Constitutional Convention



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Constitutional Convention


  1. 55 delegates from 12 Colonies met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in May of 1787

  2. James Madison was the note taker and became known as the “Father of the Constitution”

  3. George Washington was the President of the Convention

  4. Problems setting up the government

    1. How states should be represented

      1. Virginia Plan

        1. States should be represented as to population

        2. Favored by the larger states they wanted to have the most power

      2. New Jersey Plan

        1. All states should be represented equally

        2. Favored by the small states

      3. Connecticut Plan

        1. Known as the Great Compromise

        2. Congress would be made up of 2 houses

          1. The House of Representatives which would be based on population

            1. Consists of 435 members today

          2. Senate

            1. Each state would be allowed 2

            2. 100 members today

          3. Each rep would have one veto and any bill would have to pass both houses to be approved

      4. 3/5 Compromise

        1. Solved the problem of how slaves were to be counted

          1. Southern delegates wanted the slaves counted for representation but not for the taxation.

          2. Northern delegates wanted the opposite

          3. The Compromise reached was that 3/5 the slaves would be counted for both taxation and representation

  5. Trade Compromise

    1. Northern delegates wanted Congress to control trade to protect American industry from foreign competition

    2. Southerners feared a control would mean export taxes and the end of the slave trade

    3. The agreement was the slave trade could not end for 20 years, no export tax and congress would regulate most other trade

  6. Division of Power within the Government

    1. The delegates didn’t want any group or person to have much power

    2. Decided on 3 branches of government

      1. Legislative branch = Law Making

        1. Congress

      2. Executive branch = Law Enforcing

        1. President and advisors

      3. Judicial branch = Law Interpreting

        1. Supreme Court and lower courts approved by Congress

    3. Checks and Balances

      1. Each branch of government would check on the two making sure they kept within the framework of the Constitution

  7. Ratification

    1. Approval of the Constitution by the delegates took place on Sept. 17, 1787

    2. Approval by the necessary 9 states was delayed because states didn’t want to lose power and there were no guarantees of individual right or freedom

      1. Led to the formation of the first political parties

        1. Federalists – led by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison

          1. Believed in a strong federal government

        2. Antifederalists – led by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry

          1. Believed the state governments should be stronger and wanted individual rights and freedoms written into the Constitution

  8. Bill of Rights

    1. Granted the individual rights and freedoms in the Constitution

    2. These are the first 10 amendments

    3. Proposed by Congress in 1789 and took effect on Dec. 15, 1791

  9. Ratification by the states

    1. Delaware was the first to approve on Dec. 7, 1788

    2. New Hampshire became the 9th state to approve the Constitution on June 12, 1788

    3. Rhode Island was the 13th state to approve on May 29, 1790



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