A More Perfect Union
George Washington and the Making of the Constitution
By 1787, the union between the states was unraveling. To save the young nation, delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia and, with George Washington presiding, created a new form of government.
Watch the video A More Perfect Union then test your knowledge of the Constitution
Rising above conflicts between individual states, Washington created an atmosphere that allowed convention members to reach the compromises necessary to create a bold, new government.
The new nation was hanging on by a thread with a weak Articles of Confederation and growing conflicts between the states. Without resolution on these issues the new nation would certainly be in peril.
As Washington sat above this group, observing the chaos, there were five other players that had key roles in the creation of the Constitution. Each of these men brought specific ideas about the role of government in the new nation.
George Washington's original copy of the Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America (New-York, 1789) contains: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a record of acts passed by the first Congress. In the margins of four separate pages, Washington wrote the words "President," "Powers," and "Required," highlighting the responsibilities of his new role.
After being elected the first president of the United States, George Washington had the option to stay president after his first term. CEO and president of Mount Vernon Douglas Bradburn talks about the significance of this decision, why George Washington did it, and how it was a reflection of the newly formed society.
When serving as President of the United States, why did George Washington choose not to end the institution of slavery in American?