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An Essay About The Constitutional Convention Of 1787

1297 words - 5 pages

Following the Revolutionary War, the new American Government was set up under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation did not give the federal government enough authority to be effective. So in 1787 delegates from all the states attended a meeting known as the Constitutional Convention. Among those attending were James Madison, representing Virginia, William Paterson, representing New Jersey, and Roger Sherman, representing Connecticut. These three men contributed a great deal to the Constitution that we live under today and were highly respected by the other delegates.James Madison was born on March 16, 1751 ,in Port Conway, Virginia. He graduated from the College of New Jersey(later Princton) in 1771, where he was a diligent student of history and government. In 1780 Madison became the youngest member to join the Continental Congress. He played a major role in deliberations, advocating tarriffs as the means of raising revenue, and much more. Most importantly, Madison set in motion the process that would eventually lead to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He wrote about the problems with the Articles of Confederation in hopes of opening the eyes of congress and the states. Finally he got results(Brief). The Constitutional Convention of 1787 gave Madison the opportunity for which he had so long prepared. Success, he believed, was imperative because failure would lead to a return to monarchy or to the dissolution of the United Staes into several different governments. Basing his theories on the historical experiences of both ancient and modern confederacies, which, he charged, had failed beacause of the weakness of their central authorities, Madison arrived fully prepared to become the leading advocate of a strong central government. During the Continental Convention Madison introduced The Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan embodied his principal proposals, including a legislature of two houses with differing terms of office and with representation favoring the large states. He wanted the national government clothed "with positive and compleat authority in all cases which require uniformity." The upper house of the legislature was to have a veto on the state legislation, and he proposed a national executive. The new government would have the power to enforce its laws. Recognizing that so radical a change required popular approval, he proposed placing the new Constitution before the citizens in ratifying conventions created especially for that purpose. Madison's outstanding preparation, sharp mind, and flexibility in changing situations made him the undisputed leader of the Convention; he rose to address his colleagues at Philidelphia more than 150 times. He was a member of numerous committees, most importantly the Committees on Postponed Matters and Style, and he wrote the definitive notes of the Convention's deliberations. One delegate wrote of him, "Every person seems to acknowledge his greatness. He blends together the...

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