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Development of the Constitution. Something Must Be Done. AOC stink Annapolis Convention – 1786 Originally meant to discuss trade regulations Only five states show up Representatives agree – Must discuss strengthening the government Idea is popular among states.

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something must be done

Something Must Be Done

AOC stink

Annapolis Convention – 1786

Originally meant to discuss trade regulations

Only five states show up

Representatives agree – Must discuss strengthening the government

Idea is popular among states

background the constitutional convention of 1787
Background - The Constitutional Convention of 1787
  • Met in Philly
  • Examine and recommend changes to the existing Articles of Confederation
  • May – Sept 1787
composition who was there
Composition – Who was there?
  • Wealthy upper class, white men
  • Selected by state legislatures, not popular vote
    • George Washington
    • Ben Franklin
    • Alexander Hamilton
    • James Madison
    • Roger Sherman
  • Notable names not present
    • John Adams (minister to England)
    • Thomas Jefferson (minister to France)
  • Regardless, there was a ton of political talent at this convention
virginia delegation
Virginia Delegation
  • Led by James Madison
    • Had every intention of creating a new constitution
    • This is Virginia’s mission in Philadelphia
    • Virginia Plan
      • crafted by Madison
      • presented by Edmund Randolph
initial decisions the constitutional convention of 1787
Initial Decisions - The Constitutional Convention of 1787
  • Presiding officer – George Washington – Why?
    • _____________________________
    • _____________________________
  • Every state - one vote
  • Proceedings held in secret
    • Concerned newspapers would criticize decisions
      • Not democratic
  • The delegates want a government that was …
    • Firm, dignified, respected at home and abroad
    • Strong against instability at home
  • From the start, decided the A of C were too flawed
    • Virginians set the tone - introduced Virginia Plan
    • They weren’t authorized to change AOC, but they did it anyway
two plans
Two Plans
  • Virginia Plan
    • Presented by Edmund Randolph – Gov from Virginia
    • Three branches – legislature strongest
    • Bicameral house
      • 50% required to pass legislation
    • Strong federal government
      • Could veto state laws
    • Smaller states object since they would have no influence
  • New Jersey Plan
    • Proposed by William Paterson – delegate
    • Presented as a series of amendments to the AOC
    • Unicameral house
    • Would create an executive, a judiciary, federal taxes, federal regulation of trade
      • But would require a unanimous vote to pass these taxes, trade regs
    • Larger states rejected since smaller states would have equal power
centrist view
Centrist View
  • The Virginia Plan became seen as a centrist plan because
    • NJ Plan was a glorified A of C
    • Alexander Hamilton introduced the idea of a constitutional monarchy
      • Far more conservative than the Virginia Plan
      • This was calculated to help Va. Plan
connecticut compromise great compromise
Connecticut Compromise (Great Compromise)
  • Roger Sherman is the architect for this plan
  • Have a Legislature where the lower house was popularly elected
    • assigned delegates based on population
    • House of Representatives
  • The Upper house would have equal reps from each state
    • The Senate
    • Elected by state legislatures
  • Only need 50% of the vote to pass legislation
  • Model for our legislature
federalist anti federalist compromises
Federalist/Anti-FederalistCompromises
  • Independent v. Congressionally controlled judiciary
  • Executive Branch – Art. 2 – Series of compromises
    • Should there be an Executive Branch? How many executives?
    • Control foreign policy, but Senate had to approve all diplomats and treaties
    • President is C-in-C, but only congress can declare war
    • Would there be a popular vote? - No way
      • The people are dummies
      • Birth of electoral college
slavery compromises
Slavery – Compromises
  • The framers built slavery into the fabric of our government
  • However, they are careful to never use the term “slavery” in the Constitution.
    • 3/5 Compromise
    • Slave Trade and Commerce Clause
  • These items would pose big problems for those trying to remove slavery in the future.
differences between articles and constitution
Differences Between Articles and Constitution…
  • Passing Legislation
    • Constitution – simple majority – easier to get things done
    • A of C – two-thirds
  • Executive
    • Constitution – a single President – not a lot of power at first (would get stronger)
    • A of C – No executive
  • Power of the Federal Government
    • Constitution – potentially strong
    • A of C – very weak
  • Amendment process
    • Constitution – 2/3 of both houses of Congress + ¾ of State conventions
    • A of C – virtually impossible - need a unanimous vote
  • Constitution
    • The Constitution is a less democratic document
    • Takes power away from common voters
    • More aristocratic
    • Creates a stronger federal government – this is a danger in the eyes of many
ratification process
Ratification Process
  • If two-thirds of the states ratify, the Constitution would go into effect
  • Every state had to go through a ratification process, hold a convention, and elect delegates to the convention
  • This sets up two groups: the Federalists and the Anti- Federalists
federalists vs anti federalists
Federalists –vs- Anti-Federalists
  • Anti-Federalists
    • Opposed Constitution
    • More democratic
    • States rights
    • Wanted strong local government, not fed government
    • Small farmers, small business people, artisans.
    • Felt they didn’t need a strong government to protect their interests
    • Less funded, less educated, less organized
  • Federalists
    • Supported Constitution
    • Most of the distinguished people in the country
    • George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay
    • Well-funded, well-organized, politically experienced
    • Wanted a strong federal government
    • Wanted a strong executive
    • Wanted a government that was respected abroad and at home
      • put down insurrections
      • Act decisively – even if done by sacrificing some rights
ratification
Ratification
  • Constitution was drafted and signed by 39 delegates on Sept 17, 1787
  • Some states were very pro-constitution and they ratified easily. Dec 1787-Jan 1788
    • Delaware
    • Pennsylvania
    • New Jersey
    • Georgia
    • Connecticut
  • Other states followed between Feb – Jun in 1788
    • Massachusetts
    • Maryland
    • S Carolina
    • New Hampshire
  • Final group of four
    • NY
    • N Carolina
    • Rhode Island
    • Virginia
  • Why was 9 of 13 states, as Article VII stated was required, insufficient?
federalist papers
Federalist Papers
  • 85 pamphlets & essays supporting the Constitution
    • Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay
  • Cited in Constitutional interpretation debates
    • Lens into the ideas of the founding fathers
  • Large government would provide stability and security
    • Federalist #10 – How to create a strong government while preserving freedom
    • Federalist #51 – Separation of powers and checks and balances
bill of rights
Bill of Rights
  • Anti-federalists refused to sign the Constitution
    • Did not protect the people against the central government
    • Needed a statement of individual freedoms
    • Required to prevent the country from falling into tyranny
  • Anti-federalists tried to influence state ratification processes by writing pamphlets and newspaper articles
    • They would often take on pseudonyms of the Roman Republic, like Brutus
    • Some argued that the federal government would degenerate into a tyrannical entity
  • Federal Bill of Rights - #1 priority of the new Congress
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