What happened at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and why was it significant?

Essay by fitzdogg85High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2003

download word file, 5 pages 4.0

The Constitution of the United States is arguably the finest historical document in the history of the world. The freedoms and rights that are given to us by the Constitution are what make America the greatest country in the world to live in. However, this document was not constructed over night. The United States' system of Government has gone through numerous changes to become the great system that it is today.

In the years following the Revolutionary War, the United States drew up a ragged form of government called the Articles of Confederation. These Articles had an abundance of errors and shortcomings. There were countless rebellions and grievances as a result of this poor form of government, but no one seemed to know how to fix things. The articles were far from a centralized government, and provided little or no power for the government on most issues. Perhaps the worst aspect of our initial government was the discrepancies in representation in the original Congress.

Every state was considered an equal, regardless how large or small they might be. The regulations on the Articles were far too strict to ever accomplish anything, since thirteen states would never share a precise view on any matter. Due to these downfalls, several conventions were set up in our country's early years to try and fix some of the problems. However, it was until the convention of 1787, which was for the "sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation," that our country really took shape. (www.sinc.sunysb.edu 1)The Philadelphia Convention proved to take on a completely different role than was expected.

Seventy-four delegates from twelve of the thirteen states were invited to attend this Convention. Of these seventy-four, only fifty-five managed to show up. All states except Rhode Island chose to attend this...