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But decisions remain related to the separation of powers between the three national branches, as well as to federalism: the assignment of powers between the Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Slavery

August 22nd, 2011 by

Philadelphia – When the Convention began their work in earnest in the spring of 1787, its delegates must have known that the complex issue of slavery would be a “make-or-break” matter for the new republic.  Indeed, the volatile issue would wait a full three months into the Convention before being tackled with any level of Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – A Rough Draft of the Constitution

August 15th, 2011 by

The Convention adjourned from July 26th to August 6th to allow the Committee of Detail – composed of John Rutledge of South Carolina, Edmund Randolph of Virginia, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts, Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut, and James Wilson of Pennsylvania – to prepare a rough draft of a constitution, based on the series of resolutions Read more…