Constitutional Convention When: May-Sept. 1787 Where: Philadelphia, PA
How many votes should each state get in the new national government (that is, Congress)? Main Controversy #1:
How many votes should each state get in the new Congress? Wanted vote based on population Wanted each state to have one vote Main Controversy #1: Big states Virginia Pennsylvania Massachusetts Small states Delaware Georgia Connecticut
Solution: Created a Congress with Two Parts (two “houses”) Part #1: The House of Representatives (based on population) Part #2: The Senate (2 votes per state)
Senate House of Representatives California Alaska 2 2 53 1
Should slavery be legal under the new government? Wanted to end slaveryWanted to allow the continuation of slavery Main Controversy #2: Northern statesSouthern states
“Solution”: Allowed Slavery to Continue Unchanged Regarding representation in Congress, a slave would count as 3/5 of a person Why did the northern states cave? To keep the new nation together
Okay, so in its simplest form, the Constitution boils down to this…..
The Preamble: We the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I Article I: The Legislative Branch Creates bicameral Congress: --House of Representatives (based on population) --U.S. Senate (2 per state)
Article II Article II : The Executive Branch Creates a strong president Election through the Electoral College
What is the Electoral College? Method spelled out in the Constitution for how we elect the president “Popular vote” is indirectly, not directly used
Electoral College Game Each state has a “point” value (# of U.S. Representatives from that state + # of U.S. Senators from that state) Example: California Alabama 53 Representatives + 2 Senators = 55 Electoral Votes 7 Representatives + 2 Senators =9 Electoral Votes
Electoral College Game continued Whichever candidate gets more popular votes in a state gets ALL that state’s electoral votes (points) Whichever candidate gets 270 electoral votes (points) WINS!
Anti-Federalists Arguments Against the Constitution 1.Gives WAY too much power to national government 2.Too much emphasis on property rights, not enough on individual rights 3.Won’t work in such a large nation 4. It’s a dangerous experiment/never been tried 5. Power in the hands of a very few people
Ratification Federalists – James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay
Federalists Arguments in Favor of Constitution 1.Stronger central government needed to maintain order, stability 2.Built in checks and balances will prevent abuse of power 3.This plan of government will actually work better in a big country by not allowing one “faction” to take control
A “Bundle of Compromises” Ex. #1 - The “Great” Compromise