How was the Constitution created? What did the delegates contribute in creating the Constitution?
Constitution, (Philadelphia: Printed by Dunlap & Claypoole) 1787, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention Broadsides Collection, Library of Congress. (Transcription)
For more information see the entry on the U.S. Constitution at Shaping the Constitution. (See the links section of this plan)
Delegates from twelve states met in Philadelphia in 1787 to discuss strengthening the powers of the national government. After more than four months of secret debates, proposals, and compromises, a majority of the delegates reached an agreement. The Constitution was signed by thirty-nine of the fifty-five members of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia.
Congress submitted the draft Constitution to the states for ratification. In a letter to Congress that accompanied the Constitution, Washington, who served as president of the Convention, described the difficulties of the Convention, as “a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests … we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety—perhaps our national existence.”
Use the Constitution and Amendments crossword puzzle to challege your student's knowledge of the Constitution. The puzzle can also be used as a scavenger hunt for the Shaping the Constitution Web pages.
It's 1787 and you are a delegate who has just returned home from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. During your absence, you received a letter from your cousin William in England and he's been waiting for a response. He wants to know all about the Constitutional Convention. Who were the other delegates? What did they discuss? Who was well-liked? Who wasn't? Will the Constitution be well received? Describe to William what the Constitutional Convention was like. Or, if you feel it is none of his business, explain to William why you would rather not share that information with him.