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[ 4. 2 ] Drafting a Constitution
[ 4. 2 ] Drafting a Constitution Learning Objectives • • • Identify the leaders of the Constitutional Convention. Compare the main differences between the two rival plans for the new Constitution. Summarize compromises the delegates had to reach before the Constitution could be signed.
[ 4. 2 ] Drafting a Constitution Key Terms • • • Constitutional Convention Virginia Plan legislative branch executive branch judicial branch, New Jersey Plan compromise Great Compromise. Three-Fifths Compromise
A Historic Convention The Constitutional Convention opened on May 25, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its goal was to revise the Articles of Confederation. Every state except Rhode Island sent representatives. The convention would prove historic because it did not revise the Articles of Confederation. Instead, it produced a new United States Constitution.
A Historic Convention • • • American Leaders Come Together A Student of History and Politics Secret Conversations
A Historic Convention Ben Franklin (with cane, center) and George Washington (raising hat, right) were among the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
Disagreements Over a New Government Soon after the meeting began, the delegates realized they would have to do more than simply revise the Articles of Confederation. They chose instead to write an entirely new constitution for the nation. They disagreed, however, about what form the new national government should take.
Disagreements Over a New Government • • Virginia Proposes a Plan New Jersey Disagrees
Disagreements Over a New Government Edmund Randolph, shown here, coauthored the Virginia Plan with fellow Virginian James Madison. The plan called for a national government with executive, judicial, and legislative branches.
Disagreements Over a New Government Analyze Information How did the New Jersey Plan and Virginia Plan differ in their approach to the executive branch of government?
The Great Compromise For a while, no agreement could be reached. With tempers flaring, it seemed that the Convention would fall apart without adopting any plan. Finally, Roger Sherman of Connecticut worked out a compromise that he hoped would satisfy both the large and small states. A compromise is a settlement, or peaceful solution, in which each side gives up some of its demands in order to reach an agreement.
The Great Compromise Roger Sherman (right), mastermind of the Great Compromise, and fellow Connecticut delegate Oliver Ellsworth (left) draft a solution to the issue of representation in 1787.
The Three-Fifths Compromise Just as there were disagreements between large states and small states, there were also disagreements between northern states and southern states. The most serious disagreements concerned the issue of slavery. Would enslaved people be counted as part of a state’s population? Would the slave trade continue to bring enslaved Africans into the United States?
The Three-Fifths Compromise • • The States Reach an Agreement Further Disagreement Over Slavery
The Three-Fifths Compromise Based on the information presented, how did southern states benefit from the Three-Fifths Compromise?
The Three-Fifths Compromise Despite the fact some delegates from northern states urged that slavery be banned throughout the nation, the Constitutional Convention did not succeed in ending slavery or the slave trade.
The Convention Comes to a Conclusion As the long, hot summer drew to a close, the weary delegates struggled with one difficult question after another. How many years should the President, head of the executive branch, serve? How should the system of federal courts be organized? Would members of Congress be paid?
The Convention Comes to a Conclusion After the convention delegates returned to their home states where debate began about approving the Constitution. Predict Consequences How would the American public respond to the new Constitution?
Quiz: A Historic Convention Why is James Madison called the “Father of the Constitution”? A. B. C. D. He wrote most of the document. It contains all his ideas. He was well prepared and greatly influenced other delegates. He was the president of the Convention.
Quiz: Disagreements Over a New Government In the context of the Constitutional Convention, what constituted a “large” state? A. B. C. D. its population its physical size its economic well-being its influence on other states
Quiz: The Great Compromise involved a new way of A. B. C. D. proposing laws. voting for delegates. organizing the executive branch. organizing the legislative branch.
Quiz: The Three-Fifths Compromise What did the northern states use as their reason for not wanting to count slaves as part of a state’s population? A. B. C. D. Slaves could not vote. Slavery was inhumane. Slaves were not citizens. Slaves were already counted for taxes.
Quiz: The Convention Comes to a Conclusion How many states had to approve the Constitution for it to be ratified? A. B. C. D. seven eight nine all of them