The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 7: A More Perfect Union

Student Web Activity

"The Constitutional Convention"

In this chapter you read about the first government of the United States—the Articles of Confederation. Before long, the weaknesses of the Articles became clear, and delegates from each state were sent to Philadelphia to make needed changes. After debate, the delegates decided to completely rewrite the plan of government. Their efforts during the summer of 1787 produced our present Constitution. Some of the new nation's most prominent political thinkers were out of the country; others refused to attend. Those who did attend, however, brought widely differing views on crucial issues. In this activity, you will take a closer look at the Constitutional Convention.

Destination Title: The Constitution of the United States

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the National Archives and Records Administration's Web site on the Constitution.

  • Click on The Constitution.
  • From the links on the right, click on A More Perfect Union.
  • Read the article up through the section titled "First Draft."

Use what you have learned to answer the following questions.

The delegates from how many states were present on the first day of the Convention?
Why did George Washington hesitate about attending the Constitutional Convention?
How many delegates were supposed to attend the Convention? How many actually attended the Convention?
Which state refused to send delegates to the Convention? Why?
Click the "Back" button to return to the first screen. Click on The Founding Fathers. Scroll through the list and select one of the delegates by clicking on his name. Read the biography of the delegate you selected, and write a speech that this delegate might have made on one of the major issues facing the Convention.
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