The Debate on the Constitution charts the course of the bloodless revolution that created the government of the United States and the world's oldest working political charter. Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, Washington, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, along with scores of less famous citizens, clearly and passionately debate public order and personal liberty in ways that resonate with our morning headlines. Part One includes speeches, newspaper articles, pamphlets, and private letters written or delivered from September 1787 to January 1788. Powerful cases are made against the new charter by Virginian George Mason and the still unidentified "Federal Farmer," while, in New York newspapers, the Federalist essays begin a brilliant defense. Pennsylvania's James Wilson faces the democratic skepticism of the western frontier; in Massachusetts, Hancock and Samuel Adams forge a crucial compromise. With notes, detailed chronology, biographical information, and texts of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution.