Patriots in Philadelphia The delegates hoped to save the revolutionary idealism and make it into a strong political structure. Hammering Out a Bundle of Compromises Some of the delegates decided they would scrap the old Articles of Confederation, contradicting instructions from Congress to revise it. The " large-state plan " was proposed by Virginia and was the first suggested framework of the Constitution. It said that a state's representation in Congress should be based upon the state's population. New Jersey presented the " small-state plan ." It centered on equal representation in Congress without regards to a state's size or population. A " Great Compromise " was eventually agreed upon. It called for representation by population in the House of Representatives , and equal representation in the Senate . Each state would have 2 senators. The new Constitution also called for a President. Because of arguments over if the slaves would count towards the general population of the state, the " three-fifths compromise " was created. The new Constitution also called for the end of the slave trade by the end of 1807. All new state constitutions except Georgia's forbade overseas slave trade. The Constitution was meant to be a broad document. It grew out of common law , in which it is unnecessary to be specific about every possible detail. Rhode Island was not present at the Constitutional Convention. Safeguards for Conservatism The members of the Constitutional Convention agreed economically (they demanded sound money and the protection of private property), and they agreed politically (they favored a stronger government with 3 branches and with checks and balances system). The Clash of Federalists and Anti-federalists Anti-federalists opposed the stronger federal government because they feared it would take away the power of the common man. They were led by Samuel Adams , Patrick Henry , and Richard Henry Lee . The anti-federalists mostly consisted of the poorest class. Federalists were led by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin . Most of the Federalists lived in the settled areas along the seaboard. Overall, they were wealthier, more educated, and better organized than the anti-federalists. They also controlled the press.
The Great Debate in the States Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hampshire were the first 9 states to sign the Constitution. Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island were the only states to not sign it. ( 4 Laggard States ) The Four Laggard States Virginia and New York eventually ratified the Constitution before it was put into effect. Rhode Island and North Carolina were the last states to ratify it, and they did so only after the new government had been in operation for a few months.
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