Over the course of the convention, Gouverneur Morris has lost every single debate, discussion, argument, and point. It would be hard to find any single man who had a less successful direct influence on the direction of the debates. Everything that he wanted or stood for in the new government had been defeated.
Now, as the work draws to its close, the convention turns to the one man in whom they have the utmost confidence to stitch together the final document.
And that man is Gouverneur Morris.
When all is said and done, it is Ben Franklin who rises to the moment. His words of self-sacrifice and putting the nation ahead of oneself ring in our hearts even today. And most of all, let us astonish our enemies.
As the convention reaches the end of the first week of September, it seems, at least on the surface of things, that all their work is about to come undone. Luther Martin is convinced that the only way the American people will agree to this Constitution is to be hurried into it by surprise. Edmund Randolph of Virginia declares that yet another full convention be held – AFTER the states are given the opportunity to make amendments to the draft.
It seems like there is a movement to undo all that has been done.
What is left to hold the Convention together? Two men. Perhaps the only two men in all of American history to whom every citizen will listen…
As August fades into September, General Washington is feeling pretty upbeat about how things are going. At least one delegate believes that they will be done “i9n three weeks time.” Others aren’t so ready to finish things without getting their say. Every attempt to resolve the matter of the Presidency is met with an objection and a move to delay.
Soon enough, the Committee on Postponed Parts will have their hands full trying to resolve everything that has been postponed.
In the meanwhile, the Convention seems to, for the first time, consider why a new form of Government is needed, beyond the Randolph outline of so many weeks ago. The principles that underlie the nation are Life, Liberty, and Property. There is a general realization that a stronger central government is the best guarantee of those. watching what is happening in Rhode Island has convinced them that left to themselves, the States will not provide those protections.
With that in mind, the Delegates take up the Judiciary and the power of the States over commerce, money, and contracts. They believe that the federal Governments control of these items, among others, will provide the best guarantee of Life, Liberty, and Property.