Writing the Constitution

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The signing of the Constitution

The virtual session last time examined the constitutional experimentation of the Revolutionary period: the Articles of Confederation and the new state constitutions.

A few key points

bullet one, that the American Revolution began with a flurry of anti-executive feeling, seen not only in the PA Constitution but also in the Articles framework
bullet two, that fundamental issues about the structure of government remained unresolved through the 1780s, namely the purpose of the upper house of the legislature (Senate);
bullet three, that the state constitutions themselves need to be viewed as historically significant value, both for their intellectual content and for the precedents that they formed.



Hall, Major Problems, chapter 4.


Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew, pp. 60-99.


The Constitution of the United States


1.) How did the Americans' practical experience with federalism during the previous 30 years affect the writing of the Constitution?

2.) Looking at the Constitution, where does sovereignty seem to be located?

3.) Did the US Constitution embody the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution?