8th: Convention & Compromise

Convention &
American leaders fix the
problems of the Articles of
Revising the Articles
The Confederation was not
In 1787, delegates from 12
states gathered in Philadelphia.
The sole purpose was to revise
the Articles of Confederation.
Economic Depression
The U.S. went through a depression when the
war ended:
Unemployment increased
 Trade fell
 Little $ to pay foreign debt
 Farmers could not sell their goods
 Each state printed its own $ and did not accept $ from
other states
Shays’ Rebellion
Farmers unable to pay their debts had their
land taken away and were imprisoned.
Daniel Shays led farmers & forced the
courts in Massachusetts to close.
This kept the state from taking their farms.
The state militia ordered farmers to stop but
they refused.
The militia fired, 4 rebels died
The Issue of Slavery
Slavery was important to
the plantation system in
the south.
The southern economy
could not survive without
In the North, free African
Americans faced
discrimination and were
barred from public places.
Free Blacks
Virginia issued a law called manumission
that encouraged the freeing of individual
enslaved persons.
The abolition of slavery in the North divided
the new country
A Call for Change
The American Revolution created a union of 13
states, it did not create a strong national
Leaders demanded a reform of the Articles of
September 1786, leaders met in Philadelphia to
discuss trade issues and possible changes to the
The Effects of Shays’
Leaders worried that the
government could not control
unrest and prevent violence.
George Washington = not
happy w/ ideas of revising the
Articles of Confederation.
He changed his mind after
Shays’ Rebellion
The Constitutional
Many delegates @
Convention in Philadelphia
were well educated
James Madison: known as
the “Father of the
He was the author of the
basic plan of government.
George Washington was
unanimously chosen to run
Each state had 1 vote on all
The majority vote would make
The Virginia Plan
Instead of revising the
Articles, Edmund
Randolf proposed
that they create a
strong national
Virginia Plan was
based largely on the
work of James
What was the Virginia
The plan called for a two-house legislature
 1) Chief Executive
 2) Court System
Lower house legislature elected by the people
Upper house legislature chosen by the lower house
The number of representatives would be
proportionate to the population of each state
The New Jersey Plan
Had a one house legislature
and one vote for each state.
Congress would be able to
set taxes and regulate trade.
Congress would elect an
executive branch made up of
more than one person.
Compromise Wins Out
The States voted for a government based on the
Virginia Plan
Roger Sherman proposed what came to be
known as the Great Compromise.
Compromise: agreement between 2 or more
sides in which each side gives up a little.
What was the Great
2 senators for each state.
 # of Reps in the HoR = state population
 Equal amount # of Reps in Senate
 Slaves counted as three-fifths of a person.
 Majority vote in House and Senate needed
to pass a law.
 Balanced powers between executive,
judicial, and legislative branches
Objections Are Raised
What about slaves?
Were they population or property?
South said: slaves = Population (so they
could get more representation)
North said: Property (so they had a
chance at better representation)
The Three-Fifths Compromise: an
enslaved person counted as three-fifths of
one free person for both taxation and
Slave Trade
Northern delegates
wanted to slow and
eventually stop the
spread of slavery.
Since the slave trade was
essential to Southern
states, Northerners
agreed that Congress
could not interfere with
the slave trade until
Approval of the
Some delegates did not want to sign the
 They worried that without the protection of the
bill of rights, the new national government might
abuse its powers
 Only 9 out of 13 states had to approve the