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1 Memorandum To: From: Date: Re:

TBD Jetmir Troshani Date goes here Constitutional Convention of 1787

Outline This paper discusses ways in which membership of the constitutional convention of 1787 resemble that of a task force, the Committee of the Whole and how it helped deal with contentious issues that might have ripped the Convention apart. Further, the paper shows what lessons the modern-day policy makers and managers learn from the Convention’s continuous meetings.

Introduction The different ways in which the membership of the constitutional convention of 1787 resembles that of a task force include the sense of autonomy present. Issues were commanded by someone high ranking enough. George Washington, who was the president of the convention, did not need to constantly consult superiors to make decisions. This allowed members to use their abilities in very efficient ways (Collier & Collier, 2007, p. 235). The membership of constitutional convention of 1787 was not restricted to a single entity. Members were from various units who integrated from different countries such as North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, among other countries. The members of the constitutional convention of 1787 clearly spelled out their goal, which was to revise the ailing articles of confederation.


2 They soon abandoned and drafted a new constitution with a much stronger national government, which aimed to achieve and break up again with the members returning to their normal positions just as a task force. The constitutional convention of 1787 members aimed at achieving long term goals, similar to a task force. The two issues which appeared to be the sticking points were representation and slavery. The representation subject was whether the number of legislators should to be equal for all states or should the larger states have more representatives. On slavery, the concern was whether the number of slaves in a state should be used to compute its representation (Collier & Collier, 2007, p. 125). The committee of the whole strategy that was adopted for the constitutional convention included George Washington, who was the president of the convention. He guided the proceedings through complete establishment of the rules. Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia presented a plan which was an original draft of James Madison, also from Virginia. The plan was well recognized as the Virginia plan. This plan emphasized on the strength of national government as a result of both branches of the legislature. The plan enabled the national government the power to legislate. James Madison had done wide research much earlier before the meeting about the experiences of ancient and modern confederacies; he also had prepared a memo concerning the vices of United States political systems. Madison was one of the well known members of the continental congress which enabled him to bring about Virginia’s cession to western territories. The Virginia delegates met and used Madison’s ideas and notes which led to new title of Madison as the father of constitution plan. This plan as well defined clearly about


3 how both the lower house and the upper house should conduct the elections. The executive insisted that the wish of the legislature was carried out and the will selected by the legislature. The Virginia Plan created a judiciary and also gave the executive the power to prohibit like the judiciary. (Collier & Collier, 2007, p. 346). The largest part of the Virginia’s plan was opposed by the delegates from the smaller states, like Charles Pinckney of South Carolina who considered the proponents of the plan would close down the state government. He suggested that the congress would improve the articles of alliance, and the congress agreed by appointing a committee to sketch the amendments. He came up with another idea suggesting that one member in the house will represent one thousand people. The House would therefore be served by rotation for four years by the elected senators who would be in charge of one of four regions. The President was to be elected by the congress in a united meeting, which would also be responsible to appoint the members of the cabinet. Congress, in joint session, would be responsible in settling disputes between states. The New Jersey plan which was presented by William Paterson of New Jersey kept national powers minimal without new assembly but added some of the powers which were then held by the continental assembly. In the meeting of representatives, Roger Sherman of Connecticut gave a plan the population was to be the base and two leveled senators in each state in the new senate (Collier & Collier, 2007, p. 202). The lessons which the modern-day policy makers and managers should collect from the above include; continuous meetings bring about being persistent in decision making. So as to come up with a well defined decision, Virginia's George Mason was very determined to stick in Philadelphia until the full government plan was in agreement


4 (Collier & Collier, 2007, p. 240). Regular re-opening of 'settled issues ' creates a room to incorporate new and modern ideas for effective and efficient performance of any institution. Zigzag course towards a final product is one of the reasons which accounted for the success of the 1787 convention, whereby, despite the delegates’ disagreements on some crucial issues, they still shared some common interests, hence they were able to rise and serve effectively. This should be adopted by any developed or developing organization.

Reference list Collier, C. & Collier, J. L. (2007). Decision in Philadelphia: The Constitutional Convention of 1787. Ballantine Books.

Constitutional Convention of 1787  
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