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The Constitutional Convention

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The Constitutional Convention

John Bradford, "Constitutional Convention," 60x78 acrylic and oil on canvas, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

The fundamental difficulty facing teachers and students of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is how to make sense of the vast and complex material.

This exhibit provides a twelve-step guide to understanding the Constitutional Convention; tips on navigating the various sections and Gordon Lloyd’s introduction can be found here.


The year was 1787. The place: the State House in Philadelphia. This is the story of the framing of the federal Constitution.

The Convention

Read the four-act drama and day-by-day summary by Gordon Lloyd, as well as Madison’s account of the Convention Debates.

The Delegates

For four months, 55 delegates from the several states met to frame a Constitution for a federal republic that would last into “remote futurity.”

Resources on the Convention

View Gordon Lloyd’s Convention attendance record, major themes of the convention, and other resources about the creation of the Constitution.

Visualizing the Signing of the Constitution

See how different artists have portrayed the significance of the Constitutional Convention in art.

Interactive Map of Historic Philadelphia in the Late 18th Century

Learn about historic Philadelphia and where the founders stayed, ate, and met.