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The Constitutional Convention, 1787

Allyn Cox

Oil on Canvas


Great Experiment Hall

Cox Corridors


Following the Revolutionary War, the new American government was first organized under the Articles of Confederation, but that document gave the federal government too little authority to be effective. Convened to amend the Articles of Confederation, this convention wrote a new Constitution that strengthened the national government but imposed the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances to guard against tyranny. This mural shows delegates meeting in Benjamin Franklin's garden (from left to right): Alexander Hamilton, James Wilson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.


Left: The plowman and his book symbolize education for all, a concern of the time.

Right: A colonist bars the door of his home, symbolizing the desire for freedom from unreasonable search that was eventually addressed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.



This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used the photographic credit line should read “Architect of the Capitol.” These images may not be used in any way that would imply endorsement by the Architect of the Capitol or the United States Congress of a product, service or point of view. For more information visit www.aoc.gov/terms.


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Taken on October 12, 2011