George Mason

1026 Words5 Pages
George Mason's greatest accomplishment was being the founding father of the national Bill of Rights. He was a planter from Virginia, had grown up rich on one of the nicest and best plantations in Alexandria, Fairfax County, Virginia. He was an important member of the town's church, had all the best tutors growing up, and had been raised to be a Virginian aristocrat (Miers 39). Mason married 'well' and had a large family of nine kids. He raised them in Gunston Hall, a house which he had built himself (Miers 41). He was the type of guy who, if he believed strongly enough, did not abandon his beliefs. He strongly believed in the cause for the American Revolution (he had given his son a plantation named 'Lexington'), in citizen's rights, and a non-tyrannical central government (Miers 41). He was known as a great debater, the best that James Madison had ever seen. Mason spoke up many times during the constitutional convention, about different subjects he strongly believed in. During the convention, Mason was directly and strongly involved with the topics of the electoral college, slavery, the Bill of Rights, and a strong central government (Solberg 280). He was a bestfriend to George Washington, and around 1760, became involved in Virginia's politics. Six years later, he was called to Williamsburg to help with Virginia's Bill of Rights. He took the one that had been drafted before he got there. The thing was incredibly weak, and he took it in hand. Mason proceeded to reduce it to ten simple articles and declarations. It took only four weeks to be rewritten and to go through the system of ratification, with only six more articles added, and all of his big points left in (Miers 41-46). The Declaration was taken to Philadelphia, to Thomas Jefferson, where he was just about to finish up with the Declaration of Independence. Many of Mason's ideas were 'decorated' and went into the Declaration of Independence (Miers 42-46). George Mason's Virginia's Declaration of Rights was used as the base for almost every other states (Collier 250). George Mason went to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with writing a new form of government in mind, though he did not believe in a strong central government. He agreed with the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan had two houses of our government, but the population of the state determined the number of repr... ... middle of paper ... ... states are no security," (Leone 27). Later when George Washington took office, a committee was formed to add a Bill of Rights to the Declaration of Independence. It was the only way to get all the states to ratify the Constitution. They too, used Mason's ideas from Virginia's Declaration of Rights to draft the Bill of Rights and amend them into the Constitution (Miers 85). George Mason was an intelligent, outspoken person who stood up for what he believed in and would not back down. Being the base of the Bill of Rights, which gave America the reputation of freedom, he gave a backbone and a firm ground to stand upon to the United States of America. bibBibliography Christopher and James Collier, Decision in Philadelphia; The Constitutional Convention of 1787 (New York: Random House, 1986), 148, 250. Bruno Leone, ed., The Bill of Rights; Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego: Greenhaven Press Inc., 1994), 27, 41. Earl Schenck Miers, The Bill of Rights (New York: Grusset and Dunlap, 1968), 39, 41-46, 72, 78, 85. Winton U. Solberg, ed., The Constitutional Convention and the Formation of the Union (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1958, 1990), 280.

More about George Mason

Open Document