In the scorching-hot summer of 1787, American leaders gathered in a cramped room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Worried that spies might listen in, they closed the windows and doors. The air was stuffy and smelled like sweat.
But the 55 men had bigger things to worry about than the stink. A few years earlier, the United States had won its freedom from Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. Now it was time to create what would become the nation’s most important document—the U.S. Constitution.
A constitution is a set of rules for how a nation will be run. In 1787, the U.S. was a new country. Coming up with rules to run it wasn’t easy. The men often disagreed on what to include in the Constitution.