As the oldest still operational written constitution in the world, the U.S. Constitution and the concepts it proclaims have been under almost constant attack since its inception. At a convention in 1787, fifty-five delegates assembled in Philadelphia to revise and amend the Articles of Confederation, only to emerge sixteen weeks later with a new document: the U.S. Constitution. The convention was filled with constant debate over how much power should be given to government and how should this power be allocated, state rights v. nationalists, small states v. large states, political conservatives v. political liberals, and slave-owners v. non-slave-owners. Fifty-five biographies, one for each delegate, are presented. Biographies include such notable individuals as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Luther Martin, and James Madison. An introductory essay, appendices including the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution, and an annotated bibliography are also included. The Shapers of the Great Debate series takes a biographical approach to history, following the premise that people make history in the circumstances in which they find themselves. Each volume in this series examines the lives and experiences of the individual's involved in a particular debate through major and minor biographies.