GW: Life & Times

Questions — Sweating it Out in Philadelphia: Creating a New Government

To answer the following questions, link to the relevant image of Washington's handwritten revisions to the Constitution.
1. Article 1, Section 2: Congressional Representation. (link to image)
Note the change in this section. Why might there have been argument over this particular word? GW is known to have argued for a second alteration in that paragraph on the final day of debate on the draft. His change, to substitute "thirty thousand" for "forty thousand," was accepted. What impact would this modification have?

2. Article 1, Section 7: Overriding Vetoes (link to image)
The crossed-out word originally read "three-fourths." What is the significance of this change in the numbers required to override a presidential veto?

What changes did the convention make to Congresses' power over taxing in Section 8?

3. Article V: Amending the Constitution (link to image)
At the end of this paragraph (starting with "provided"), what controversial provision of the Constitution did the delegates emphasize? Hint: link to the first part of Section 9 to which this phrase refers (link to image)

Additional Resources

  • Draft of the Federal Constitution: Report of Committee of Detail and Report of Committee of Style