The Making of a Constitutional Convention
On May 29, 1787 Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia addressed the Convention that was being held to revise the Articles of Confederation. Randolph analyzed the list of defects he found in the Articles. Then the governor proposed 15 resolutions to correct these problems. The first of these resolutions called for the establishment of a national government. He startled many of the delegates by proposing they completely scrap the idea of revising the Articles, and instead, write a new constitution. At the core of the issue in this meeting was the opportunity to frame a government so superior to the Articles of Confederation, that the people would recognize the need for it and willingly adopt it. George Washington told the delegates to trust their own views about what they expected to accomplish in this gathering and each decide whether to proceed through the difficulties of writing a constitution that each delegate truly believes meets the needs of the people, or, to proceed with the the Articles and produce a plan that each delegate already knows will do nothing to raise the standard of government. Governor Randolph's resolution to write a new constitution was adopted. When the resolution passed, the gathering at Independence Hall became a constitutional convention.

Weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation:

The Articles of Confederation established a loose confederation of states.
The Constitution overcame this weakness as stated in the Preamble.

The central government was not given authority to act directly on individuals and states.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 6. Clause 2.

The enforcement of federal laws and treaties was left to the states.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 8. Clause 15.

Unanimous consent of the states was required for amendment of the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article 5.

Each state was given one vote in Congress.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 3. Clause 1.

Congress was not authorized to raise money by taxation.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 8. Clause 1.

The federal government was not given sole power to coin money; states also kept that right.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 8. Clause 5.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 10. Clause 1.

Congress was not empowered to regulate trade among the states.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 1. Section. 8. Clause 3.

No provision was made for federal courts in which to try individuals who broke federal laws.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 3. Section. 1.

No provision was made for a federal executive. Laws were executed by committees of Congress.
The Constitution overcame this weakness in Article. 2. Section. 1. Clause 1.