George Mason's greatest accomplishment was being the founding father of the
national Bill of Rights. He was a planter from Virginia, had grown up rich on
one of the nicest and best plantations in Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia.
He was an important member of the town's church, had all the best tutors growing
up, and had been raised to be a Virginian aristocrat (Miers 39).
Mason married 'well' and had a large family of nine kids. He raised them in
Gunston Hall, a house which he had built himself (Miers 41).
He was the type of guy who, if he believed strongly enough, did not abandon his
beliefs. He strongly believed in the cause for the American Revolution (he had
given his son a plantation named 'Lexington'), in citizen's rights, and a
non-tyrannical central government (Miers 41). He was known as a great debater,
the best that James Madison had ever seen. Mason spoke up many times during the
constitutional convention, about different subjects he strongly believed in.
During the convention, Mason was directly and strongly involved with the topics
of the electoral college, slavery, the Bill of Rights, and a strong central
government (Solberg 280).
He was a bestfriend to George Washington, and around 1760, became involved in
Virginia's politics. Six years later, he was called to Williamsburg to help with
Virginia's Bill of Rights. He took the one that had been drafted before he got
there. The thing was incredibly weak, and he took it in hand. Mason proceeded to
reduce it to ten simple articles and declarations. It took only four weeks to be
rewritten and to go through the system of ratification, with only six more
articles added, and all of his big points left in (Miers 41-46).
The Declaration was taken to Philadelphia, to Thomas Jefferson, where he was
just about to finish up with the Declaration of Independence. Many of Mason's
ideas were 'decorated' and went into the Declaration of Independence (Miers
42-46). George Mason's Virginia's Declaration of Rights was used as the base for
almost every other states (Collier 250).
George Mason went to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with writing a new
form of government in mind, though he did not believe in a strong central
government. He agreed with the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan had two houses
of our government, but the population of the state determined the number of
representatives from the state in both houses. He felt that the people would be
equally represented with this plan, but ended up agreeing to the Connecticut
Compromise, having representation in one house determined by population and the
other house had an equal number of representatives from each state (Delegate
Slavery was another of his big issues. In this, he was slightly hypocritical.
During the debates over this topic, George Mason gave a pretty lengthy speech,
letting the other delegates know his view on the matter. He believed slavery was
wrong. Mason believed it took...