Do Now Explain an historic event when compromise was needed to find a solution.
Introduction In 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention intended to revise the Articles of Confederation Instead they began drafting a new constitution The delegates negotiated many difficult compromises before agreeing on the structure of the federal system.
The Constitutional Convention Nationalists – people who supported a stronger central government Included Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, and Robert Morris In 1786 Virginia had a convention, but only delegates from 5 states attended. Hamilton called for the Congress to call a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation in Philadelphia The Violence of Shay’s Rebellion convinced the delegates to attend
The Framers of the Constitution 55 “All Star” delegates attended the Convention, which began in May 1787 Majority were attorneys, others were planters and merchants Most had government experience 7 States Governors 39 Members of Congress 8 Signed Dec. of Independence Jefferson could not attend – in France as US ambassador Delegates choose George Washington as presiding office Notable Attendees: NY Alexander Hamilton, CT (Roger Sherman, V. (James Madison) who kept records of debates.
Alexander Hamilton “Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. secretary of the treasury, was one of the principle advocates for the ratification of the Constitution. He believed in the necessity of a strong centralized U.S. government supported by the tax payments of its citizens, and bolstered by an international record of good credit. In honor of Hamilton's successful tenure as the secretary of the treasury, his likeness is imprinted on the U.S. ten-dollar bill.”
William Patterson “As a New Jersey delegate to the Constitutional Convention, William Paterson proposed the New Jersey plan of union, which would have given every state the same number of votes in Congress. The plan favored small states, in contrast to the Virginia Plan, which proposed proportional representation. The Connecticut Compromise, which was eventually adopted, joined the two plans in a bicameral legislature. The compromise satisfied Paterson, who, upon returning to New Jersey, advocated the ratification of the Constitution. “
Roger Sherman “Roger Sherman, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Connecticut, thought that the executive branch should report to the legislative branch. He also was opposed to the idea of allowing the person leading the executive branch to be re-elected.”
James Madison “James Madison served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Active in revolutionary politics, Madison served on the Continental Congress, was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and helped to author the Federalist Papers. Prior to his two terms as president, he also served in Congress and as U.S. secretary of state.”
Ben Franklin “Benjamin Franklin was a statesman, politician, inventor, writer, and printer. He was also the only person to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, and the U.S. Constitution.”
George Washington His legacy is ingrained in the culture and history of the United States. Although not considered a great battle tactician, Washington gained fame as commander of the American forces during the Revolutionary War. Insisting that the new nation become a republic after the war, he presided over the Constitutional Convention of 1787. George Washington was elected its first president.
The Virginia Plan Virginia delegation arrived first with a detailed planned developed by James Madison Virginia gov. Edmund Randolph introduced Virginia Plan Called for a legislative, executive, and judicial branch New Constitution Laws binding upon states Federal tax powers Legislative Details First house –elected by voters of state Second House – nominated by state gov., but elected by first house Both houses – number of reps. Would reflect state’s population Virginia Plan would benefit large states: VA, NY, and MA
Delegates Choose a Plan Reactions to Virginia Plan Many delegates supported 3 branches Strongly opposed representation based on population William Patterson introduced the “New Jersey Plan” Made central gov. stronger Gov. would have one house in which each state was equally represented Have power to raise taxes and regulate trade Convention voted to proceed with Virginia Plan
A Union Built on Compromise Two Big Issues Small vs. Big States Small states demanded changes that would protect them from the voting power of the big states N0rthern vs. Southern States Divided concerning slavery in new constitution
The Great “Connecticut” Compromise Great Compromise Compromise Committee – led by Ben Franklin (81) worked to create an acceptable compromise Roger Sherman Proposed The House of Representatives is based on population State voters would elect The Senate – equal number of reps. from each states States legislatures would choose senators Knowledge Check Explain if they made the best decision.
Compromise Over Slavery Northern States Franklin proposed that each state could elect one member of House of Reps for every 40,000 people in state Enslaved people could not vote and should not be counted If counted they should be counted for taxation as well. Southern States Wanted to count enslaved people when determining how many representatives they could elect to House of Representatives Three-Fifths Compromise Every five enslaved people would count as three people for representation in the House and for taxes. (Explain why the Northerners agreed to this compromise?
Further North vs. South Compromise Southern Fears Strong national gov. would impose taxes on the export of farm products Gov. would ban the importation of slaves Insisted new constitution forbid interference with slave trade Congressional power to regulate trade would be limited Agreement Congress would not tax exports Congress could not ban slave trade until 1808 or impose high taxes on importation of slaves
Ratification Begins By mid September 1787,39 delegates signed the new Constitution and sent it to Congress for approval on September 20 th Congress approved the Constitution and sent it to the states for approval C0nstitution specified that only 9 of the 13 states needed to ratify the Constitution for it to take effect
A Framework for Limited Government Rather than direct democracy it created a representative system of government Elected officials served as the voice of the people Federal System Established Divided power between federal, national, and state governments (Unitary governments – like a monarchy have one governing body that rules)
Headed by a president Implements and enforces the laws passed by Congress Executive Branch Two Houses of Congress House of Representatives Senate Legislative Branch System of Federal Courts Interprets federal laws and renders judgment regarding federal laws Judicial Branch * No one can serve in more than one branch simultaneously Three Branches of the US Government
Checks and Balances Each branch can limit the power of the other branches President As head of executive branch is provide far reaching power Propose legislation Appoint judges Put down rebellions Veto (reject acts of Congress) Commander in Chief of Armed Forces
Check and Balances Cont… Legislative Checks Legislature can override a veto with 2-3 both houses Senate approves or rejects presidential appointments to exectuive branch and treaties Can impeach or accuse of misconduct and remove president or other executive officials Judicial Power Hear all cases arising under federal law and Constitution President can nominate members of the judiciary Senate has to confirm or reject such nominations Once appointed federal judges serve for life Thus ensuring independence from both the executive and legislative branches
Amending the Constitution Delegates realized it may need to be changed over time Created a clear system of amendments Made the process difficult so constitution was not constantly changed Two Steps of Amendment Process Proposal Proposed by a vote of two-thirds of the members of both houses 2/3 of states could call a constitutional convention to propose new amendments Ratification ¾ of state legislatures or by convention in three-fourths of states.
Legacy of the Constitution Washington stated, it was “little short of a miracle” John Adams declared, the Constitution, was “the single greatest effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen. The document is still in use today and a living document with the addition of 27 amendments Many modern democracies modeled their constitution on the US Constitution