Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Public Administration


Formerly, state constitutional conventions have been studied basically by a content analysis of the proposed document. This study undertakes a perusal of the political attitudes of the delegates. These political attitudes fall into two categories: delegate conceptualizations and delegate orientations. Delegate conceptualizations focus on the delegate's basic concept of a constitutional convention. Four specific factors—role, pressure, inclination on change, and orientation toward the convention process—are included within delegate orientations. These political attitudes are analyzed according to various background characteristics of the delegates. To some extent, the political attitudes of the delegates are reflected in their voting behavior. An analysis of delegate roll call votes on selected issues verifies most of these attitudes.

This study of political attitudes indicates that most of the delegates had a "middle of the road" approach to the constitutional convention. The vast majority of the delegates were pragmatists. A basic traditionalist/innovator dichotomy was, nevertheless, evident. Within the scope of this study, certain variables show some predictive value: the degree of incorporation of moralistic elements within the delegate's political culture, delegate inclination toward change, roles assumed by the delegate, delegate conceptualization of a constitution, delegate background characteristics, and delegate roll call votes on selected proposals.