The Revolution was over and the Constitution was ratified. But debates about the meaning of government by the people were just beginning.
Would the new, representative form of government truly represent the interests and views of common men and women? How should those people participate to make their voices heard? What would limit the political influence of families of inherited wealth and social standing?
Who Were the People?
Ratified in 1787, the U.S. Constitution established a new nation, to be governed by "We the People." But who were the people? How would they be represented in Congress? And who could vote? Americans have never stopped debating these questions. This short animation provides an overview of how early Americans tried to answer them.