225 Years Ago Today


Pic of the day:  The Constitution of the United States of America.

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In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.

Benjamin Franklin, Speech to the Constitutional convention, June 28th, 1787

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225 years ago today was the scheduled first day of the Constitutional convention in 1787.  They could not begin this day, unfortunately.  Inclement weather kept a great many of the delegates away early on, and it was not until the 25th of May 225 years ago that a quorum was actually present and the delegates could actually begin to debate the birth of a new government of the United States of America.

But they were scheduled to start today, and several members did in fact make it there for the first day’s proceedings.  James Madison, while waiting for the rest of the delegations to arrive drafted a plan which called for 2 separate houses of congress, according to population,  which gave most of the power to the larger states.  This was not, of course, received well by states with smaller populations, Like Georgia, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Hampshire.

Neither side budged.  William Patterson of New Jersey came up with an alternative plan, that had congress as a one house congress, with one vote for each state, with powers granted on top of the ones that existed in the Articles of Confederation. It took a blending of the two plans by two members of the Connecticut delegation to create a compromise that was at least somewhat appealing.

Though even that was not enough to get the plan through.  It took Benjamin Franklin adding to it that the lower house would originate revenue bills, and that the upper body would not vote as instructed by the states that sent them as representatives.

More on the Constitution as I see fit.  With this being the 225th anniversary of the convention, there will be ample opportunity to dissect the document, it’s good and bad points in fine detail.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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