The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Reference Guide, 1st Edition

  • Stuart Leibiger
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1440862974
  • ISBN-13: 9781440862977
  • DDC: 342.73029
  • 360 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

  • Price:  Sign in for price



The Framers of the U.S. Constitution designed a novel republican form of government to replace the failing Confederation, one that would divide power between the federal government and the states, launching a new phase of the American experiment in representative democracy. Not until the end of the American Civil War, nearly a century later, would it become clear, as Abraham Lincoln put it in his Gettysburg Address, that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. This guide covers the background to the convention, the convention itself, the ratification of the Constitution, and the adoption of the Bill of Rights. The story of the convention is supplemented by a detailed chronology, primary source documents, biographical sketches of convention delegates, and a comprehensive bibliographical essay. Based largely on primary sources, the book also weighs in on some of the historiographical debates that have taken place among scholars.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Other Frontmatter.
List of Illustrations.
Series Foreword.
Preface: A System to Last for Ages.
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
Speeches, Motions, and Committee Assignments in the Constitutional Convention.
1: The Road to Philadelphia.
2: The Triumph of the Virginia Plan.
3: The Great Compromise.
4: Ironing Out the Details.
5: The Executive, the Judiciary, Postponed Parts, and the Signing.
6: Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
7: Conclusion.
Biographical Essays.
8: John Dickinson (1732–1808).
9: Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790).
10: Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814).
11: Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804).
12: Rufus King (1755–1827).
13: James Madison (1751–1836).
14: George Mason (1725–1792).
15: Gouverneur Morris (1752–1816).
16: Edmund Randolph (1753–1813).
17: Roger Sherman (1721–1793).
18: George Washington (1732–1799).
19: James Wilson (1742–1798).
Primary Documents.
20: Annapolis Convention Report, September 14, 1786.
21: Virginia Appoints Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, November–December 1786.
22: The Confederation Congress's Resolution Approving the Constitutional Convention, February 21, 1787.
23: James Madison to George Washington, April 16, 1787.
24: The Virginia Plan, May 29, 1787.
25: The New Jersey Plan, June 15, 1787.
26: Alexander Hamilton's Plan of Government, June 18, 1787.
27: Benjamin Franklin's Speech, September 17, 1787.
28: Cover Letter Transmitting the Constitution to the Confederation Congress, September 17, 1787.
29: The Confederation Congress's Resolution Transmitting the Constitution to the State Legislatures, September 28, 1787.
30: James Wilson's State House Yard Speech, October 6, 1787.
31: George Mason's Objections to This Constitution of Government, October 7, 1787.
32: Brutus I, October 18, 1787.
33: Amendments Recommended by the Massachusetts Ratification Convention, February 6, 1788.
34: The Federalist, Number 51, February 8, 1788.
Bibliographical Essay.
About the Author.