Slavery was one of the most difficult problems faced by delegates. Slavery was widespread in the states at the time of The Congress. :68 At least one-third of the 55 delegates in Congress owned slaves, including all delegates from Virginia and South Carolina. :68-69 Slaves made up about one-fifth of the state population,:139 and, with the exception of northern New England, where slavery had been largely eliminated, slaves lived in all parts of the country. 132 However, more than 90% of slaves lived in the South, where about one in three families owned slaves (in the largest and richest state of Virginia, this number was almost one in two families). 135 The entire agricultural economy of the South was based on slavery and the meridian delegates of the Convention were not prepared to accept any proposal they believed to threaten the institution. Delegates acknowledged that a major error in the statutes was that any constitutional amendment required unanimous agreement from countries. On 23 July, the Convention approved the need for a constitutional amendment, but was not prepared to comment on the details.  Delegates of the Virginia Constitutional Convention, under the leadership of James Madison (1741-1836) and George Washington (1732-1799), developed a government plan that provided for proportional representation in bicameral legislation and strong national government, with veto power over state laws. The governor of Virginia, Edmund Randolph (1753-1813), who finally refused to sign the Constitution, presented the plan for the Convention on May 29, 1787. The plan to protect the interests of large states in a strong national republic has become a basis for discussion. Over time, major federalists, including Madison, agreed to draft a rights bill if the Constitution was passed, helping to stave off the threat of a second convention.
Madison led the fight that led to the first ten amendments, earning him the name « Father of the Bill of Rights. » As he awaited the official start of Congress, Madison outlined his original proposal, known as the Virginia Plan, which reflected his views as a strong nationalist. Delegates from Virginia and Pennsylvania approved Madison`s plan and formed the dominant coalition within the Convention.  The plan was inspired by national governments and was drafted in the form of fifteen resolutions setting out the fundamental principles. The system of mutual control that was to be at the heart of the U.S. Constitution was missing.  It called for the creation of a supreme national government and was a radical abandonment of the statutes of confederation.  On May 29, Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph presented the Virginia Plan to Congress.  At that time, the Convention was not referred to as a « Constitutional Convention » and most delegates who wanted to draft a new Constitution did not come.