The Annapolis Convention of 1786 was a meeting of 12 delegates from five states -- Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York -- to discuss recommending changes to the Articles of Confederation to better regulate interstate trade and commerce. Because only five states were represented, the delegates did not feel comfortable making specific recommendations, but they recommended another convention for the purpose of discussing changes to the federal government. They suggested this convention should take place in Philadelphia in May of the following year.
The following May and June, in 1787, the convention recommended by the Annapolis Convention did take place. This convention was initially charged with making revisions to the Articles of Confederation -- the first governing document of the United States. Instead, attendees drafted the current U.S. Constitution. Five signers of the Constitution -- John Dickinson, George Read and Richard Bassett of Delaware, Alexander Hamilton of New York and James Madison of Virginia -- attended both conventions. The Constitution was ratified in 1789, becoming the highest law in the United States of America.
- American History: The Annapolis Convention 1786
- Britannica: Annapolis Convention
- The Maryland State House: The Mt. Vernon Compact & The Annapolis Convention
- U.S. Army Center of Military History: The Annapolis Convention
- National Archives: The Annapolis Convention 1786
- Library of Congress: The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot's Debates, Volume 1]
- U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian: Constitutional Convention and Ratification, 1787–1789
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