America had won the Revolution, but our troubles were far from over. The thirteen states were squabbling, the country could not pay its bills, and in Massachusetts farmers had taken up arms against the government. Was our country, which had fought so hard for its independence, going to survive? In May 1787 delegates from across the country -- including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin -- gathered in Philadelphia and, meeting over the course of a sweltering summer, created a new framework for governing: the Constitution of the United States. Their efforts turned a shaky alliance of states into a nation that would prosper and grow powerful, drawing its strength for centuries to come from "We the people" and inspiring hope for freedom around the world.
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