IT WOULD NOT BE unfair to state that, had there been no U.S. Constitution in 1787, there would have been no Bill of Rights in 1791. The Constitutional Convention had been summoned to meet in the national capital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in May 1787 to provide a more effective government for the young United States. Of the 29 delegates, all were white and male, no women or people of color were among them. The Articles of Confederation, given to the states for ratification in 1777, were simply fraying apart. The delegates, almost all of whom had been in the American Revolution in one capacity or another, were faced with a national crisis.

Domestically, the American states were beginning to act like the ancient Greek city states, ...

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