Assembling a Constitutional Convention

the framers of the Constitution who we

call the founding fathers finally

persuade the Confederation government to

let them meet in a convention where they

will suggest amendments to the

Constitution because the Articles of

Confederation are after all the first

constitution of the United States of

America most of the men who attend the

convention are what we would call

nationalists they want to create a

stronger national government they go to

Philadelphia what's the first thing they

do they lock all the windows they lock

all the doors they put guards all around

Independence Hall and on the second day

they agree to throw out the Articles of

Confederation and write a new

constitution now if I were a newscaster

on NBC and I said we've just heard

rumors that in some South American

country people have locked themselves in

a room and put guards around the door

and there we think they're writing a new

government we would call that a coup

d'etat and so in effect the men who

wrote the Constitution are committing

treason which is one reason why they

kept it a secret what makes it not

treason and what makes it not a coup

d'etat is when they were done they

submitted it to the people to see if

they wanted it or not I mean in an

extraordinary act instead of saying this

is the government we want take it or

leave it they say what do you think do

you want to have this government or

don't you but it looked to outsiders

like Patrick Henry's observation about

the Constitutional Convention is I smell

a rat people suspected something was

happening at that convention that wasn't

what they were supposed to do and indeed

they were right

they settled in very quickly to write a

brand-new government