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Creating the Constitution

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by

Annabeth Chase

on 23 January 2015

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Transcript of Creating the Constitution

The Constitutional Convention
The Delegates Assemble
The Convention Begins
Conflict and Compromise
The Convention's Delegates
The Great Compromise
The Delegates Assemble
New Jersey delegate William Paterson presented an alternate plan on June 15 because of the Virginia Plan.
New Jersey Plan
-
a plan of government proposed at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 that call for a one-house legislature in which each state had one vote
The New Jersey Plan was similar to the Articles of Confederation because each state had equal representation.
By: Michelle, Theresa, Kyle, Stephen, Isabelle, and Jayel
Chapter 8, Section 2
Room 816
Time for a Change
A Constitutional Convention is Called
The events that began in 1786 lead to the new government system.
During the September of 1786, delegates of 5 states met in Annapolis, Maryland to discuss national trade laws that could improve every state's economy.
This change required amending the Articles of Confederation, since the national government did not have power over trade.
The delegates in Annapolis were lead by Alexander Hamilton of New York, who called for state representatives.
However, most people doubted the need for change, but were soon proven wrong as the fear of the Shay Rebellion (1786-1787) spread.
Thus, 12 states (excluding Rhode Island) sent delegates to Philadelphia in 1787 to discuss the strengthening of the government.
Creating the Constitution
Slavery and the Constitution
The Virginia Plan
The delegates began designing a new national government on May 29, 1787.
George Washington choose Edmund Randolph as the first speaker.
Then Randolph designed a new plan for the government. That plan later became known as The
Virginia Plan.
Madison, Randolph, and other Virginia delegates designed a plan and presentation as they waited for the convention to open. They proposed the new government to have three branches.
The first branch was the legislature, which made the laws. The second branch was the executive, which enforced laws. The third branch was the judiciary, which interpreted laws. The plan proposed a legislature with two houses. In these two houses a number of representatives of each state would be based on the states population and their wealth.The legislature would be able to levy taxes, regulate commerce, and make laws.
The larger states supported the plan, but the smaller states opposed the plan because they thought the larger states would up rule the smaller ones.
John Dickinson, a Delaware delegate, voiced the concerns of the smaller states.
Regulating Trade
The New Jersey Plan did not offer the same broad powers proposed by the Virginia plan, even though it gave the legislature the power to regulate trade and to raise money by taxing foreign goods.
On June 19, the delegates voted on these two plans.
Becoming the
framework for the drafting of the Constitution
, the Virginia Plan had won.
The delegates argued over representation over the legislature during the rest of June. Desperate times called for desperate measures- the delegates selected a committee to work out a compromise in early July. They presented the
Great Compromise
(or Connecticut Compromise)
Great Compromise
-
the agreement to establish a two-house legislature with all states having equal representation in the Senate, to please the small states, and each state having representation based on population in the House of Representatives, to please the large states
More arguing followed more than a week after the proposed plan, but on July 16, 1787, the convention passed it.

George Washington was unanimously elected president for the convention because of his quiet and dignified leadership that set a serious and solemn tone for the convention
The convention openly brainstormed their rules (they could change sides during debates, and they did not want to be pressured by the daily politics) thus, the decisions were made in secret
Windows were shut, and guards were posted at the doors to ensure these secrecy rules
When the delegates arrived at the constitutional convention, they had no idea what they could possibly expect.
maybe draft amendments to the Articles of Confederation, or design an entirely new plan for the government- agreed to protect people's rights
1776- Americans thought government was the main threat to people's rights
1787- people needed government to maintain order and end conflict
government must be strong to protect the people but not too strong too control
"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."- James Madison
Challenge- set up a strong but limited federal government
Gouverneur Morris of New York wanted upper class to control new government
James Wilson of Pennsylvania wanted a direct democracy that was open to the people
1787- 2 delegates from 7 states arrived in Philadelphia; with 29 delegates in attendance the convention began
The delegates had to decide
who would be counted in the population of the United States
because representation in the House of Representatives was based on the population of each state.
The Southern states had more slaves than in the North, therefore wanted them to be counted in the population, but not for taxation.
Northern States on the other hand, wanted the slaves to not be counted because they felt that they weren't citizens, but wanted them to be counted for taxation.
Another compromise was reached by delegates, the
Three-fifths Compromise.
Three-fifths Compromise
-
the Constitutional Convention's agreement to count three-fifths of a state's slaves as population for representation in the legislature and in taxation
Delegates debated about the slave trade, but some Northern states had already outlawed slavery and some Northern states and a few Southern states banned the importation of slaves.
Northerners wanted to see this change throughout the whole nation, but slave-owners in the South didn't want to hear it.
Delegates from South Carolina and Georgia took a stand stating, "unless their right to import slaves be untouched", they refused to accept any plans.
Again, another compromise was made by delegates on August 29 agreed that
Congress could not ban slave trade until 1808.
In addition to delaying the ban of slave trade, the Constitution placed few limits on Congress' regulation of commerce, which made delegates glad to regulate and promote commerce
Commercial problems cause the 1786 Annapolis Convention
Southern economics depended on exports and banned Congress from taxing exports
Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress and states could both issue money, leading to economic conflicts, but the Constitution gave Congress the power to coin money
Also, the Articles of Confederation allows exclusively Congress, under the Constitution's Commerce Clause, to ally with Native Americans, whose indefinite status under the Constitution declared them neither citizens nor from foreign nations
The Constitutional Convention continued into September - on September 15, 1787, all but three delegates voted and signed in support of the Constitution's final form
The signed Constitution was first sent to the Confederation Congress, then to the states for ratification, or approval
Alexander Hamilton is on the $10 bill
Constitutional Convention discussing a compromise
Constitutional Convention AKA Philadelphia Meeting
- 55 delegates (half were lawyer, others, merchants planters, doctors)
- ¾ were representatives in the continental congress
- many were member of their state legislatures and helped write state constitutions
- these delegates were the Founding Fathers of the United States
America’s Most Famous Men
- George Washington- hero of revolution- came out of retirement
- Benjamin Franklin- famous scientist and statesman- lent his wisdom and wit
-
James Madison
- read more than 100 books before meeting
- Thomas Jefferson- ambassador to France- “ It is really an assembly of demigods”
People Who Were Not There
- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were overseas at their diplomatic posts- wrote home to encourage delegates
- Patrick Henry refused to attend and said he “smelled a rat in Philadelphia, leaning towards monarchy”- others also had a negative outlook on the meeting
- The meeting also did not reflect the diverse population
- no Native Americans, African Americans or women at the meeting
- early leaders did not consider them citizens
- framework of the government would soon benefit the rights of all Americans
The Convention's Delegates
Slaves being brought to America
The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution
Crash Course: The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism
The Avengers, I mean Delegates Assemble!
Full transcript