ii. New Hampshire’s delegates, hampered by the lack of funds, didn’t arrive until late Julyd. A total of 74 delegates were chosen, but various reasons reduced the number of attendees to 55, of whomthe average number attending daily was about 402. Delegates’ Qualificationsa. Eight signers of the Declaration of Independenceb. Eight had previously served in state constitutional conventionsc. Seven former state governorsd. Thirty-one college graduatese. Thirty-nine former members of the continental congressesf. Two college presidentsg. Three professorsh. Two future Presidents of the United Statesi. One future Vice-President of the United Statesj. Seventeen future Senatorsk. Eleven future members of the House of Representativesl. Most were men of wealth and prestigem. Many had legal experiencen. Most members were drawn from the rising generation of American leadership (average age: 42)i. Benjamin Franklin, 81, was the oldest memberii. Alexander Hamilton, 32, was the youngest member
3. Members and Non-Membersa. Prominent members included George Washington, James Madison, Edmund Randolph, George Mason, Benjamin Franklin, Gouveneur Morris, Robert Morris, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, William Paterson, Elbridge Gerry, Rufus King, Luther Martin, Oliver Ellsworth, Roger Sherman, John Dickinson, John Rutledge, and Charles Pinckneyb. James Madison, Father of the Constitutioni. James Madison, only 36, became the floor leader of the majority in the conventionii. Madison kept excellent notes of the convention that are the best source for what we have learned about the convention’s proceedingsiii. Some have challenged Madison’s reputation as the Father of the Constitution by pointing to substantial contributions made by Gouverneur Morris and Charles Pinckneyc. Conspicuously absent – Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adamsi. Some of these men refused to attend because they did not support the convention’s purposeii. Some of these men could not attend because they were engaged in government business (ex. Jefferson as ambassador to France, Adams to England)d. Historical Views of the Framersi. Most of the framers have been revered by generations of Americans and foreign friends of democracyii. Some modern critics have attempted to demean the framers for being unrepresentative of the minority and lower-class populations B. Organization and Procedure1. Delegates chose to organize themselves by appointing officersa. George Washington was chosen President by acclamationb. Non-delegates were appointed to fill minor positions (i.e. William Jackson acted as secretary) 2. The convention chose to adopt certain rules of procedure a. Delegates worked in isolation and secrecyi. Windows were kept shut, even in the sweltering summer heatii. The cobblestone streets were overlaid with dirt to diminish noiseiii. Soldiers kept the curious at bayb. Every state had an equal votec. A majority of states needed to be present to conduct business
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- Fall '17