The Constitutional Convention The Constitutional Convention begins

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The Constitutional Convention The Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention begins n 1787 - Philadelphia n Delegates from all the states The Constitutional Convention begins n 1787 - Philadelphia n Delegates from all the states invited to a convention to improve the Articles of Confederation, which were not working n Only RI didn’t participate n 55 Delegates attended

Leaders of the Convention n n The men who created the Constitution are called Leaders of the Convention n n The men who created the Constitution are called the “Founding Fathers” or “Framers. ” All Convention delegates were wealthy white males: “well-read, well-bred, well-fed, and well-wed. ” George Washington was chosen as presiding officer. James Madison kept detailed notes of the discussions. His leadership resulted in the title: “Father of the Constitution. ” Gouverneur Morris was largely responsible for final wording of the document.

The Founding Fathers The Founding Fathers

Areas of agreement: 1. Scrap the Articles of Confederation. 2. Establish a republican govt. Areas of agreement: 1. Scrap the Articles of Confederation. 2. Establish a republican govt. 3. Establish a constitutional govt. 4. Establish a balanced govt. where no single interest dominates. 5. Suffrage for property owners only. 6. Stronger central govt. than under the Articles. 7. Protection of property rights: the main purpose of govt. 8. Keep the proceedings secret.

Issues that divided the Nation’s leaders n The power of the federal government: Would Issues that divided the Nation’s leaders n The power of the federal government: Would the states or the federal government have the most power? n Representation in Congress: How many members in Congress would each state get? – small states wanted equal representation, large states wanted it to be determined by population. n Slavery – How would slaves be counted? Would the slave trade continue?

The Virginia Plan Sets the agenda for the Philadelphia Convention n New, stronger national The Virginia Plan Sets the agenda for the Philadelphia Convention n New, stronger national government. Three separate branches of government. – a legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch Representation in the legislative branch based on population of state Large states like the plan, small states don’t.

New Jersey Plan n n Increased power of federal govt. to tax and regulate New Jersey Plan n n Increased power of federal govt. to tax and regulate trade. Legislature – unicameral (has one house. ) Each state gets one vote. Plural Executive Small states like the plan, the large states hate it. There would have to be a compromise.

“The Great Compromise” (The Connecticut Compromise) Legislature would be bicameral (have two houses. ) “The Great Compromise” (The Connecticut Compromise) Legislature would be bicameral (have two houses. ) n House of Representatives - based on population of each state n Senate - two senators per state

Slavery n Southern states refused to approve the Constitution unless slavery continued. n 3/5 Slavery n Southern states refused to approve the Constitution unless slavery continued. n 3/5 Compromise – Counts 3/5 of the enslaved population of a state in determining its number of representatives in the House, and for taxation. n Commerce & Slave Trade Compromise - In return for federal power to regulate commerce, Congress cannot address a ban on slave trade until 1808, and exports cannot be taxed.

Other Areas of Disagreement and Compromise: Election of the President a. Life term v. Other Areas of Disagreement and Compromise: Election of the President a. Life term v. annual election --compromise of a 4 -year term. b. Method of election: 1) Some wanted Congress to choose. 2) Some wanted state legislatures to choose. 3) Some wanted direct election. Compromise: Electoral College system.

Ratification n 39 delegates signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787 n To become Ratification n 39 delegates signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787 n To become law, 9 of 13 states had to ratify (formally approve) the Constitution by state conventions of popularly-elected delegates. NH was 9 th in June, 1788 n Federalist—Antifederalist debate n The Federalist Papers (The Federalist) n VA and NY eventually ratify by narrow margins. RI ratifies last in 1790.

Ratification Politics 1. Federalists: Favored Ratification a. Supporters: property owners, creditors, merchants. b. Views: Ratification Politics 1. Federalists: Favored Ratification a. Supporters: property owners, creditors, merchants. b. Views: 1) Elites most fit to govern. 2) Feared "excesses” of democracy. 3) Favored strong central government. c. Leaders: Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Jay.

Federalist Advantages: a. Were better represented in state legislatures. b. Controlled the press. c. Federalist Advantages: a. Were better represented in state legislatures. b. Controlled the press. c. Began ratification procedures quickly before Anti-federalists could get organized. d. The Federalist Papers, essays written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, effectively rallied support for ratification. e. Agreed to add Bill of Rights after ratification of the Constitution.

Anti-federalists: Against Ratification a. Supporters: small farmers, frontiersmen, debtors, shopkeepers. b. Views. 1) Feared Anti-federalists: Against Ratification a. Supporters: small farmers, frontiersmen, debtors, shopkeepers. b. Views. 1) Feared concentration of power in hands of elites. 3)Feared powerful central government. Favored stronger state govts, believing that govt. should be closer to the people. 4) Feared the lack of a Bill of Rights -- their strongest argument. c. Leaders: Henry, Mason, Gerry, Hancock, Lee

Launching the New State n n New York became temporary capital. Congress meets for Launching the New State n n New York became temporary capital. Congress meets for first time March 1789 George Washington takes oath of office to become first president April 30, 1789. First Vice President is John Adams. Congress approved 12 amendments in their first session, and the States ratified 10, which became our Bill of Rights.

“It is every American's right and obligation to read and interpret the Constitution for “It is every American's right and obligation to read and interpret the Constitution for himself. ” -Thomas Jefferson




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