Articles of Confederation v.s. The Constitution

Essay by BKruegs June 2004

download word file, 8 pages 3.0

While the country was just three years old, and was being governed by the weak Articles of Confederation, there were obvious disturbances calling for a new form of government. In 1786, a band of farmers rallied together under the Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shay. The farmers believed that the Constitution of Massachusetts unfairly took away farmer's lands to settle the debts of the farmers. The rebels marched onto Springfield, Massachusetts. The group was turned away by a militia led by General Ben Jackson. This event scared many government officials so a convention at Annapolis was called.

The Annapolis Convention, which was held at the capital of Maryland, was poorly attended. Only eight states sent delegates, amassing thirteen delegates in all. The convention, which was called by Virginia, was to discuss the erratic relationships among the states with trade and currency. What was decided was that a meeting would take place in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 that would establish better unity and relationships between the states.

The brainchild of this convention came out to be one of the most important documents in history, a document that is always described as living, a document that other countries have based their government after, the Constitution of the United State of America.

Now how did such a great thing come out of the Philadelphia Convention? How can a place so diverse in size, population, religion, and wealth come under terms of one document? This was accomplished by adjusting and compromising on different social, economical, and political interests. There were a few important people from twelve states (Rhode Island did not attend) that proposed plans that would benefit their states as well as other states that may not share the same interests. To understand how this task was accomplished, one must know...