Unformatted text preview: 1) Describe the men who attended the Constitutional Convention?
● Fifty five men gathered for the Constitutional Convention and a lot of them were names that were
highly active during the Revolution. Almost half of the men had served in the army during the
war. All of them were coming from rich families except for Alexander Hamilton, so naturally
most of them were able to afford to go to college. Their life standards were pretty prosperous,
shared status and political experiences.
2) What were some of the points that the founders agreed on for the new structure of government?
● They all agreed that national authority has to be strengthened in order to keep America from
falling apart. They also agreed that too much democracy can make the nation indecisive and lead
to frequent conflict between people. The Constitution would create a legislature, and executive,
and a national judiciary. Congress would gain the power to raise money, and the government
would represent the people. They knew that going from one extreme to the other would cause
problems with adaptation and stability.
3) Describe the NJ plan and the Virginia Plan and how they reflected the interests of small vs large states.
● James Madison presented the Virginia Plan, which called for the creation of a two-house
legislature with a state’s population determining its representation in each. This plan reflected the
interests of large states, that’s why the smaller states created the New Jersey Plan fearing that
large states would dominate the government. The New Jersey Plan called for a single-house
Congress in which each state could cast one vote. Larger states such as Virginia, Massachusetts,
and Pennsylvania were for the Virginia Plan because of their large population, which meant they
would get the most representation (especially states with many slaves.) But this wasn’t fair for
smaller states so a compromise was reached eventually.
4) What was the Great compromise that resulted for the presentation of those two plans? (It is in that
paragraph but was not labeled "Great compromise."
● The states decided to create a two-house Congress consisting of a Senate- in which each state
only had 2 members- and a House of Representatives- in which members were apportioned
according to each states’ population. Senator would be selected by state legislatures to serve for 6
years, and Representatives were selected by the people to serve for 2 years.
5) In what ways did the founders attempt to actually limit democracy at times? Why?
● In order to avoid popular enthusiasm people would only pick new staff to the government from
the elites. The House of Representatives was kept small on the assumption that only certain
individuals would be able to win elections. The federal judges and the president were not chosen
through direct election, but rather through the Supreme Court, members of an electoral college, or
the House of Representatives. 6) Define Federalism ● Federalism refers to the relationship between the national government [central] and the states.
Federalists believe that the central government should hold more power than the states
governments. 7) Define Separation of powers and checks and balances- provide examples
● The Constitution divided power between the Judicial, Executive, and Legislative Branches. This
way no one branch can dominate over the other two. For example, while the Congress can enact
laws- the president can veto them. Or the president can be impeached and removed from office by
the House of Representatives and the Senate. The federal judges are nominated by the President,
but can only hold office if they are approved by the Congress.
8) Describe the debates over slavery and the regulation of commerce (including slave trade).
● Even though the words ‘slaves’ and ‘slavery’ weren’t written in the Constitution because it would
ruin the idea of the American liberty, it was a big topic of discussion while writing it. Some states
had already abolished slavery, so the Southerners had to fight for their “slaveholding rights.”
They wanted to limit the Congress’ power, fearing it might tax them for slave property. They
threatened that they would separate from the union if slave trade was disrupted.
9) What were the compromises made regarding slavery including the 3/5th compromise?
● As ideas of abolishment were becoming more and more widespread, delegates had to choose
between offending the Southern states or doing injustice to human nature. They chose the latter in
the efforts of protecting the union and creating a more stable society after their recent
independence. All states agreed to return runaway slaves, and the national government could not
interfere with slavery in the states. During the creating of the Congress, the Southerner wants to
count the slaves towards their population but the Northern states were highly against it. So they
reached a compromise of counting a slave 3/5 of a person. ...
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