The instructions were clear. The convention was to recommend changes to the Articles of Confederation, and submit them to Congress and the state legislatures for approval. Instead, the Federal Convention wrote an entirely new constitution—one that would dissolve the existing Congress and take away some state power. How in the world would they get this thing approved? It threatened every political figure in the country. The answer was simple. As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the Founders believed that all political power emanated from the people. They would bypass Congress and the state legislatures, and go directly to the people for ratification of their work.
There was a problem, of course. Congress and the state legislatures to might not agree to being marginalized. The convention’s solution was to send Congress a letter. The first draft was a convoluted rationalization for their actions and a long winded declaration that their motives were pure. No one thought it was convincing, so in the end, they just told Congress what to do and how to do it.
|Letter to Congress from Federal Convention|
It was important to them ... and it should remain important to us.