History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students in the midst of the Constitutional Convention, after the Committee of Detail has submitted its draft for a new Constitution on August 6. With that draft’s concrete proposals on the floor, students will ponder: Is this the Constitution we want? Are the people adequately represented? Are the branches well structured? Have governmental powers been distributed among them to achieve a workable balance? Are there specific ways in which a better balance might be achieved? By engaging with these questions mid-stream, before the Convention reached its final conclusions, students will experience the Constitutional Convention as process, a supreme example of collective decision-making. Further, by engaging with nuts-andbolts details, they will gain a more intimate appreciation for the framers’ efforts to construct an efficient and durable governmental structure in which powers are broadly distributed.
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