"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

The Miracle at Philadelphia

photo of exhibit section
In this photo at left:

CERAMIC INKWELL and QUILL PEN, c.1800s.

  On loan from the collection of:
    --Michael Zahs, Ainsworth IA
HOLY BIBLE authorized by congressional resolution and signed by Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress - the first Bible printed in the U.S. after the war
    --American Bible Society, New York NY
"COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND" by Sir William Blackstone, 1790, and "ACTS PASSED AT A CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ... at the first session of the First Congress ...," 1789
    --University of Iowa Law School Library, Special Collections, Iowa City IA
In this photo at center and right:
ARTWORK (reproduction) depicting the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and artifacts and PORTRAITS of the Three Visionaries - James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton - as well as that of our First President

THE MIRACLE AT PHILADELPHIA
"We The People"

When the Constitutional Convention met in May 1787, attention centered quickly on three visionaries. A grand experiment was proposed, an entirely new form of government structured by a two-branch legislature, a strong executive, and a supreme court to settle national issues. Heated debate over the balance of power brought about compromise from both large and small states. Equality for all men, however, was sacrificed. The slave trade was abolished, but not slavery, and this concession to Southern slave owners purchased a union.

The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, then sent to the states for ratification. After the addition of a Bill of Rights - the first ten amendments to the Constitution that guaranteed individual freedoms - the document was ratified in 1789. It was time to elect a Chief Executive, and only one man was regarded so highly by all Americans. Only one man could possibly have been the first president of the United States.

 

How Did We Do? Sub-Sections
The High Price of Liberty
George Washington
Miracle at Philadelphia (You are here)
  Three Visionaries: James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton
  The First President of the United States
The Real Revolution
  The Original Rebels

 

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