By Various, Jack N. Rakove
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Extra info for Founding America: Documents from the Revolution to the Bill of Rights
Under these and other pressures, a single union of thirteen states might break up into two or three regional confederations, each pursuing its narrow interests. The road to constitutional reform began in Virginia. In January 1786 the Virginia legislature adopted a resolution inviting the other states to send commissioners to a convention where they could discuss the need to vest commercial powers in Congress. Its own delegation to this meeting included James Madison, who had spent nearly four continuous years at Congress before the term-limits provision of the Articles of Confederation sent him back to Virginia.
Madison’s preparations for the convention decisively shaped its agenda. Three elements of his program of reform proved critical to the deliberations that began in late May (see p. 317). First, Madison believed in empowering the national government to enact, execute, and adjudicate its own laws, without having to rely on the states to carry out its decisions. This in turn required reconstituting the Union as a normal government, with independent legislative, executive, and judicial departments. Second, the legislative power of this government should be extensive, potentially including the authority to overturn state laws.
I. ART. II. ART. III. ART. IV. ART. V. ART. VI. ART. VII. ART. VIII. ART. IX. ART. X. ART. XI. ART. XII. ART. XIII. “REMEMBER THE LADIES INVENTING A REPUBLIC A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE COMMON-WEALTH, OR STATE ... PLAN OR FRAME OF GOVERNMENT FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OR STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA INDEPENDENCE DRAFTING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION REFORMING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION REFORMING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION GEORGE WASHINGTON POLITICAL REFORMERS Query XIII (excerpt) - The constitution of the State and its several characters?