Constitutional Convention and the Creation of the U.S. Constitution

America’s Constitution is said to be one of the best in the world. Twenty-seven amendments have been made from the time it was created. These are very few as compared to some other countries. In fact, an anonymous person once said that if the constitution were a dress, and the amendments patches, some countries’ dresses would not be recognized, as they would have so many colors. All this was made possible due to the foundations the constitution was laid upon and some compromises they had to make. Madison who is referred to as the father of the constitution, and he and Alexander were the only two who seemed to support the constitution. People like George Mason and the other federalists did not seem to accept it (Beeman, 2010).

Before the drafting of the constitution, the Americans were guided by the articles of Confederation. However, this had its own weaknesses, which called for a need to have a new constitution. The constitutional convention began its proceedings on 25 May 1787. Edmund Randolph brought forth fifteen propositions as a government’s plan on 29 May 1787 (Bedeman, 2008). He also did this in the gap of the Virginia Delegation. Among many other amendments, these drafts had suggested that there should be three arms of the government as opposed to the articles. These arms would be known as the executive, legislature and the judiciary.

A major difference that occurred among the delegates was the legislature representation. The bigger states felt that proportional representation was the best, as each state would be awarded voting power in respect to its population while the smaller states felt that equal representation was the best. This dispute was brought about by the fear of the smaller states being overpowered by the larger states.

On 15 June 1787, New Jersey and William Paterson submitted nine resolutions with the amendments on the Articles of Confederation. However, these were rejected and the delegates chose to move on with the Virginia Plan. On 5 July, a compromise had to be made in order to reach a consensus (Medina, 2003). A report made suggested that every state should have an equal vote in the upper house and every state should have a representative out of every 40,000 people in the lower house (Beeman, 2010).

Finally, the “Great Compromise” ended the dispute between the smaller and the larger states. In one house, every state would be given equal representation and in the other house, every state would be given proportional representation. One house was known as the Senate. Here, two seats would be given to each state. The other house would be known as the House of Representatives. Here, the population will determine how many seats were to be given to that particular state (Medina, 2003).

Other compromises included electing federal officials indirectly, striking a balance between excluding the western parts from final statehood and having a strong nation with the land after the Appalachian Mountains; how the president was to be elected, and the duty of the federal judiciary, amongst others. George Washington led that convention. Edmund Randolph representing Virginia, James Wilson representing Pennsylvania, John Rutledge representing South Carolina, Nathaniel Goram representing Massachusetts and Oliver Ellsworth representing Connecticut constituted the five men committee who drafted the constitution from 24 July. During the last meeting of the convention, 17 September most of the delegates showed a lot of dissatisfaction (Bedeman, 2008).

Despite the differences in opinions, the stakeholders responsible for drafting the American Constitution demonstrated the virtue of compromise to bring forth this powerful document. Indeed, the constitution caters for the civil liberties of all American citizens despite their religion, race or creed. It does not discriminate against individuals because of their differences but it seeks to protect and enhance the lives of all Americans. The Founding Fathers were therefore successful in creating a platform that has helped define the American spirit of compromise, love, peace and liberty.



Beeman, R. (2010). Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group.

Bederman, D. J. (2008). The classical foundations of the American Constitution: prevailing wisdom. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Medina, L. M. (2003). The Creation of the U.S. Constitution. New York, NY: Greenhaven Press.

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