Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison, and George Washington met to restore rights and liberties that Great Britain had taken away. When Britain refused to meet the demands from that congress, the colonists called the Second Continental Congress in 1775. During this period, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and a group of colonists created the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution. They also named George Washington the commander of the new Continental Army.
Now, with the opening of the 1787 convention, Washington, the six foot two Revolutionary War hero, was back to help his country - only this time in the role of statesman rather than soldier. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention hailed from Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. Rhode Island had refused to send anyone because its state leaders were opposed to the creation of a strong national government.
The delegates’ mission was to rewrite the Articles of Confederation, the laws governing the country at that time, which were proving to be ineffective. One of the main problems with the Articles was that they gave too much power to the states. There was a national Congress but no chief executive or judiciary. It seemed to many people that the states had become separate countries; each had its own constitution, its own militia, and its own government.