Why we needed a Constitution The Articles of Confederation were weak and our country was not working properly under them
Articles of Confederation Written at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 Only had a congress – No executive – No courts Created a “League of Friendship” – Each state retained sovereignty, independence and freedom – 13 small countries working together instead of 1 large united country
Philadelphia Convention of 1787 They swore an oath of secrecy so that people with “alterior motives” wouldn’t derail the proceedings Here they worked on the Constitution of the United States They argued on many issues including slavery and representation but they all agreed that the work must be done. It was very expensive for the me to be there and many of them spent their fortunes on lodging and food, many others were there on borrowed money.
Philadelphia Convention of 1787 They were GREATLY influenced by historic documents Magna Carta (1215) – limited the power of the Central Government English Bill of Rights - individual rights Mayflower Compact (1620)– majority rule
Key Players Alexander Hamilton – (delegate from New York) wanted to go beyond the stated powers of the Constitution. Used the “necessary & proper” clause to justify forming a National Bank that was necessary to the development of the United States economy
James Madison – Known as the “Father of the Constitution” Helped to write the Federalist Papers with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton. Authored the first 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) to compromise with the Anti- Federalists Key Players
Great Compromise The Virginia Plan wanted representation to be based on population. Larger states had more people living in them so… they would get more representation and therefore have more power The New Jersey Plan wanted all states to have equal representation. Every state should have 1 representative. Period.
They compromised and made two houses of Congress (Article 1) They created the House of Representatives – Representation based on population They created the Senate – 2 representatives per state Great Compromise
3/5 th Compromise Representation and taxation Slave states wanted their slaves counted as people to be represented in Congress – This would give them more people and more representatives and therefore….more power Non-agricultural states didn’t want the slave states to have more power They compromised and decided to count each slave as 3/5 of a person so that the slave states got some more representation but a lot more.
Grievances Schmeviences Grievance in Declaration of IndependenceAddressed in the Constitution Taxation without RepresentationAll states have representation in Congress, which sets taxes, not the executive/king King has absolute powerCongress has the power to override Presidential veto Colonists not allowed to speak out against the king 1 st amendment – freedom of speech Quartering Act forced colonists to house troops 3 rd amendment – no quartering of troops Allowed homes to be searched without warrants 4 th amendment – no unwarranted search & seizure No trial by jury of peers6 th amendment – speedy public trial 7 th amendment – trial by jury
Federalists/Anti-Federalists Federalists wanted a strong central government and felt like the constitution put the power in the right places!
Anti-Federalists Wanted more power for the states and the people Feared that the government was too strong and would take rights away the same way King George did. Patrick Henry – “Give me Liberty or give death!” “I smell a rat” George Mason – Leader of the anti-federalists. Supported individual rights Federalists/Anti-Federalists
The Constitution was ratified with the promise that they would add a bill of rights