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 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.
As the Delegates return from their vacation, so does the summer heat. Sitting down to work, they begin to read and digest the draft that Rutledge of South Carolina has put together while they were gone.
There are many points of contention, but also many points of agreement.
One agreement is that they are moving too slowly and that the nation is growing impatient.
Despite the progress, there remains much to be done. James Madison feels that the work could take many more months. Washington and most of the other delegates know that they do not have that much time.
The first solution offered is to work longer days.
From 10am until 4pm with no changes to the schedule now allowed.
With the new plan in place, they take up the qualification for electors.
Should property ownership be considered? The draft of the Constitution says that it should not be considered, but some, like Gouverneur Morris, vehemently disagree…