This collection of documents on the Constitutional Convention explains why the Convention was held and illustrates the ideas of government and politics that the delegates carried with them to Philadelphia. Its pages recount the Convention’s critical debates over the purpose and powers of government, the nature of representation, and the relation between the states and the central government. They recount as well the way that slavery and the interests of the various states shaped those debates. With its document introductions, annotations, and helpful appendices, this collection is an indispensable resource for understanding the Constitution.
This volume is the second of four volumes covering the Founding in the Ashbrook Center’s document series. The American Founding, already published, is the capstone of the four. The others – this collection, and volumes on the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (forthcoming) tell aspects of the founding story in more detail.