1787 – Delegates began gathering in Philadelphia for a convention to draw up the U.S. Constitution.


On May 14, 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention begin to assemble in Philadelphia to confront a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as defined by the Article of Confederation. Although the convention was originally supposed to begin on May 14, James Madison reported that a small number only had assembled. Meetings had to be pushed back until May 25, when a sufficient quorum of the participating states—MassachusettsNew YorkNew JerseyPennsylvaniaDelawareVirginiaNorth CarolinaSouth Carolina and Georgia—had arrived.

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