The Constitutional Convention: Reform or Revolution?

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History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students at the opening of the Constitutional Convention and asks them to deliberate on the overarching question delegates faced at that moment: Should they propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation, or should they construct an entirely different plan that would supplant the Articles? The answer was not a foregone conclusion. The delegates’ instructions from their state legislatures told them to revise or amend the existing Articles, which they called their “Federal Constitution.” If they went farther than that, how might the citizenry react? By engaging with this momentous issue, students will understand the enormity of the “revolution in favor of government” that occurred in 1787. They will also gain insight into the hurdles delegates faced in devising a plan for a central government that might be acceptable to the people. 

Lesson Plan Resources

Lesson tags: 
Advanced Placement (AP)
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike CC (BY-NC-SA)