Constitutional Convention -
The United States of America, 1787.
Redrafting the Articles of Confederation.
In the early 17th century, the British and French began to colonise America. They began to settle, form states, and a government.
In 1777, the first Articles of Confederation were written. This was the first “Constitution”. It bound the thirteen states together in a “League of Friendship”, whereby most of the power was left in the hands of the states, not the central government. This was because the new American Colonists were fearful of an over-powerful central government, which is what they thought of Great Britain, the country they had left.
But these original Articles of Confederation were largely flawed. The government owed foreign governments, for debts never repaid from the Revolution and did not have the authority to demand taxes from the States, which were often negligent in their duties.
In 1786, farmers in Massachusetts were heavily in debt, unrecompensed for their role in the Revolution, and facing imprisonment. They started Shay’s Rebellion and marched to a local courthouse. The army sympathized with them and did not comply with the government’s demands to arrest them, and the government was left powerless. Soon, the flaws in the Articles of Confederation were apparent to all.
So, in 1787, leaders of 12 of the 13 states sat down to rewrite the Articles of Confederation. This is where you come in. It is your job to negotiate, debate and compromise in order to reach a solution that will build a powerful and peaceful United States of America!