FREE PDF ´ BOOK Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 ´ CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN

BOOK ✓ Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 Ç Catherine Drinker Bowen

A classic history of Philadelphia The PDF #10003 the Federal Convention at Philadelphia in the stormy dramatic session that produced the most enduring of political documents the Constitution of the United StatesFrom Catherine Drinker Bowen noted American biographer and National Book Award winner comes the canonical account of the Miracle at PDFEPUBConstitutional Convention recommended as reuired reading for every American Looked at straight from the records the Federal Convent The “miracle” that occurred at the city of Philadelphia in 1787 took place in slow motion as delegates to the United States Constitutional Convention slowly and painfully hammered out one compromise after another over five hot and humid summer months Yet when that time was over a miracle of sorts had occurred; thirteen fractious ex colonies had the organic law that would bring them together as a strong and unified nation And Catherine Drinker Bowen captures well the improbable “miraculous” uality of that seuence of events in her 1966 book Miracle at PhiladelphiaBowen a former music student from the Philadelphia area college town of Haverford was a self taught historian and biographer While her work was sometimes pooh poohed by “serious” academic historians her biographies and historical works uickly gained a large and appreciative audience and her biography of lawyer Sir Edward Coke won a National Book Award Formal education or no Bowen knew how to tell a story and this book – The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 the book’s subtitle – is a history that reads like a novelAfter emphasizing the turbulent circumstances under which the Constitutional Convention met – Shays’ Rebellion had occurred just one year earlier and the existing Articles of Confederation had proved absolutely unworkable as a system of government – Bowen captures the drama of moments like that when delegate Roger Sherman of Connecticut saw a seemingly unbridgeable divide and came up with a way to bridge it Big states like Virginia and Massachusetts wanted proportional representation as that would give them power within the stronger Union proposed by the convention’s organizers Small states like Delaware by contrast wanted the same representation for each state so that they could not be overwhelmed by the large states James Madison who took extensive notes even though delegates to the Convention were not supposed to do so recorded that Sherman “proposed that the proportion of suffrage in the 1st branch the House should be according to the respective number of free inhabitants; and that in the second branch or Senate each state should have one vote and no ” p 94 It was the “Great Compromise” that helped to make a great nationYet not all compromises are great or even good Once the big state small state issue had been ironed out the convention had to move on to the issue of slavery The states of the Deep South – meaning at that time Georgia and the Carolinas – had made it painfully clear that they would not sign on to any new Constitution that challenged their “right” to hold fellow human beings in bondage The South wanted enslaved people counted for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives but not for taxation The North wanted enslaved people counted for taxation but not for representationWhat ultimately resulted is what Bowen aptly calls “a bargainwith a kind of brutal expediency”; under a particularly grotesue compromise “slaves would be counted for purpose of representation and taxes in the proportion of five slaves to three free white inhabitants – the ‘federal ratio’” pp 200 201 This was the infamous “three fifths compromise” – in effect a declaration that an enslaved African American would be counted as three fifths of a white person The mind recoils at the idea – and at the realization that in spite of passionate denunciations of slavery by delegates as diverse as Gouverneur Morris and George Mason himself a slaveholder the Framers effectively kicked the issue down the road It was left to the Civil War generation 75 years later to end slavery and give the American Union a new birth of freedom Bowen tries gamely to make the best of the Framers’ decision writing that “Without disrupting the Convention and destroying the Union they could do no The time was not yet come” p 204; but to this day it is painful to read the Constitution and see the elaborate contortions of language by which the original document refers to slavery without ever using the word “slavery”Bowen also emphasizes the difficulties over ratification of the Constitution were once the document had been passed out of the Convention and sent to the states Article VII of the Constitution specified that in order to have the force of law the Constitution would have to be ratified by nine out of the thirteen states The original Constitution had no Bill of Rights – Alexander Hamilton was among those who considered a Bill of Rights unnecessary – but many Americans were concerned about a document that so greatly strengthened the United States Government without providing some measure of protection for the rights of individual citizensThis concern made for some inspired debates in the individual states In Virginia for example Governor Edmund Randolph as a delegate to the Philadelphia convention had refused to sign the Constitution in its original form; but once he was back at home in Virginia and the Constitution was up for a yes or no vote he called for ratification In order that the United States of America might have “a firm energetic government” Randolph said he was willing “to concur in any practical scheme of amendments” p 301 – even if that meant waiting until after the Constitution was ratified to amend it with a Bill of Rights Opposing Randolph with all the famous power of his oratory was Patrick Henry who thundered that “To enter into a compact of government and then afterwards to settle the terms of this compact was an idea dreadful abhorrent to his mind” p 302 No one whether Federalist or Anti Federalist could help being moved by such a debate It would have been a great thing to witness first hand Some readers of Miracle at Philadelphia might have wanted to see emphasis on the manner in which the Framers settled upon the Electoral College as a method of choosing a president Bowen dutifully notes that it took 60 ballots to settle the uestion and that “repeatedly delegates fell upon it as if never before debated” She adds that James Madison “remained opposed to popular election one of his arguments being that people would prefer a citizen of their own state thereby subjecting the small states to a disadvantage” pp 189 90 Many of the Framers coming as they did from the elite of their respective states were famously distrustful of direct democracy seeing in it the potential for “mob rule” Yet we now live in a time when two of the past five presidential elections have seen the loser of the popular vote win the Electoral College and become president In 2016 Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by three million votes and yet still became president The population of the United States of America in 1790 according to the first federal census was about four million people Would the Framers really have considered such an outcome appropriate Would their distrust of democracy really have gone so farNonetheless with all of its problems and imperfections the United States Constitution remains a great formative document for the United States of America This nation through all the turbulence of its history has functioned under the same constitution for 231 years and counting – a record that many other nations might envy Moreover the American constitution has inspired and influenced the constitutions of many other countries as they have endeavoured to establish or further democracy in their own societies There was indeed something “miraculous” about the process by which the Constitution was written and ratified and Catherine Drinker Bowen conveys the drama of that historical moment well in Miracle at Philadelphia

READER Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787

Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787Ion is startlingly fresh and new and Mrs Bowen evokes it as if the reader were actually there mingling with the delegates hearing their arguments witnessing a dramatic moment in at Philadelphia The MOBI #240 historyHere is the fascinating record of the hot sultry summer months of debate and decision when ideas clashed and tempers flared Here is the country as it was then described by contemporaries by Berkshire farmers in Massachusetts by Patrick Henry's Kentucky allies by Fre With all the talk about the Constitution these days its alarming how little people really know about how it came to beCatherine Drinker Bowen has penned a fabulous well researched book that explains just how difficult it was to even create a document for consideration for ratification Critics of the Constitution and its imperfections need to read this book to understand exactly what a remarkable feat it wasThe most freuent criticisms have to do with slavery and how it was dealt with in the Constitution Readers will come to understand that the Constitution set the agenda for the elimination of slavery by making it an “interstate commerce issue” managed by the Federal government and not the individual states Much has been made over the counting of slaves as 35 of a person but that criticism is just so much hyperbole and pandering The South wanted all slaves fully counted for the purposes of representation in Congress and the North didn't want them counted at all to reduce their influence in Congress For those who wanted to diminish the influence of the slavery lobby in Congress this mathematical compromise was a victoryThere are many startling revelations in this book For example it’s not common knowledge that New York had 20000 slaves at the time of the Constitutional ConventionThis is one of the few books I have read than twice It's simply must reading for anyone curious about the Constitution in the context of today's political environment

Catherine Drinker Bowen Ç Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 KINDLE

FREE PDF ´ BOOK Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 ´ CATHERINE DRINKER BOWEN ✓ ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☆ Miracle at Philadelphia The Story of the Constitutional Convention May tNch and English travelers at Philadelphia The Story of PDF or Here too are the offstage voices Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine and John Adams from Europe In all fifty five men attended and in spite of the heat in spite of clashing interests the big states at Philadelphia The Story of PDF or against the little the slave states against the anti slave states in tension and anxiety that mounted week after week they wrote out a working plan of government and put their signatures to An excellent book on the Constitutional Convention; lots of interesting details about the discussions and arguments that led to the compromises that led to the Constitution we have today Reading about those debates helps one to understand why this instead of that decision was made Very interesting to note that even the delegates to the convention did not think it a perfect document but rather the best that could be developed at the timeThe end where the ratification debates in the states are described was something of a disappointment After the level of detail in the discussion of the convention itself the lack of detail here is somewhat disappointing but perhaps given that the focus of the book was on the convention proper that's understandable