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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Constitutional documents and records, 1776-1787


years to come. In 1776, as in 1787, those
included the balance of power between
large and small states, the balance of powei
between Northern and Southern states, and,
above all, the balance of power between
the central government and the govern-
ments of the states.
The argument continued as the states
considered and ratified the Articles of Con-
federation; and after ratification in 1781.
there were repeated attempts to give Con-
gress more economic and political power.
The submission of the Constitution to the
states in 1787 for ratification or rejection
raised to new heights the level and inten-
sity of the debates over many of the issues
that had been argued since colonial times.
Not only was there a continuity of issues.
there was also a continuity of the men con-
cerned with them. Forty-one members oj
the first Congress in 1774 were still living
in 1787. Ten of them were elected to thc
Constitutional Convention, and twenty to
the state conventions that followed. Two
members of the First Congress, Georgc
Washington and John Adams, were thc
first two presidents of the United States
under the Constitution, and one member,
John Jay, was the first Chief Justice of the
United States. The pattern was the same
with members of the Second Continental
Congress. Eight of the key figures in
writing the Articles of Confederation in
1776 and 1777 were delegates to tl Con-
stitutional Convention, and even m1'1 <
them to the state conventions.
The continuity of issues and oi Hw in
who debated them is illustrated in thc (du ii-
ments assembled and annotated in th
volume. Those documents are the Dechk
tion of Independence; the first draft an
final version of the Articles of Confedc
tion; proposed state amendments to, in
ratifications of, the Articles of Confedc
tion; proposed amendments to the Artic
of Confederation and grants of power
the Confederation Congress, 1781-1786;1
ordinances for the Northwest Territo
the call for, minutes, and report of
Annapolis Convention; the call of the C
federation Congress for a constitutio
convention; the election of, and instr
tions to, delegates of the states to the CG
stitutional Convention; the resolutions ai
draft constitutions considered in the Co
stitutional Convention; the report of t
(n tqi 'dy n,; /l,,l n in. /

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