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…

Countdown to the Constitution – Council of Revision

July 22nd, 2011 by

Two months into the Convention, the delegates could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. Delegates had debated the resolutions presented by the delegation of Virginia, amended them, and debated them again. Before sending the revised amendments to a Committee of Detail that would create a rough draft of the Constitution, however, Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Reviewing Committee of Detail Report

July 18th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – As the convention pressed into the late days of July, debate turned to the revised Virginia Plan’s resolutions on the Executive Branch. The ninth resolution proposed that “a National Executive be instituted to consist of a single person, to be chosen by the National Legislature for the term of seven years…”. All delegations Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Representation: Down to the Details

July 11th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – The Gerry Commission report gave form to the idea, which had been bubbling up in debate, of a union “partly national, partly federal”. Because this idea was gaining momentum, the Gerry Commission report might be seen as the “Nationalists’ Last Gasp.” The bloc of delegates – including James Madison, James Wilson, and Gouverneur Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Gerry Committee

July 4th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – The eleventh anniversary of independence saw the Convention at an impasse. The delegates could not agree on the question of how to structure a legislative body for the union – because all knew this decision raised the question of whether they should merely strengthen the confederation, or create a new national government in Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Connecticut Compromise

June 30th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – Well over a month into the convention, the delegates are still at odds over how to settle the question of representation in the new government. All believed that the answer to this question would determine whether the states would continue as distinct political societies, or whether the new national government would form one Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Luther Martin – Reality TV Star?

June 27th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – Reality television and the Constitutional Convention have more in common than you might think. We know from scanning primetime that every good reality show has at least one unruly character. But could this also be true during one of our Nation’s most formative narratives? Meet Luther Martin, one of Maryland’s delegates who unabashedly Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Powers of the Legislative Branch

June 20th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – As the convention entered its fifth week, many of its delegates must have had a growing frustration that little progress had been made. The Virginia Plan had been presented, debated, and amended… and in response, William Patterson and Alexander Hamilton each presented competing plans, drawn on entirely different principles. With those competing plans Read more…

Countdown to the Constitution – Alternate Plans: NJ and Hamilton

June 13th, 2011 by

Philadelphia – Debates over the Virginia Plan have inundated the Convention for weeks, but several delegates from the smaller states are concerned about the scope of the plan.  It would completely eliminate the Articles of Confederation and put in its place a stronger national government.  Wasn’t the Revolution fought to rid Americans of a tyrannical Read more…