During the “critical period” after the American Revolution, many were concerned for the future of the country they had just created. The Articles of Confederation, the original governing document for the country, was inadequate for the states to grow commercially and economically. The Confederation Congress announced a meeting to revise the Articles, but not everyone was convinced that the Articles needed revision—or even that the goals of the Convention were admirable. The Convention met in Philadelphia in May and very quickly divisions emerged among the delegates regarding centralized power, executive power, representation, and slavery. Throughout the hot summer months, the delegates debated and discussed, often times in very spirited terms, these issues. Finally, on September 17, 1787 the Convention finished its work and approved what would become the Constitution of the United States. This week marks the 227th anniversary of that momentous day. Through tireless work and compromise, the framers were able to craft a durable and long lasting document that continues to govern us today. The activity below explores the ordinary men who accomplished this extraordinary feat.
The Constitutional Convention Activity : Meeting the Framers – A Reunion Social in 1840
Using Handout D: Meeting the Framers — A Reunion Social in 1840, have students conduct a simulated reunion as it might have appeared if the Framers had been able to meet in 1840. Each student will impersonate a Framer and develops a business card to illustrate his life’s contributions.