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History Study: The Constitutional Convention

As it turned out, 1787 was the perfect time for such an effort. Catherine Bowen explains: Actually, it was the one moment, the one stroke of the continental clock when such an experiment had a chance to succeed. Five years earlier - and the states would not have been ready. Since then the creation and operation of their own state constitutions had taught them, prepared them. Five years later and the French Revolution, with its violence and blood, would have slowed the states into caution, dividing them (as indeed it divided them) into opposing ideological camps. (Ibid., p. 135)