DocsTeach

A Special Page Devoted to Teaching the U.S. Constitution

The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.

In Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, the Federal Convention convened to revise the Articles of Confederation. But through discussion and debate it became clear that rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected.

Use this page to find primary sources related to the Constitution and the "big ideas" it contains, as well as document-based learning activities to share with your students. 

You can find more information about the creation and history of the Constitution in the National Archives online exhibit The Charters of Freedom. And learn about the Constitution in our ''Exploring the United States Constitution'' eBook and our Constitution course on iTunes U!
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