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How was the Constitution developed?

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mpg6867 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM via web

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How was the Constitution developed?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the most amazing elements of American History was the genesis of the United States Constitution.  It was developed out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.  A meeting was required to revise the Articles of Confederation.  After Shays' Rebellion and many other realities, the leaders of the young nation realized that the Articles were not working and a meeting to revise, if not, alter entirely the Articles of Confederation was needed.  This meeting took place in Philadelphia in 1787.  The delegates consisted of the landmark figures in early American History, men who would thus take the name of "the Framers of the Constitution."  The discussions, debates, and intense disagreements helped to form the United States Constitution.  Essentially, the Constitution developed because the framers aired out all of their grievances with the Articles and sought to construct something from such intense disagreement.  

While the proceedings were closed to the general public, lively and passionate discourse ensued and from this the Constitution was developed.  Everyone with a particular bias spoke and through all of these different opinions, consensus emerged in the form of the Constitution.  Examples of this would be "The Great Compromise" developed by Roger Sherman, which sought to remedy the fears of small states in terms of representation and assuage the desire of the larger states in terms of legislative power.  The bicameral solution pleased both sides, something that was seen as difficult to envision prior to the Convention.  The need for a "national government" to avoid a state of "anarchy" caused individuals to still hold their beliefs, but recognize that no fear was greater than the dissolution of a union that was so intensely fought over in the American Revolution.  From this, the Constitution was developed.

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