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Constitutional Convention 1787

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1 Constitutional Convention 1787
Key attendees: George Washington James Madison George Mason Alexander Hamilton Benjamin Franklin James Wilson Gouverneur Morris Edmund Randolph Roger Sherman Elbridge Gerry William Patterson Not attending: Thomas Jefferson John Adams Patrick Henry John Hancock Samuel Adams Richard Henry Lee Rhode Island

2 Philadelphia Convention
May 1787 55 delegates Every state except RI From propertied class “without being rich all are in easy circumstances” -Fr. diplomat Nationalists  wanted to strengthen the central government Elected George Washington as presiding officer Met in “secret”

3 Virginia Plan Powerful national government
Supremacy of national authority Rejected state sovereignty National gov’t could veto state laws National government would have direct authority over people Citizens would elect the lower house of national legislature Lower house representation based on population Lower house would then name the members of the upper house Both houses would then choose judiciary and executive James Madison

4 New Jersey Plan National gov’t could
Raise revenue Control commerce Make binding requisitions on states Executive, appointed by Congress, of several individuals Judicial appointed by Executive Each state had one vote in a unicameral legislature States could control own laws William Paterson

5 Debate and Near Collapse
After about two weeks of discussion Supported NJ Plan NJ, DE 1/2 of MD 2/3 of NY VA Plan still basis of discussion Key Questions: How should representatives from each state be determined? What powers should the national gov’t have? Created committee to solve One delegate from each state

6 Hammering Out a Bundle of Compromises
After deciding to scrap the Articles of Confederation, what to do? “Large State Plan” vs. “Small State Plan” “Great Compromise”

7 Political Negotiation
“Great Compromise” Upper house  2 delegates from each state Lower house  based on population Federal Judicial System States had own courts and feared losing this power Convention left creation of system up to new national legislature Voting was not restricted to just property owners Upper house chosen by state legislatures President elected by an electoral college States and their legislatures had some power + the people had more direct power = acceptance of reduction of state sovereignty?

8 Compromises cont. Constitutional Convention adjourned on 9/17/1787
Slavery 3/5 Compromise Slave trade would exist for at least 20 years Separation of Powers Federalism States and national government Branches of government Legislative Executive Judicial Electoral College Constitutional Convention adjourned on 9/17/1787 -Constitution now had to be ratified by voters

9 for Constitution to replace Articles
Ratification Process to ratify the new Constitution  Article VII Voters choose delegates State convention voted on Constitution 9 states needed to pass for Constitution to replace Articles

10 Ratification of the Constitution
Conducted in special conventions  nine states and it would go into effect Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists United States vs. States United *Federalist Papers written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay 85 essays to gain support for republican political doctrine Ex. Explained “checks and balances”, benefits of large republic *Bill of Rights promised to be added later MA, NY, VA Met 9 state requirement in 1788

11 Controversy Over the Constitution
When the Constitution was printed in the newspapers people were shocked Delegates created a NEW constitution Framers set up procedure they thought gave the Constitution the best chance to be ratified Voters choose delegates State convention voted on Constitution 9 states needed to pass for Constitution to replace Articles Bypassed state legislatures

12 Opposing Sides Federalists Antifederalists
Supporters of the Constitution Liked balance of power between states and national gov’t Separation of power would protect against tyranny Antifederalists Opposed the new Constitution Lack of protection for individual rights

13 Opposing Sides cont. Both sides tried to gain popular support
The Federalist (Papers) 85 essays defending the Constitution in NY Letter from the Federal Farmer Rights that needed more protection Speech, press, religion, trial by jury, searches, etc.

14 Bill of Rights – Key to Ratification
Federalists promised to add a bill of rights if the Constitution was ratified

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