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The Constitutional Convention May 1787 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Who was there? 55 delegates Lawyers, physicians, generals, governors, planters, and a college president Well educated All states represented,except Rhode Island George Washington Presided over meeting

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The Constitutional Convention

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the constitutional convention

The Constitutional Convention

May 1787

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

who was there
Who was there?
  • 55 delegates
  • Lawyers, physicians, generals, governors, planters, and a college president
  • Well educated
  • All states represented,except Rhode Island
george washington
George Washington
  • Presided over meeting
  • Gave the meeting greater significance
  • Would later become the first president of the United States
benjamin franklin
Benjamin Franklin
  • Oldest delegate (80 years old)
  • Like Washington, was well respected and added a positive presence to the meetings
gouverneur morris
Gouverneur Morris
  • Powerful speaker and writer
  • Wrote the Preamble
  • Wrote final draft of Constitution
  • Tried to get Constitutional Convention to ban slavery
james madison
James Madison
  • Father of the Constitution
  • His notes became the best record of what happened at the convention.
  • Supporter of strong central government
edmund randolph
Edmund Randolph
  • Governor of Virginia
  • Proposed creating strong national government instead of rewriting Articles
  • Introduced Virginia Plan to convention
william paterson
William Paterson
  • Presented the New Jersey plan, a plan that revised the Articles of Confederation
roger sherman
Roger Sherman
  • Proposed a compromise to the New Jersey and Virginia plan which came to be known as The Great Compromise
what influenced the framers
What Influenced the Framers?
  • English Parliamentary Traditions
    • The Magna Carta (1215)
    • The English Bill of Rights (1689)
  • Enlightenment Thinkers
    • John Locke
      • Natural Rights
    • Baron de Montesquieu
      • Separation of Powers
debates decisions and compromises
Debates, Decisions and Compromises
  • Convention began by choosing George Washington to preside over meetings.
  • Each state would have one vote on all questions.
  • The delegates decided to keep all the sessions secret. This made it possible for the delegates to talk freely.
the virginia plan
The Virginia Plan
  • Proposed by Edmund Randolph
  • Two-house (bicameral) legislature
  • Members of the lower house elected by the people
  • Members of the upper house elected by the lower house
  • Number of representatives would be proportional to the population of each state
the new jersey plan
The New Jersey Plan
  • Proposed by William Paterson
  • Kept Confederation’s One-House legislature
  • Gave Congress the power to tax and regulate trade
  • Congress would elect a weak executive branch consisting of more than one person
the great compromise
The Great Compromise
  • Suggested by Roger Sherman
  • Two-House legislature
  • Lower House (House of Representatives)
    • Membership would be proportional to population of the state
  • Upper House (Senate)
    • Each state would have two members
slavery issue
Slavery Issue
  • Northern states wanted to ban slavery throughout the nation
  • Southern states considered slavery essential to their economies
  • It was agreed that Congress would not interfere with the slave trade until 1808
the 3 5 compromise
The 3/5 Compromise
  • Southern states wanted slaves to be counted as population for the purpose of representation in the House of Representatives
  • Northerners wanted slaves to be counted as property and taxed
  • Compromise—slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a free person for the purpose of taxation AND representation
  • 9 out of 13 states had to ratify (approve) the Constitution
  • Federalists-supporters of the Constitution
    • James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay defended the Constitution in The Federalist Papers
  • Anti-Federalists-opposed ratification
    • Lacked a bill of rights to protect individual freedoms
adopting the constitution
Adopting the Constitution
  • June 21, 1788—New Hampshire (the 9th state) ratified the Constitution
  • June 25, 1788—Virginia ratified the Constitution
  • June 26, 1788—New York ratified the Constitution
  • November 1789—Constitution ratified by North Carolina
  • May 1790—Constitution ratified by Rhode Island