Sections: Creating the Declaration of Independence | Creating the United States Constitution | Creating the Bill of Rights 

America’s search for a plan of national government was a slow, difficult process. Compromise, cooperation, and creativity were required as the Americans moved from being colonials in a patriarchal monarchy to citizen-leaders in a representative republic of federal states.

Most of this process took place in the midst of a long, revolutionary war. Not only were these “the times that try men’s souls,” in the words of Thomas Paine, they were also the times that tested Americans’ intellects and practical political skills in creating a strong, national, republican government.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union. . . .”

United States Constitution, 1787