The Art Collection
The Constitutional Convention, 1787
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.