Gouverneur Morris represented Pennsylvania in the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Nick Kinteris

Gouvernuer Morris

Gouvernuer Morris
“This magistrate is not the king. The people are the king.”

The United State’s Constitution has changed the way all of us, here in the United States have lived our lives. Many steps were taken to make our government seemingly flawless, and in 1787, in the State House in Philadelphia, in four months, 55 delegates from the original states met to structure a Constitution for a federal government that would last without many problems or disagreements. These delegates that participated in this convention and the framing of the federal Constitution all are unique, though share a common goal. Here is a viewpoint for one of them.
Background Information:

Born in at Morrisania estate in Westchester County, New York, 1752, Gouvernuer Morris was of English and French descent. His brother, Lewis, signed the Declaration of Independence. He was taught at Huguenot School by private tutors in New Rochelle. Later he attended King’s College and graduated in at the age of 16 in 1768. Along the way he lost his leg in a carriage accident.
Morris met some controversy when he started to get into politics. . Most of his friends and all of his family were Loyalists, and on top of that, Morris feared the movement at first. But as things turned, he decided to join the assemblage. Then in 1776, he served in the New York militia and also drafted the first constitution of the state. This followed by him joining its council of safety. In 1777-78, Morris participated in the legislature. In 1778-79 in the Continental Congress, he was numbered among the youngest and most brilliant members. Also he signed the Articles of Confederation and drafted directions for Benjamin Franklin, in Paris. Morris was also a good friend of Washington and one of his biggest supporters. Gouverneur Morris died at Morissania, in 1816 at the age of 64.

Role at Constitutional Convention:
A Younger Gouveneur Morris, seeking out his political career.

Morris became one of the leading figures at the Constitutional Convention. His speeches were more numerous than anyone else, at about 173. He was a sturdy supporter of independence and patrician rule, he was on many committees, and played a large role in the decision-making procedure. Above all, it is said that actually it was he who drafted the Constitution. Later, in 1789, Gouverneur joined in a business project with Robert Morris, and went and traveled to France, where he saw the early stages of the French Revolution.

Data Based Questions:

As many of us know, the United States Constitution greatly effected the way we our lives today. The process in creating this famous document included many great minds being challenged, challenged with the idea to make this country one that allowed people to live without fear, and live in freedom. One of the many great minds included in this was Gouverneur Morris.
With the many ideas and theories of that make up the constitution, the idea of Federalism is one of them. Federalism is the separation of powers between the national government and the state governments. The states can have their own certain powers, allowing them to have some freedom, though the federal government still stays to prevent the states from being too independent. Morris agreed with the idea of federalism, and became a federalist himself. He saw the benefits from setting up our government like this.
Another key aspect of the Constitution is that it made a separation of powers. The government it split into three parts called branches. This included the Executive branch, the Legislative branch, and the Judicial Branch. These branches where far enough apart, having no opportunities to join together. Morris said, “a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.” Clearly showing that he supported this separation of powers.
Making checks and balances in a government helped our constitution succeed. To Gouverneur Morris however, it seemed that some of the branches did not weigh enough to effectively perform tasks. He believed that when the executive branch, for instance, did not have a firm enough stance to strongly veto something. And he thought making the Judicial and Executive branches closer together wouldn’t help this problem. And finally a compromise between large and small states in the matter of House of Reps. and the Senate. Morris supported this idea, noticing that smaller states could get overpowered by larger one, if not for the previsions they set in.

DBQ on "How The Constitution Gaurded Against Tyranny?"

Attendance Record:

Gouveneur Morris, though very much involved in the work of the Delegates, may not have attended as many meetings as other members of the Delegation. In the few gatherings of the first “Act”, Gouveneur Morris almost attended more meetings then he did miss. But there where seven instances where it was not known if he attended or not. In Act two, as the amount of meetings increased, so did the times he was present. Leading to Act three, where he attended all the meetings that took place. He kept this perfect attendance going in the fourth Act, but in one meeting, it was not known if he attended or not. Over all he attended a total 58 meetings and was absent 18 times. There were many instances where it was not recorded if he was absent or present so these totals may not one hundred percent accurate.

Gouverneur Morris’ Attendance!

Do Not Know
Probably Present
Probably Absent
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4

Primary Sources:
Constitutional Connections:

In the many sections and clauses of the constitution there are subjects to agree and disagree on. Gouverneur Morris, hav
The Constitutional Convention
ing his own opinion, would have had to agree and disagree to parts of this also. In Section 9, clause 1 of the Constitution, it states that Congress helped outlaw the slave trade, in 1808. Gouverneur Morris stated that he would never agree with defending the concept of domestic slavery. And seeing how in this clause, the income of slaves has been considered illegal, Morris would be satisfied to know that no more slaves would be entering the United States.

Bill of Rights:
As with having an opinion about the clauses of the constitution, it is only to expect that Morris would have many opinions about the ten Amendments and what they stand for. An example of this would be his thoughts on the tenth amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” Morris would have agreed with this statement because he was a strong beliver that this was the people’s government. They make it up, and should get some say in the matter. Giving them this power that is not givien to any part of the national government, would have backed up his belif in the people of the United States.

Work Cited:
"Delegates to the Constitutional Convention:Gouverneur Morris." TeachingAmericanHistory.org -- Free Seminars and Summer Institutes for Social Studies Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <http://teachingamericanhistory

Lloyd, Gordon. "The Constitutional Convention." TeachingAmericanHistory.org -- Free Seminars and Summer Institutes for Social Studies Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. <http://www.teachingamericanhistory

"ABC-CLIO SCHOOLS." Untitled Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2010. <http://www.historyandtheheadlines.abc-clio.com/ContentPages/ContentPage.aspx?

Gouverner Morris and Robert Morris