What’s in The News? Road to The United States Constitution.
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What’s in The News?
Road to The United States Constitution.
America’s search for a plan of national government was a slow, difficult process. Compromise, cooperation, and creativity were required as the Americans moved from being colonials in a patriarchal monarchy to citizen-leaders in a representative republic of federal states. Most of this process took place in the midst of a long, revolutionary war. Not only were these “the times that try men’s souls,” in the words of Thomas Paine, they were also the times that tested Americans’ intellects and practical political skills in creating a strong, national, republican government.
The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, on November 15, 1777, but the states did not ratify them until March 1, 1781. The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments.
Divisions among the states and even local rebellions threatened to destroy the fruits of the Revolution. Nationalists, led by James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Wilson, almost immediately began working toward strengthening the federal government. They turned a series of regional commercial conferences into a national constitutional convention at Philadelphia in 1787.