In 1787 delegates from twelve states traveled to a convention in Philadelphia to figure out a better plan for governing the country. Congress had instructed them to revise the Articles of Confederation, but some were thinking well beyond that. James Madison of Virginia, the first delegate to arrive from out of town, had studied how nations worked and was convinced America needed a much stronger government than the Articles could provide-and soon. The current government, he believed, was near collapse.
This is an excellent book that includes many quotes from the time. Enjoy.