The Creation of the Constitution

October 11-13, 2013


This seminar recounts the challenging and creative process that resulted in the United States Constitution of 1787.  The story begins with the perceived inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation and the struggle to convene the Philadelphia Convention.  Its primary focus, however, will be on the theoretical and pragmatic battles that took place within the secret proceedings of the Constitutional Convention itself.  Participants will explore how certain features of the Constitution—some of which may appear inexplicable or indefensible to our eyes—took shape.  We will examine the compromises that were necessary to win the support of all the states and the ideas that were discarded along the way.  Finally, the course concludes by providing a brief overview of the struggle to ratify the new Constitution and the states’ demands for a bill of rights.

Seminar Scholar

Dr. Lynn Uzzell received her Ph.D. in politics at the University of Dallas and bachelors degree at Black Hills State University. She has taught extensively about the Constitution and is an expert on the Constitutional Convention. Dr. Uzzell was a post-doctoral fellow in the Constitutionalism and Democracy Program at the University of Virginia and served as Veritas Fund Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the John Marshall Center for the Study of Statesmanship in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.