The founding fathers of the United States of America wrote the Constitution because the nation's original governing document, the Articles of Confederation, proved to be relatively powerless for law enforcement. The Articles of Confederation did not give Congress the ability to protect the nation, regulate currency and enact diplomacy.
On May 25, 1787, after six years of governance under the Articles of Confederation, delegates from every state but Rhode Island met in Philadelphia for a Constitutional Convention. The assembly considered a simple amendment to the Articles of Confederation, but agreed it was inadequate. The delegates elected General George Washington as convention president. Under his leadership, the assembly created a three-part government with executive, legislative and judicial branches to provide a means of checks and balances. Delegates designed a bicameral legislature system that apportioned representatives both by state and population size.
With only five states willing to ratify this system due to a lack of constitutional protection for human and state rights, the delegates began working again, promising a Bill of Rights. Six more states ratified the Constitution with that understanding. On Sept. 25, 1789, the Bill of Rights was ratified and added to the Constitution. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution.