On May 25, 1787, representatives of each state met at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia for a nearly 4-month long convention to shape the new government. Notable delegates attending the convention included George Washington, who was appointed president of the convention, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin.
The Constitutional Convention was conducted in secrecy, and though many delegates, including James Madison, took copious notes, the notes were not published until many years later. The long hours of deliberation produced the United States Constitution, which established a new government structure with very specific checks and balances. The Constitution was ratified in 1789, putting the machinery of federal government into motion, where it would be tested and modified through amendments over the years to better serve the American people.