It’s been almost 215 years since the Constitution of the United States was written. Most of the language is obsolete, and parts of it are no longer in use. Twenty-seven amendments have been made to the Constitution. That’s a lot of changes to a 10-page paper! Why, then, is this old document still in place? Is our government too lazy to write a new one? Do they not have enough time? Are other things more important? Or does the government realize that since the Constitution was such a good plan to begin with, there isn’t anything to redo? The Constitutional Convention was scheduled to begin on May 14th, 1787, but since travel those days was so slow, it didn’t start until on May 25th, when thefirst delegates arrived from 7 states. That was as many delegates as the convention needed to start.
By the time the convention was over, however, 55 delegates from the different states showed up to express their opinions. Only delegates from Rhode Island didn’t show up. Each delegate was well-educated and, well…
fairly wealthy, you might say. Most had taken part in the Revolution, and two-thirds had been part of the Continental Congress. The average age of each representative was 42, although some were as young as 26 (Jonathan Dayton) and as old as 81 (Benjamin Franklin)! Even though Ben was so old, he was the one who proposed the 3 main compromises at the convention (about which you’ll hear later). However, many important leaders were missing! Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Patrick Henry were among those people who were not present at the signing of the Constitution. Would they have made a very big impact if they had been there? I’m not sure. There’s not much to improve on the Constitution, in my opinion.
James Madison was a leader at the Constitutional Convention, as was George Washington. George didn’t really do much in the way of the debates; instead, he was the head of all the meetings and persuaded people to try to work out the..