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Introduction Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Signing the Constitution Ratifying the Constitution Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

 


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Ratifying the Constitution Signing the Constitution Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

The Work Begins

The writers of our Constitution wanted to make sure that the new nation and its citizens would be free and independent. They wanted to make sure that the government of the United States would protect the people from a government that was too powerful and from the autocratic rule of kings. They didn't want the wishes of the people to be denied by any part of government or by the power of any single leader. But they also knew the government must be stronger than the one based on the Articles of Confederation. So the writers of the Constitution planned a very special kind of government and put their plan in writing.

George Washington had won the respect of his countrymen as commander of the Continental Army. Washington's fellow delegates elected him president of the Constitutional Convention because they held him in high esteem.

As president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington's job was to keep the meetings orderly and effective. This was no small task considering the many different points of view among the delegates. The delegates listened carefully when President Washington broke in to make a contribution.

Before the Constitutional Convention began, a rules committee decided how the process would work. No matter how many delegates a state sent, each state was given only one vote. If a state sent more than one delegate, all delegates had to come to an agreement about their state's one vote. Any delegate could voice an opinion. All proceedings would be kept secret until the Constitutional Convention presented a finished Constitution.

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Did you know the Constitution was drafted in fewer than one hundred working days in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries?


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