Of course, they explain their purposes a little differently.
First, the organizers of the convention claim the meeting is designed to “to foster communication and interaction between the states.”
This increased interaction will, the group insists, improve the ability of the states to “influence Congress and the direction of the country.”
Ironically, though, it is the failure of Congress to control spending and the growth of government that prompted the Mt. Vernon proposal in the first place.
The organizers of the Mt. Vernon Assembly insist that this is not a call for a constitutional convention, but rather a meeting “to discuss and consider a Convention of the States in 2014 that is solely focused on the task of writing the rules for an Article V Convention.”
In explaining why they chose George Washington’s Virginia home as the venue for their assembly, the organizers point to Washington’s “key role in pulling together the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.” What they do not reveal, however, is another more direct connection between the first president’s estate and a wholesale constitutional convention.
In March 1785, a meeting of delegates from several states was held in Mt. Vernon. This conference, though nominally very narrow in scope, eventually led to the scrapping of the constitution then in force, the Articles of Confederation.
The announced goal of the gathering was to resolve border and trading disputes between Virginia and Maryland. While resulting in no substantial agreement between representatives of the neighboring states, there was a sense that a larger convention — one where more states would be invited — might have enough clout to solve the pressing issues of common concern, principally that of self-preservation.
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Photo: George Washington’s beloved Mt. Vernon estate.