Learn More About Gouverneur Morris eLesson

Though James Madison has been given the title, “Father of the Constitution,” a case could be made that Gouverneur Morris was second in importance only to the Virginian in shaping the final version of the document. Morris spoke more often (173 times) than any other delegate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Though he was often on the losing side of issues and was not a political theorist on the level of Madison, Morris was a leader of the nationalist bloc at the Convention that ultimately carried the day. In addition, it was the native New Yorker who actually crafted much of the language of the United States Constitution.

In this lesson, students will:

• explain Gouverneur Morris’s role in the Newburgh Conspiracy.
• understand Morris’s contributions at the Constitutional Convention and his responsibilities in drafting the Constitution’s final wording.
• understand the way Morris’s strengths as well as shortcomings enabled him to contribute to his community and country.
• analyze the purposes of government set forth in the Preamble.
• evaluate the ways modern U.S. government fulfills those purposes of government.

Student Handout (PDF)

Teacher Key