Jefferson wasn’t there. Thus was born the major rift in Americanism today.
If Jefferson had been a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 he would have had the opportunity to present his views and concerns; instead he was in France — as one of America’s ambassadors — he was doing his country great service (among which he transported to Madison an ever-bursting explosion of newly minted books containing new information about ancient and modern societies) and did not participate in the hard compromises that resulted in our plan of government. Instead he started negative campaigning and used the national press as a weapon — mostly against those trying to make the Constitution a workable government.
Jefferson was a genius philosopher. But as you read The Republic of Letters — collected letters of Jefferson and Madison — you learn Jefferson was the hothead and Madison the pragmatic realist. Madison (according to the statuary in our nation’s capitol); the true founder of our government, is an afterthought.
Today’s Jefferson inspired anti-constitutionalists represent themselves as the true believers in our Constitution. The joke is, if you want to know why something is in the Constitution and what it was meant to accomplish, you have only to read “The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (edited by Max Farrand).”
There is no need to interpret anything! All the ideas and arguments were recorded for posterity by several members of the convention. Madison’s are the most complete.