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The Constitutional Convention

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1 The Constitutional Convention
Chapter 10 Lesson 1 Pages

2 Objectives Describe how the Constitution set up the government of the United States. Explain the importance of the Great Compromise.

3 Need for Change

4 1780's Many American’s poor High state taxes to pay
People borrow money and then go into debt Can’t pay debt – State Courts would get involved Lose farms and then sent to prison

5 1786 Massachusetts Farmers protest They refuse to let the courts meet
Weapons: Pitchforks and guns Closed down the courthouse and destroyed debt records

6 1787 Daniel Shays – leads farmers in a revolt
Try to take over a Massachusetts arsenal Arsenal – a weapons storehouse No national army, so governor sends state soldiers Shay’s Rebellion – people think that the national government could not keep order or protect them

7 Ideas for Change James Madison Virginia
Country needed a stronger national government Each state had their own governor, but no single national leader 9 states had to agree before a law could be passed Patrick Henry Virginia Wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation as they were He said they fought the British so no powerful government would be ruling their lives

8 1787 All states, except Rhode Island, send delegates to a convention
Location: Philadelphia The Goal: FIX THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION

9 REVIEW What is the Articles of Confederation?
1777 – Approved by Congress Each state elects representatives to serve in a national legislature Each state, large & small, had ONE vote in congress

10 Weaknesses Most power was with the states
Before any law could be passed at least 9 out of 13 states had to approve it Representatives RARELY agreed No state wanted to be under control of another state If a law was passed, Congress had no power to enforce it

11 Other limits Congress had the power to declare war, make treaties, and borrow money They could NOT control trade or collect taxes To help with war debt, they asked the states for money, but could not force them to pay Congress also depended on the states for the nation’s defense

12 Constitutional Convention
May 1787 55 delegates from 12 states meet at the Pennsylvania State House George Washington – president of the Convention

13 Discussions kept secret!

14 Creating the Constitution
Talks would be private This allowed them to speak freely & make good decisions Windows in the State House covered Guards were at the doors No one left!

15 Edmund Randolph From Virginia
Asked the delegates to get rid of the Articles of Confederation Need to write a new plan of government The next day – delegates agreed

16 Relationship: States & National government
Different views, but finally agreed to strengthen the federal system. National & State governments would share power States keep some power Federal government – power over matters that affected the nation as a whole

17 Finished The Constitution became the supreme law of the land
It helped found the American Republic Republic – the people choose representatives to run the government


19 How would states be represented in Congress?
Virginia Plan Congress would have 2 parts (houses) # of Representatives based on the state’s population Higher populated states would have more votes Favored: Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania New Jersey Plan William Paterson – “Unfair” Congress would have 1 house Each state would be equally represented Small states would have the same # of representatives as large states

20 Working Together Weeks of arguing over representation in Congress
Finally, each side realized they must compromise Compromise – give up some of what you want

21 The Great Compromise

22 The Great Compromise Roger Sherman of Connecticut led a group of delegates and they presented a NEW PLAN The Connecticut Compromise was based on 2 houses. In one house = representation based on population The other house = equal representation

23 The Great Compromise Both houses could present a BILL
Bill – an idea for a new law But, BOTH houses had to approve the bill before it could become a law Large states thought this gave smaller states to much power So, only the house with representation based on population could propose tax bills

24 July 16, 1787 The Great Compromise APPROVED

25 RECAP ~ The Great Compromise
LARGE STATES Gave up the idea of having more representatives in both houses of Congress SMALL STATES Gave up the idea of a single house of Congress with an equal number of representatives for each state

26 What about slavery?

27 REMEMBER! The number of each state’s representatives in one house of Congress would be determined by its population. Southern states had slaves. Should they count as part of the population?

28 Different Points of View
Southern delegates Wanted slaves to count as part of the population (this would give them more representatives Northern delegates Felt slaves should not count They argued slaves were not allowed to vote and did not hold any other rights of citizenship Want slavery ended

29 The Three-Fifths Compromise
Agreement comes Three-fifths of the total number of slaves in each state would count toward the number of representatives Many still spoke out against slavery Gouverneur Morris of PA called slavery “the curse of heaven on the states where it prevailed.”

30 A continuing issue Delegates were afraid if slavery is banned the Constitution would not be approved in the southern states Delegates agreed that Congress could not stop states from importing slaves from other countries before 1808 1808 – Congress banned slave trade with other countries But slaves could still be bought and sold within the U.S.

31 SUMMARY Instead of just fixing the Articles of Confederation, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention decided to write a new constitution. The Great Compromise resolved conflicts over representation in the government.

32 James Madison Argued the country needed to replace the Articles of Confederation Becomes our 4th President of the United States

33 Edmund Randolph Introduced the Virginia Plan
Under the plan, the number of representatives of each state would be based on the state’s population

34 William Paterson Introduced the New Jersey Plan
Each state would have the same number of representatives Federal Government would have one house

35 Roger Sherman Presented the Connecticut Compromise
This became known as the GREAT COMPROMISE

36 Gouverneur Morris He spoke out against slavery, even after the Three-Fifths Compromise

37 What was one major shortcoming of the Articles of Confederation?
The national government was too weak

38 What event in 1787 caused many leaders in the United States to call for a Constitutional Convention?
Shay’s Rebellion

39 What does compromise mean in relationship to the Constitutional Convention?
To give up some of what you want in order to reach an agreement

40 Under the Three-fifths Compromise, which group in the United States was not totally included in each state’s population count for representation in Congress? Enslaved African Americans

41 What problem in the U.S. was highlighted by the events of Shay’s Rebellion?
The weakness of the national government

42 Who had to share the power to govern under the federal system?
The national and the state governments

43 What was the main question of debate that needed to be resolved at the Constitutional Convention?
How should representation in Congress be divided among the states.

44 What was the original purpose of the Constitutional Convention of 1787?
To fix the Articles of Confederation

45 What agreement did the delegates at the Constitutional Convention finally reach under the Great Compromise? Congress would have two houses One house having equal representation from each state The other house based on population Both houses could propose bills, but only the house in which representation was based on population could propose tax bills

46 What does it mean that the United States of America is a republic?
It means the U.S. has a form of government in which the people elect representatives to govern the country.

47 How was a new plan of government developed at the Constitutional Convention?
The delegates developed a new plan of government after much debate and compromise.

48 The End

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