This is a succinct analysis of the origins of the Constitution, as well as an attempt to see eighteenth-century problems as men of that century saw them. The text is based upon the debates in the
Philadelphia convention and the state ratifying conventions, and upon the newspapers and private letters of that period. A clear picture emerges of the confrontation of ideologies, the clash of personalities, and the
conflict of interests that fired the forge upon which the Constitution was hammered out. In the first five chapters, the author sets the scene for the Constitutional Convention, examining the colonial experience,
particularly with regard to constitutions, and the history of the Articles of Confederation. The balance of the book traces the evolution of the Constitution itself and its eventual acceptance by the thirteen states.