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014 - Constitutional Convention
Transcript of 014 - Constitutional Convention
Debates and Details
Sometimes called the "Big State Plan," the Virginia plan called for the creation of a
representation based on each state's population
. This would benefit the large states, which was a major problem experienced during the Articles of Confederation.
Sometimes called the "
." This compromise was proposed by Roger Sherman. It called for a
legislature and combining aspects of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans.
One house would be the House of Representatives whose representation per state was based on population. The other house would be the Senate and its representation would be equal among the states
There was a question during the Convention about the enumeration of people within the states. Southerns wanted their slaves to could in the enumeration so that they would have more representation in Congress. The northern states did not want slaves counted because southerns did not treat them equally with whites. The compromise was to have the
slaves could as three fifths of a person
, which satisfied both northerners and southerners.
The framers place several economic provisions into the new Constitution:
The ability to make AND collect taxes
Coin a unified money
Pay off debts
Establish a Post Office
The framers placed several provisions for the protection of individual rights (not within the Bill of Rights):
Prohibits the suspension of habeas corpus
Prevents the passage of ex post facto laws
Prevents the legislature from passing bills of attainder
Upholds the right to a
in criminal cases
Prohibits religious qualifications for holding office
Formal Amendment Process
The framers created a formal system for amending (changing) the Constitution.
When proposing an amendment, it will take either a 2/3s vote of Congress or a call for a Constitutional Convention by 2/3s of the states.
In order to ratify the amendment to the Constitution, it requires approval by 3/4s of the state legislatures or by approval of state conventions in 3/4s of the states.
Once the draft of the new Constitution was complete, copies were sent to all of the states for their consideration. Each state's legislature was required to vote for ratification of the new Constitution.
According to Article VII, the new Constitution would go into effect once nine states' legislatures approved the Constitution.
was the first state to ratify new Constitution on December 7, 1787. The ninth state needed to implement the Constitution was
on June 21, 1788.
New Jersey Plan
Sometimes called the "Small State Plan," the New Jersey plan called for the creation of a
equal representation from each state, regardless of population
. This would benefit the small states who were afraid that their voices would be drowned out by the larger states in a proportional legislature.
Calls for Change
By 1786, there were many in American who called for a change to the governing document of the United States. It was felt that many changes needed to be made to the Articles of Confederation in order to
strengthened the national government
while retaining the sovereign identity of the individual states.
There were several meetings that occurred that helped pave the way for the Constitutional Convention. There was one at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. There was an brief meeting at the Annapolis Convention in Maryland.
In May of 1787, 55
delegates from twelve states
(Rhode Island was the only exception) meet in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention.
Initially, the Convention was an opportunity for delegates to propose changes to fix the Articles of Confederation
. However, after just three days of deliberation, it was
decided that the Convention should draft a new Constitution
Some of the notable attendees of the Constitutional Convention were
George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison
John Adams was not in attendance because he was the ambassador to England. Thomas Jefferson was absent because he was the Ambassador to France. John Hancock was not invited.
It was unanimously agreed at the Convention that George Washington should be the President of the Convention. It was also decided that the national government should be
divided into three separate branches of government
. It was also agreed that the meeting be in secret. The secrecy was to ensure no outside influences on the Convention.
Father of the Constitution
, future fourth President of the United States, is considered the "Father of the Constitution." No other man worked harder or put more time into the creation of this document.
Calls for a Bill of Rights
There were still reservations about the new Constitution throughout the country. Two states,
, refused to ratify the new Constitution without assurances that there would be a Bill of Rights added in order to limit the power of the new National Government.
Another group that opposed the new Constitution in its form were the
. They, too, called for a Bill of Rights because they believed that a national government too powerful could take away the rights of the states and the people.