In the book “A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution” by Carol Berkin she explains the constitution from start to finish from how it all began, to the debates inside the convention and finally the end product. Berkin takes the reader and puts him directly in the middle of the convention of 1786; throughout the book you can feel the excitement, the frustration, the tensions between delegates and the overall commitment to making a new government work for all.
The time for a new government came about in times of fear, many men such as William Livingston wondered “if the republic could even survive another decade” for Henry Knox made an excellent point in declaring “Our present federal government is a name, a shadow, without power, or effect”. Meantime the relationship between the states was poor and there was an uncertainty if they would even remain united what with the debts, the economic turmoil, and the slow realization that without England they had no protection from the outside world. The question on everyone’s mind was, is there anything that can be done to save their country? 55 delegates gathered in hopes of answering this question with a brilliant solution of their own.
The Delegates that gathered in Philadelphia were among the most respected men of their time. They ranged from lawyers to politicians, from the aged Benjamin Franklin to the young Jonathon Dayton, and you’d find that all of these men were of blue blood wealth or the few who as Berkin put were the minority that “Had risen from obscurity to wealth by virtue of some combination of talent, luck, and well-made marriages.” Nobody present would ever be considered just a common man, and for some such as Thomas Jefferson, they would see these men as “Demi-gods” instead of the regular, flawed, yet brilliant men that they were.
It was during this convention that the Virginia Plan was proposed by Edmund Randolph, which was the proposal to write a new constitution instead of...
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