1. What do the statements in the reading material tell you about the condition of state governments on the eve of the constitutional convention? What seems to be the problem or problems indicated by these statements? And how does Shay’s Rebellion foreshadow the possible outcomes if those problems are not resolved?
2. What was the basic structure of the national government under the Articles of Confederation, and what was the relationship of the people to that government? What was the purpose for this type of structure? What are the inadequacies of the government under the Articles of Confederation?
3. Why was a convention proposed by the Congress of the Confederation? When the Congress of the Confederation issued the call for a convention, what express purpose was given for the convention’s work? Why was the calling of a special convention felt to be the best way to solve the problems created by the Articles of Confederation?
4. How does the Virginia Plan go beyond the Resolution passed by the Congress of the Confederation authorizing the calling of a convention?
5. What was the first major issue the delegates faced when they arrived at the Convention and how is it solved?
6. What was the second major issue faced by the delegates at the convention? Why was Madison so focused on “proportional representation” What was James Madison’s argument with regard to the existence of factions and how best to deal with them. How was the issue of representation eventually solved at the convention?
7. How did the convention’s fear of both an all-powerful King and the passions of the people play out in the creation of the executive branch?
8. What was the third major issue faced by the delegates at the convention? What compromises “solved” the issue of slavery at the convention?
9. Despite the creation of the Constitution, which issues discussed in the Convention, continue to vex Americans today?
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