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The Constitutional Convention

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  1. The Constitutional Convention Chapter 2 Section 4

  2. The Convention Begins • All the states sent delegates except Rhode Island. • 74/55/39 • Several men stood out as leaders • George Washington • Benjamin Franklin • James Madison • (often called father of the Constitution)

  3. Key Agreements • The government should be divided among three branches • Legislative • Executive • Judicial • Limit the power of states to coin money • Strengthen national government

  4. Decisions and Compromises

  5. The Virginia Plan • Drafted by James Madison (nationalist) • Proposed government on three principles: • 1: a strong legislature with two chambers • The lower elected by the population • The upper elected by the lower • 2: a strong national executive to be chosen by the legislature • 3: a national judiciary to be chosen by the legislature • This was a strong move because it set the direction of the agenda for the rest of the convention.

  6. The New Jersey Plan • Counterproposal to the Virginia Plan • Proposed the legislature stay the way it is with one vote for each state. • Given power to impose taxes and regulate trade • A weaker executive elected by congress • A Judiciary with limited power appointed by the executive

  7. The Connecticut Compromise • Suggested the Legislature split into two parts: • 1: a House of Representatives, based on state population • 2: a Senate with two members from each state

  8. The Three-Fifths Compromise • Settled a disagreement between southern and northern states • Almost one-third of the population in the south were slaves • The south: • Wanted slaves to count for representation • Did not want slaves to count for tax purposes • The north: • Did not want slaves to count for representation • Wanted slaves to count for tax purposes • The Compromise: • Three-Fifths of the enslaved people were counted for both tax purposes and representation

  9. Compromise on Commerce and the Slave Trade • The northern states wanted the government to have complete power over trade with other nations • The southern states relied heavily on their agricultural exports • They feared that they could be hurt by trade agreements • They feared that the north may interfere with the slave trade • The compromise gave Congress the power to regulate all interstate commerce, but was forbidden to impose taxes on exports. (U.S. still doesn’t tax exports)

  10. Other Compromises • Presidential Election • Electoral College • Duration of term

  11. Ratifying the Constitution Federalists Anti-Federalists Favored the Constitution Drew support from merchants and coastal cities Believed that strong national gov’t was necessary for survival Didn’t think they needed a Bill of Rights, but agreed to add one Criticized the Constitution Drew support from inland farmers Believed that the Constitution was extralegal Wanted a Bill of Rights

  12. Ratification • With the promise of a Bill of Rights many small states ratified it quickly • Finally when all the states had ratified the Constitution a new government began: • George Washington was elected president • Voters elected 22 senators and 59 representatives