You are a member of the Constitutional Congress that met in Philadelphia in 1787. As a first person account you are to consider your experience at this monumental event and address the following issues:
What was your experience in the process of ratifying the Constitution?
Why was a new Constitution needed in lieu of the Articles of Confederation?
What do you think the document suggests about the assumptions of the period vested in Enlightenment thought?
What compromises and arguments were put forth in constructing the Constitution?
Who were the main architects of the document and ultimately what were their contributions to the success of the Constitution?
What would you have suggested be added or taken out of the Constitution if you were at the Convention?
A good paper will include reference to:
The Articles of Confederation
James Madison and other leaders of the Convention
New Jersey Plan
Checks and Balances
Three Fifths Clause and the issue of slavery
Anti-Federalist argument vs. Federalists
Bill of Rights
A well-crafted essay will exhibit critical analysis, based on evidence. Much of the information is coming from the text, chapters 6 and 7, however, you should use additional outside sources. (NOT WIKIPEDIA OR ANY ENCYCLOPEDIAS), but must cite. Original sources such as the Constitution or the Bill of Rights must obviously be utilized; others can be found at USConstitution.net, Library of Congress, Documents from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, US National Archives and the National Constitution Center. I also encourage you to utilize diaries or commentary on the events that took place at the Constitutional Convention, as they would add originality and flair, giving your paper not only supporting evidence, but historical texture.
The paper should be a minimum of 4 pages and maximum of 6, plus a Works Cited Page. Double space, 1 inch margins and a 12 inch font are required. You can use MLA or Chicago in terms of your format and citations, whichever you are most comfortable with. Please feel free to consult with me if you have questions or need further clarity on the assignment. Good luck, I look forward to reading your paper.
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