Presentation on theme: "The Constitutional Convention Weaknesses of the Confederation Congress worried many American leaders that the US would not survive without a strong central."— Presentation transcript:
The Constitutional Convention Weaknesses of the Confederation Congress worried many American leaders that the US would not survive without a strong central govt. –People who supported this known as nationalists (George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton etc.) NY delegate Alexander Hamilton recommended that Congress call a convention in Philly 1787 to revise Articles of Confederation.
The Founders 55 Delegates—majority were lawyers, had experience in colonial, state, or national govts. –RI sent no delegates –Thomas Jefferson was unable to make convention but said it was an “assembly of demigods” George Washington chosen as presiding officer
George Washington at the Constitutional Convention
The Virginia Plan James Madison from Virginia arrived with a detailed plan for a new national govt. –Proposed legislature divided into 2 houses In both houses the # of representatives for each state would reflect that state’s population
The New Jersey Plan Delegates accepted dividing govt into 3 branches, but smaller states opposed basing representation on pop William Paterson of NJ offered their plan: –Did not abandon Articles, but modified them to make central govt. stronger –Congress would have single house, each state was equally represented, and would also have power to raise taxes and regulate trade.
The Great (Connecticut) Compromise Connecticut’s Roger Sherman came up with this idea The Great Compromise: –One house of Congress (House of Representatives) the states would be represented according to size of their population –In other house (Senate) each state would have equal representation –Eligible voters in each state would elect the House of Representatives, but state legislatures would choose senators.
The Problem of Slavery The Convention delegates also had to deal with the problem of slavery Each state could elect one member to House of Rep for every 40,000 people –South wanted to include slaves in count –North objected (slaves can’t vote). Suggested if slaves count in population they should also count in taxes
Three-Fifths Compromise Every 5 enslaved people would count as 3 free persons for determining representation and taxes Also, Congress could not vote to ban slave trade until 1808 or impose taxes on import of enslaved persons
Framework for Limited Govt. New constitution based on principle of popular sovereignty (rule by the people) Representative system in which elected officials represented voice of people System of govt. known as federalism –Divided govt. power between federal (national) govt. and the state govts.
Separation of Powers Constitution provided for a separation of powers among 3 branches of the federal govt. –Legislative—make the laws (2 houses of Congress) –Executive—implement and enforce laws (president) –Judicial—interpret laws (system of federal courts)
Checks and Balances Set up system to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful –President could propose legislation, appoint judges, and veto (reject) acts of Congress –However, Legislature could override veto with 2/3 vote in both houses –Senate could approve or reject presidential appointments to executive branch and treaties –Congress could impeach (formally accuse of misconduct and remove) president or other high officials in executive/judicial branch –President could nominate members of judiciary, but senate had to confirm or reject them
Amending the Constitution Might need to be changed over time Created a clear system for making amendments (changes to the constitution –2-step process Proposal and ratification