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The Great Compromise  There was this very emotional debate raging between the large and small states over the issue of representation.  The convention.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Compromise  There was this very emotional debate raging between the large and small states over the issue of representation.  The convention."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Great Compromise  There was this very emotional debate raging between the large and small states over the issue of representation.  The convention finally approved a resolution establishing population as the basis for representation in the House of Representatives, and also agreeing to proposal that the states have equal representation in the Senate.  There was also another compromise between the North and the South over the method by which slaves were to be counted for purposes of taxation and representation.  The Three-Fifths Compromise settled the argument by stating that each slave counted as three-fifths of a person regarding both the distribution of taxes and the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives.  With this compromise the members gave their approval.

3  The creation of the Constitution consisted of hours of debate and compromise, and even when it was completed, some delegates were unhappy with it.  Still, after they agreed on the final draft, the Confederate government was not complete, each state had to ratify, or approve the Constitution.  The Delegates were divided into two groups, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.  Each group had very valid concerns. The Ratification Process begins

4 The Anti-Federalists did not want to ratify the Constitution. Basically, they argued that: It gave too much power to the Central government at the expense of the state governments.  There was no Bill of Rights.  The Central government could maintain an army in peacetime.  A Central government would promote a `necessary and proper clause,' which would wield too much power.  The Executive Branch held too much power.  Of these complaints, the lack of a Bill of Rights was the most effective. The American people had just fought a war to defend their rights, and they did not want a intimidating Central Government taking those rights away again. This was the focus of the Anti-Federalist campaign against ratification. The anti-federalists

5 The Anti-federalist  In essence, the Antifederalists thought the Constitution took too much power away from the states and did not guarantee rights for the people.  Some feared that a strong president might be declared a King.  Others feared the Senate might become a powerful ruling class. In either case, they thought, the liberties fiercely won during the Revolution might be lost.  Antifederalists received support from rural areas, where people feared a strong government that might add to their tax burden. Large states and those with strong economies, such as New York, which had greater freedom under the Articles of Confederation, also did not support this new Constitution.

6  The Federalists, on the other hand, had answers to all of the Anti-Federalist complaints.  The separation of powers into three independent branches protected the rights of the people.  Each branch represents a different aspect of the people, and because all three branches are equal, with no one group assuming control over another.  Their response to a proposed Bill of Rights was that a listing of rights can be a dangerous thing.  Since they couldn’t list all the rights, the Federalists argued that it's better to list none at all.  This new Central government might in fact end up violating rights that weren’t listed. The federalists

7 Federalists Concerns  The Federalists (correctly) realized that people would be afraid that the Constitution would take too much power away from the states.  To address this fear, the Federalists explained that the Constitution was based on the idea of federalism.  Federalism is a system of government in which power is shared between a central (or federal) government and the states.  Therefore the people who supported the Constitution took the name of Federalists to promote this ideology.  The Federalists promoted their views and answered their critics in a series of essays, known as The Federalist papers.  Three well-known politicians wrote The Federalist papers—James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.  These essays first appeared as letters in New York newspapers which called for the ratification of the Constitution.  The Federalist papers appealed both to reason and emotion.

8 Conflicting viewpoints brings tension  Because of its size and influence Pennsylvania was the first state to call for a ratifying convention  The positions of the Federalists, those who supported the Constitution, and the anti-Federalists, those who opposed it, were printed in all of newspapers across the country.  When the Federalist-dominated Pennsylvania assembly lacked a quorum to vote for ratification, a Philadelphia mob, dragged two anti-Federalist members from their homes and were forced to stay while the assembly voted.

9  Overall, the Federalists were more organized in their efforts.  By June of 1788, the Constitution was close to ratification. Nine states had ratified it, and only one more (New Hampshire) was needed.  To achieve this, the Federalists finally agreed that once the Constitution was ratified, they would immediately draft a Bill of Rights.  Finally, New York and Virginia approved, and the Constitution was a reality. The strength of the federalists

10 In summary  Interestingly, the Bill of Rights was not originally a part of the Constitution, and yet it has proved to be highly important to protecting the rights of the people.  The proposed U.S. Constitution contained no guarantee that the government would protect the rights of the people, or of the states.  Some supporters of the Constitution, including Thomas Jefferson, wanted to add a Bill of Rights—a formal summary of citizens’ rights and freedoms, as a set of amendments to the Constitution.

11 In summary  Antifederalists wanted written guarantees that the people would have freedom of speech, of the press, and of religion.  They demanded assurance of the right to trial by jury and the right to bear arms.  Federalists insisted that the Constitution granted only limited powers to the Central Government so that it could not violate the rights of the states or of the people.  They also pointed out that the Constitution gave the people the power to protect their rights through the election of trustworthy leaders.  In the end, Federalists yielded to the people’s demands and promised to add a Bill of Rights.

12  James Madison, who took office in the first Congress in the winter of 1789, took up the cause of the Bill of Rights.  He submitted ten amendments, or additions to a document, to the Constitution.  Congress proposed that they be placed at the end of the Constitution in a separate section.  These ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution became known as the Bill of Rights.  Of these amendments to the Constitution, the first nine guarantee basic individual freedoms.  Jefferson and Madison believed that government enforcement of religious laws was the source of much social conflict.  They supported freedom of religion as a way to prevent such conflict. In summary

13  The Bill of Rights was the first step in making the Constitution a living document, one that can be amended to reflect the changes in society.  The Constitutional Convention provided for such changes. Two- thirds of each house of Congress or two-thirds of the state legislatures can propose an amendment.  To become law, an amendment then needs the approval of three- fourths of the states.  By this process, the Bill of Rights became the first ten amendments. In summary

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