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Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

Gouverneur Morris in Constitutional Convention

Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) was a conservative statesman, a Federalist Senator in the early republic, a financial expert who planned the U.S. coinage system, and a distinguished diplomat. He served as member (1775-77) of the provincial congress of New York and helped to draft the first state constitution there. Morris was a member of the Continental Congress and of the Pennsylvania delegation to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787. He actively advocated for a strong centralized government and a powerful executive. He was uncompromising on slavery and opposed any concessions to slaveowners. He helped compose final draft of the Constitution but remained a champion of aristocracy who distrusted democratic rule.

Morris argued for an executive with lifetime tenure and the presidential appointment of senators. He had no qualms with the notion of a better-educated and wealthy elite running the government in place of the less-educated and less-independent (or so he believed) masses. He served on the Committee of Style, which placed him in charge of the final wording of the Constitution.

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