There was economic depression. Berkin writes that the Continental Congress "faced a host of angry creditors, foreign and domestic, clamoring for repayment of wartime loans. Relations between the states were poor, and many questioned whether they would remain united. The question was could they do anything to save their country.

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Berkin takes the reader and puts him directly in the middle of the convention of ; 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.

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.

Stop Using Plagiarized Content. Get Essay The Delegates that gathered in Philadelphia were among the most respected men of their time. 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 revising the Articles of Confederation like intended.

After many debates between the larger and smaller states on being fairly represented and even more adjustments and altering towards the plan itself, the convention created the Senate which was a body of wise men that was made up of two men rom each state. This worked out to satisfaction of the smaller states and for the larger states they were given a House of Representatives that would consist of a larger body of representatives for each state in proportion to the amount of the people in that state.

During the Convention there were many controversies between these men, some were focused on not wanting to upset their constituents back in their home states, and the smaller states were constantly trying to protect themselves from the influence of the larger states, while the southern states feared that a national government would upset the slave trade.

However, many of the delegates shared a bigger fear throughout the convention, which was putting too much power into a central government and the fear that the senate and House of Representatives would have too much power. How to elect a President was the cause for some of the longest and grueling debates in the convention, the question of who to trust too choose the president was heavy on all their minds.

Lost and befuddled on what to do, the convention turned the matter over to the Committee of Postponed Matters where after weeks of debate of their own, they came up with something that we know today as the Electoral College.

The States were able to elect an amount of electors equal to the number of representatives in the house and senate. These electors were to meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for two people to represent their state. From here their votes would be delivered signed, certified and in a sealed envelope, to Congress, where the results were to be counted in front of congressmen and senators.

In the event of a tie, members of the House of Representatives would select which would be the president. It was through this process that our first President, who set the precedent for all presidents to come, was elected. In closing, Carol Berkin did an excellent job of portraying the struggles and concerns that went on in that Philadelphia Independence Hall, the framers fought through frustration, pressure, and with each other.

They knew what had to be done, and though some did not remain throughout the convention, we owe our law of the land to the determination of these 55 men.



We forget, though, that the Articles of Confederation and our first attempts at self-government were disasters; the post-revolutionary Confederation slipped quickly into factional bickering and economic crisis. In , a group of lawyers and politicians, some famous and others just ordinary men, journeyed to Philadelphia, determined to create a more stable framework of government, hoping that it would last long enough to bring an end to the crisis. Revealing that the story of that amazing summer in Philadelphia is more complicated and much more interesting than we have imagined, Carol Berkin makes you feel as if you were there, listening to the arguments, getting to know the framers, and appreciating the difficult and critical decisions being made. Using history as a kind of time travel, Berkin takes the reader into the hearts and minds of the founders, explaining their mind-sets, their fears, and their very limited expectations. By telling a story that is more hallowed than understood, Berkin brings us into the world of eighteenth-century America and shows us the human side of a great accomplishment Access-restricted-item.


“A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution” by Carol Berkin

Tell Informative, but so, so boring. Experiences down the road — the doings of human beings — were to be incorporated into the constitution in the form of amendments. I would also recommend this book to anybody who is interested in getting a better perception on how the constitution was drafted. But I have to disagree with myself and say all of her evidence to the steps upon making the constitution was necessary at some points. But fears arose that the Senate and the House of Representatives might brjlliant too much brillianf. The writing is very clear.


A brilliant solution : inventing the American Constitution

Designed with an eye toward decentralizing power, the Articles worked so well that the young nation soon found itself without any significant power. Its army was small and inconsequential; its credit was ruined; and the 13 states tended to conduct themselves as wholly independent political units. They were men of wealth and comfort," she says, landowners, slaveholders, lawyers, merchants, land and securities speculators, and an occasional doctor or clergyman," who were crafty enough to know that premature leaks could scuttle their proposed ship of state. Consequently, they agreed to keep the details of their discussions secret from the public.


A Brilliant Solution


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