Five Fact On The Room in Pennsylvania That Held The Constitutional Convention Of 1787

Five Fact On The Room in Pennsylvania That Held The Constitutional Convention Of 1787

During the summer of 1787, leaders of the newly formed United States gathered in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House to develop a governing system that would ensure the country remained a democracy for centuries to come. There were many compromises made in that Assembly Room, all of which ultimately led to the adoption of our Constitution.

Here are five facts about the Constitutional Convention and the room where it happened:

1. The Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House, now called Independence Hall, is where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed. According to the National Parks Service (NPS), construction on the building, which would become Pennsylvania’s State House, started in 1732. The Pennsylvania Legislature offered to host the Second Continental Congress in 1775 and the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

2. In May 1787, delegates from around the states gathered in the Assembly Room to grapple with questions that had enormous ramifications for the nation. Major issues debated at this time include the power balance between large and small states, how to conduct relations with foreign governments, and whether slavery would be protected.

3. Twelve of the 13 original states were represented at the Constitutional Convention. Of the 70 delegates who were invited to attend, 55 went and 39 signed the document. The National Archives notes that these delegates ranged from Jonathan Dayton, who was 26 years old, to Benjamin Franklin, who was 81. Rhode Island was the only state that did not send any delegates to the Convention because it opposed having a stronger federal government. And New Hampshire’s delegates were late to the Convention; they arrived in July 1787.

4. The National Constitution Center describes the weather during the summer of 1787 as “unbearably hot and humid,” making debate even more unpleasant. The windows and doors of the Assembly Room were closed, and the delegates would not take off their coats and vests.

5. While the Constitution isn’t a flawless document, it has endured for centuries because it is the product of negotiations between people with differing viewpoints. We rarely see this spirit of collaboration and compromise in today’s politics. And unlike the founders, today’s leaders too frequently refuse to even be in the same room as one another. In order for partisan gridlock to end, this has to change.