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Creating and Ratifying the Constitution

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1 Creating and Ratifying the Constitution
Chapter 3.2 Creating and Ratifying the Constitution

2 Two Opposing Plans James Madison designed the Virginia Plan. It called for a gov’t with three branches: the legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch. The legislature would have two houses, with the states represented by basis of population in each.

3 continued The Virginia Plan appealed to the large states (Mass, Penn, NY, Vir). The small states (Del., NJ, Mary) feared a gov’t dominated by large states would ignore their interests. The New Jersey Plan also called for three branches of gov’t. The legislature would have one house and each state would get one vote. This plan would give equal power to large and small states.

4 Constitutional Compromises
Roger Sherman (Conn) committee proposed a Senate and House of Representatives. Each state would have equal representation in the Senate. Representation in the House would be based on population. The delegates accepted this Great Compromise.

5 continued Southern states wanted to count enslaved African Americans as part of their population in determining representation in the House. Northern states opposed this plan (slaves couldn’t vote, why count them?). In the Three-fifths compromise, delegates agreed that every five enslaved persons would count as three free persons for determining congressional representation and figuring taxes.

6 continued Northern states wanted Congress to be able to regulate foreign trade and trade between the states. Southern states feared Congress would tax their exports and stop the slave trade. (Needed exports for economy) They agreed to give Congress the power to regulate trade, but it could not tax exports or interfere with the slave trade before 1808.

7 continued Delegates disagreed on whether Congress or the voters should choose the president. The solution was the Electoral College, a group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president. Today, the voters in each state, not the legislators, choose electors.

8 Approving the Constitution
Ratification required at least 9 of 13 state conventions to vote “yes”. Supporters of the Constitution called themselves Federalists to emphasize that the Constitution would create a system of federalism, a form of gov’t in which the power is divided between the federal gov’t and the states. Federalists argued for a strong central gov’t.

9 continued Opponents, the Anti-Federalists, wanted more power for the states and less for the national gov’t. They also wanted a bill of rights to protect individual freedoms. Both agreed to add a bill of rights. This promise turned the tide. The Constitution took effect when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratify it.

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