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The Constitutional Convention
Transcript of The Constitutional Convention
By the Fall of 1786, realize A of C had many weaknesses...
Weak national government
Little control over states
Couldn't collect taxes
Summer of 1787- Delegates from 12 colonies joined together to change the A of C or create a Constitution
Weren't there original Colonies, though? Who is missing from the Convention?
Afraid changes would only be to their disadvantage.
Hoped that their absence would prevent changes to the Articles.
Rhode Island refused to ratify Constitution.
(formerly the Philadelphia State House)
The full number of 55 delegates was not seated at the Convention until August 6th, 1787.
Agreed that the Convention should be kept secret in order to prevent outside and public pressure.
George Washington was unanimously elected as President of the Convention
One vote for each state, regardless of size
Hard to interpret laws
James Madison is often referred to as the "Father of the Constitution"
Compromise of Plans
The Virginia Plan
The New Jersey Plan
Written by James Madison
Bicameral Legislature (2 houses)
-elected by ppl.
stronger central government, hurts small states!
Central government can raise taxes, regulate trade, and enforce national laws
3 Branches of government
Executive- enforces laws
Judicial- interprets laws
Unicameral legislature (1 house)
Representation in Congress would be equal!
Congress would be elected by the state legislatures
Multi-person executive chosen by Congress
Protected the small states who feared a federal government ruled by the large states
The Connecticut, or "Great Compromise"
Although the Framers disagreed on a number of points, they also agreed on many basic issues:
Popular sovereignty, limited national government, representative system of government, separation of powers, and checks and balances
Roger Sherman proposed:
Congress have 2 Houses: House of Representatives and Senate
House- representation based upon population (to satisfy populated states)
Senate- each state would have two representatives (to satisfy the smaller states)
The 3/5 Compromise
Should slaves be counted as part of the population?
Southerners: yes! This would increase their representation in the House. Make them stronger
Northerners: no! Slaves cannot vote, why should they be counted?
The Compromise: All slaves would be counted, but the total population would be multiplied by 3/5
The Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise
South's economy=agricultural, North Economy=industry.
Southern delegates worried that northern business interests would hurt the interests of the South.
Southerners insisted that Congress can't tax the export goods of any state.
Northerners wished to abolish slave trade
Southerners refused to remain part of the Confederation if abolished
Agree slave Trade abolished in 20 years (1808)
The delegates met for the last time on September 17, 1787. No one was completely happy with the document, some even refused to sign. Most signed knowing that there was still room for improvement.
Who are"Founding Fathers" or "Framers of the Constitution"?
T.J. didn't attend (in Paris)
Ben Franklin-oldest member (81)
Hamilton(NY) wanted to make US wealthy, not interested in power of states.