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What was the original purpose of the Constitutional Convention?

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Quick Answer

The original purpose of the Constitutional Convention was to revise the Articles of Confederation. However, it really turned into a debate on how America should be governed, resulting in the United States Constitution.

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Full Answer

Although the Constitutional Convention was convened with the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, many of the major players thought that the articles should be scrapped and an entirely new government established. The convention began on May 14, 1787, and lasted several months until Sept. 17. It culminated in the U.S. Constitution.

George Washington was called as the presiding authority of the Convention, which consisted of 70 delegates from the separate states. The entire event occurred in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. For months, the convention debated a revision of the Articles of Confederation called the Virginia Plan. When the delegates could not reach a consensus, they decided to draft a new plan, which was to become the U.S. Constitution.

John Rutledge, Nathaniel Gorham, Oliver Ellsworth, James Wilson and Edmund Randolph were the group of men, called the Committee of Detail, in charge of drafting the document. They worked off the Virginia Plan, Articles of Confederation and instruction from the Constitutional Convention to draft the Constitution. It was finished on Sept. 10, 1787, and sent to the Committee of Style where the famous preamble was written.

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