The Formation of the Constitution

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  • Hello, my name is James Madison, the man who wrote the document that formed the model of the U.S. Constitution. And I am here to tell you the story about how the U.S. Constitution was formed!
  • After signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the former 13 American colonies had somewhat of an identity crisis. They had declared independence, but didn't know exactly what they were now that they had declared it.
  • At that time, the governing body was the Continental Congress. And in 1777 the Continental Congress took a significant step to unify the states by drafting a document called the Articles of Confederation. The Continental Congress decided that there must be some kind of organization in the states, but it couldn't be too strong, so the Confederation of States was created.
  • But, in a few years, it was clear that the Articles of Confederation didn't provide enough power to a centralized government; and things came to a head in 1786 when farmers in Massachusetts rebelled because they didn’t want to pay their debts and the Confederation Congress wasn't able to do anything about it. This lead the people to thinking that they had better do something to strengthen the government or else everything was going to fall apart.
  • So, in 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened in order to strengthen the central government. And after a lot of wrangling, the constitution was written as an attempt to construct a more "perfect union" between all the states. And to defend against the central government possessing too much control, the delegates that wrote the Constitution added a ground-breaking bill of rights that limited the power of the federal government in the United States and protected the rights of all the citizens!
  • And on September 17, 1787, the finalized form of the Constitution was approved at the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution was then ratified that following June. And 200 years later, that same Constitution is still governing the United States! THE END
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