The book I reviewed was 1787: The Grand Convention by Clinton Rossiter. In it he Breaks down before during and after the convention into four parts: The Setting, The Men, The Event, and The Consequences. In the Beginning Mr. Rossiter sets up for us a country that was going trough sever growing pains was without some serious help would not become the world power that it is today. The congressional form of common government that was formed during the Articles of Confederation, though not a failure, where not a success either. In order to finish what had begun with the revolution the great minds and characters of that time must band together and set aside the many differences they had in order to become one powerful government instead of a band of bickering siblings. Although Mr. Rossiter states that they did not come to Philadelphia because they all agreed they wanted to form a new structure for they government, they did feel that something had to be done or else the country that they fought so hard for to become free, would fail.
Set up for the readers also were the wonderful and easy to understand breakup of all the men who were going to the convention. All of which were well-to-do men with businesses, prior political experience, and degrees from various Universitys from all over the New World. As going over the names and descriptions of the Framers of the Constitution we are forced to agree with the author and others as well who say this group is the crme de la crme of the political business and military world like Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin. I must also admit though that those names were the only ones I had heard and recognized. What this book is good for it to fill in many of the spots that were missing in High School and Elementary school classes. The people who are only given 1 paragraph or a few sentences in to describe their personalities come to life in this book. For which we all must applaud Mr. Rossiter for being able to piece this pivotal moment in our history so well from notes and letters taken from the great men of this era.
By far the most important part of this book was the description of the event itself that went on for many months from May 14th to September 17th. We are thrown into the center of these decisive few months where we can see how these different personalities were able to work together. To people who are reading this book as their first real insight into the Convention of 1787 like I was would be very surprised to know that they truly did not like each other and were their only to get their own points across and were really not prepared at first to listen to compromise. The section with the convention really did a fantastic job in showing just how hard some people wanted to work for the constitution and how little others did, and how some went just to cause trouble. It really did a good job to show that these men were far from the demigods that political scientists and most school books made them out to be. Or it could just very well just be what usually happens then someone dies. You always mention the good things but never the bad. For instance, if you ask someone whose live is researching Edmund Randolphs career in politcs might online mention that he made some phenomenal contributions to the constitution but only with a little prodding with mention that he was one of only three people who did not sign the final draft before it went of for ratification.
One thing that I found especially interesting was that when the constitution was supposed to begin very few people were on time. Which was when I began to realize that people no matter what the might say when everything was said and done, though they did not find this meeting to be a waste of time did not see what this could accomplish. Some were just happy to make a couple of small changed