Constitutional Law

History of the Constitution

What was the pressing need for the Constitution?

The previous constitution in the United States was called the Articles of Confederation. This confederation system of government did not provide sufficient power to the central government and allowed state governments too much power. Many leaders in the country saw that there was a pressing need for a stronger central government to regulate interactions (such as matters of commerce) between the states. This led to a series of meetings culminating in a meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Representatives from every state except Rhode Island (a small, independently minded state) met in secret in Philadelphia to discuss how to improve and amend the Articles of Confederation. The Framers—as they came to be called—went far beyond their stated duty and formed an entirely new legal document called the U.S. Constitution.


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