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Convention and Compromise

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Confederation to Constitution. Convention and Compromise. A Call for Change. Reasons for change boundary disputes between the states. poor foreign relations unpaid debts from the Revolutionary War falling crop prices left farmers impoverished

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a call for change
A Call for Change
  • Reasons for change
    • boundary disputes between the states.
    • poor foreign relations
    • unpaid debts from the Revolutionary War
    • falling crop prices left farmers impoverished
  • Shay’s Rebellion (1786) – Farmers in Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays rebelled against high taxes. The rebellion was crushed, but caused people to realize the need for a more effective national government.
  • The Constitutional Convention – Philadelphia, May 1787
    • Leaders such as James Madison & Alexander Hamilton began to realize the need for a strong national government & called for a meeting in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation.
    • Consisted of 55 delegates from twelve states.
      • Average delegate was in his early 40s, three were under 30 & one, Ben Franklin, was over 80.
      • In 1787 less than 1 in a 1,000 men went to college. 26 out of 55 delegates had college degrees.
      • George Washington was unanimously chosen to lead the convention.
      • Each state received one vote & only a simple majority was required to make decisions.
a call for change continued
A Call for Change (continued)
  • The Plans
    • The Virginia Plan (Large States Plan)
      • Proposed by Edmund Randolph suggested creating a new stronger national government instead of revising the Articles of Confederation.
      • Largely the work of James Madison, it called for a two-house legislature, a chief executive chosen by the legislature, and a court system.
      • Members of the lower house of the legislature would be chosen by the people & the upper house would be chosen by the lower house.
      • Representation in both houses would be based on population.
      • Delegates from small states such as Rhode Island, Delaware, & New Jersey objected because it gave too much power to the large states.
    • The New Jersey Plan (small states plan)
      • called for a one-house legislature with one vote for each state.
      • Congress could set taxes & regulate trade.
      • Congress would elect a weak executive branch consisting of more than one person.
a call for change continued1
A Call for Change(continued)
  • The Compromises
    • The Great Compromise – Proposed by Roger Sherman
      • Proposed a two-house legislature; a states representation in the House of Representatives would be based on its population.
      • In the Senate each state would have two members
    • 3/5ths Compromise – Proposed by James Wilson
      • Northern states objected to slaves counting towards population since technically they were “property.” They also wanted the South to pay taxes on them.
      • Southern states wanted to count them so that they would receive more representation in Congress, but didn’t want to pay taxes on them.
      • The decision was made that every five enslaved people would equal three free people for purposes of taxation & representation.