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Building the Constitution

By 1787, the union between the states was unraveling. To save the young nation, delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia and, with George Washington presiding, created a new form of government.

A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union

George Washington and the Making of the Constitution

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Washington's Constitution

If James Madison was the Constitution’s chief architect, as some textbooks say, then Washington was its general contractor in that he, more than anyone, got the work done.

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Presiding Over the Convention: The Indispensable Man

Rising above conflicts between individual states, Washington created an atmosphere that allowed convention members to reach the compromises necessary to create a bold, new government.

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5 Issues at the Convention

The new nation was hanging on by a thread with a weak Articles of Confederation and growing conflicts between the states.  Without resolution on these issues the new nation would certainly be in peril.

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"I do not conceive that we can exist long as a nation without... a power which will pervade the whole union."

- George Washington, 1786

6 Key Players at the Constitutional Convention

As Washington sat above this group, observing the chaos, there were five other players that had key roles in the creation of the Constitution. Each of these men brought specific ideas about the role of government in the new nation.

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Called Back into Action

After the Revolutionary War ended, George Washington was finally able to resume the life he had missed, but a trip west that began as a business venture would give birth to an event that changed American history.

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George Washington's Acts of Congress

One of Mount Vernon's prized possessions is President George Washington's own copy of The Acts of Congress, which includes the U.S. Constitution and notes in his hand. 

The Acts of Congress

Constitution Quiz

How well do you know the Constitution?

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Washington and Quixote

On the last day of the Constitutional Convention, Washington purchased a copy of a literary classic that remains in Mount Vernon's collections to this day.

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President Washington

As America's first president, George Washington sought to provide stability for the new country and a strong precedent for the many generations to follow.

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