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Ch2Sec4: Creating the Constitution Picture this scene. It is hot-sweltering in fact. Yet all of the windows of the State House are closed and shuttered.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch2Sec4: Creating the Constitution Picture this scene. It is hot-sweltering in fact. Yet all of the windows of the State House are closed and shuttered."— Presentation transcript:


2 Ch2Sec4: Creating the Constitution Picture this scene. It is hot-sweltering in fact. Yet all of the windows of the State House are closed and shuttered to discourage eavesdroppers. Outside, soldiers keep curious onlookers and others at a distance. Inside, the atmosphere is frequently tense as 50 or so men exchange sometimes heated views. Indeed, some who are there become so upset that they threaten to leave the hall, and a few actually do so. This was often the scene at the Philadelphia meeting, which finally began on May 25, 1787. over the long summer months, until mid- September, the Framers of what was to become the Constitution worked to build a new government that could meet the needs of the nation.

3 Chapter 2 Section 4: Creating the Constitution The Framers: 12 of the 13 states, all but Rhode Island, sent delegates (state representatives) to Philadelphia to create a constitution to organize our new government. These men were known as the Framers of the Constitution. They were considered the Brightest and most talented men of our nation at the time. Fifty men attended the convention in Philadelphia. Some of the most notable men include: George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin. The average age of the delegates was 42 years old. The oldest delegate was Benjamin Franklin ( 81years old). The youngest delegate was Jonathan Dayton (26 years old).

4 Ch2Sec4: Organization & Procedure The Framers met in the State House on May 25 th, 1787. They elected George Washington president of the convention. On Monday, May 28 th the Framers adopted several rules of procedure. Each state had one vote per issue and a majority of the votes cast would pass any proposal. The Framers met on 92 of the 116 days from May 25 th - September 17 th. A Momentous Decision- The original purpose of the Philadelphia Convention was to improve the Articles of Confederation. However, once the convention got underway, the Framers decided that they needed an entirely new government for the United States. A delegate from Virginia named Edmund Randolph suggested that the new government should have three branches (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial). It was decided that this new government would be laid out in the form of a Constitution.

5 Proposals Two major plans were offered to replace the Articles of Confederation: 1.Virginia Plan- This plan favored large powerful states. 2.The New Jersey Plan- This plan favored smaller states. Virginia Plan- *Created by James Madison of Virginia. *Government would have 3 separate branches (Leg, Jud, Exc.) *Legislative Branch- would be a bicameral congress. *Representation of each house of congress would be based on the State’s population or on the amount of money it gave for the support of the central government. *Lower House: (House of Representatives) would be popularly elected in each state. *Upper House: (Senate) Chosen by the House from lists of persons nominated by the State legislatures. *Create a new Constitution with a powerful national government.

6 The New Jersey Plan *Created by William Paterson of New Jersey. *Wanted to keep the unicameral congress. *Wanted each state to be equally represented. *Called for an executive team in instead of one person. *Called for a strong central government. Major point of disagreement between the two plans: How should the States be represented in Congress????? Virginia Plan: States would be represented in Congress on the basis of their populations or financial contributions. New Jersey Plan: Each State would be equally represented in Congress. For weeks the delegates returned to this conflict, debating the matter again and again. Eventually the dispute was settled by a very important compromise.

7 Compromises The larger states expected to dominate the new government. The smaller States feared that they would not be able to protect their interests. Tempers flared on both sides. Connecticut Compromise The conflict between Virginia and New Jersey was settled by the state of Connecticut. Connecticut Compromise *Nicknamed “The Great Compromise” *Agreed that Congress should be composed of two houses. *The smaller house (Senate) would be represented equally. *The larger house (House of Reps.) representation would be based on each state’s population. *Created a strong central government

8 Three-Fifths Compromise Once the government had agreed to base the seats in the House on each State’s population another conflict arose: Should slaves be counted in figuring the populations of the states????? *Most delegates from southern states argued that slaves should be counted in the state populations. *Most of the northerners felt the opposite way. *View map on page 56. Three-Fifths Compromise Stated that all “free persons” should be counted, and so, too, should “three-fifths” of all other persons. “all other persons” referred to slaves. *The southerners could count their slaves, but they would have to pay for them.

9 Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise The Framers agreed that Congress must have the power to regulate foreign and interstate trade. *To many southerners this power carried a real danger. They worried that Congress would side with the northern commercial interests and ignore the needs of the agricultural south. They worried that Congress would use the money raised from tobacco export fees to pay back debt owed to other countries. They also worried that Congress would shut down the slave trade. The south would only agree to give Congress the power to regulate foreign and interstate trade if Congress agreed to the Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise.

10 Commerce and Slave Trade Compromise *Congress was forbidden the power to tax the export of goods from any State. *Congress was also not allowed to act on the slave trade for a period of at least 20 years. Although the delegates disagreed on several issues, they all understood the need for a new national government that would have the powers necessary to deal with the nation’s social and economic problems. The delegates also agreed that the new government had to have popular sovereignty, limited government, representative government, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Finally on September 17 th, 1787, the convention approved the work of the delegates. Now all they needed was the approval of the states.

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