Principles of the Constitution
(adapted from Creating America: McDougal Littell, 2001)

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By 1787 it was clear that the Articles of Confederation were not effective. It was decided to hold a convention of delegates from the various states in Philadelphia. The task of the men who attended this convention was to amend, or revise, the Articles of Confederation. Instead, they abandoned the Articles and wrote a plan for an entirely new form of government.

The men who wrote this new document - the Constitution of the United States - are known as the "Framers." They developed the framework of a new government that has served us well for over 200 years.

The Framers of the Constitution constructed a new system of government. Seven principles supported their efforts. To picture how these principles work, imagine seven building blocks. Together they form the foundation of the United States Constitution. In the pages that follow, you will find the definitions and main ideas of the principles shown in the graphic below.

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