Creating the Constitution The Virginia Plan Strong Central

Creating the Constitution
Philly-May 1787
-Had to decide to revise or
replace the Articles of Conf.
-SM & LG. States had different
ideas about representation
-S & N States had different
ideas about the economy &
-some wanted a strong national
government and some wanted as
much power as possible to remain
with the states.
55 delegates/12 States attended
The Virginia Plan
-Written mostly by James Madison (presented by Edwin Randolph)
Strong Central Government
3 Branches of Government (leg.,exe. & jud.)
A bicameral legislature
Delegates in both houses of the legislature
would be chosen according to each state’s
deal breaker—small States opposed this!
The New Jersey Plan
Known as Small State Plan
Strong central government with 3 Branches
Called for a unicameral legislature.
Each state would get the same number of votes.
The Great Compromise
The Connecticut Compromise
They kept most of the Virginia Plan.
In the Upper House (Senate) states got an
equal number of votes.
In the Lower House (House of Representatives),
representation was based on population.
Three-Fifths Compromise
There was still one problem to be solved.
Slave states had a lot more people than nonslave states.
Northern states thought that was unfair.
The group reached a compromise saying that
3/5 of the slaves in a state could be counted
as part of the population.
Presidential Election
-decided on a group of electors selected by
state legislatures to select the president
-Why? Framers were afraid who the people
might pick so they left it in the hands of an
educated electorate
Ratification of the Constitution
-9 of 13 colonies had to ratify for it to take
-faced an uphill battle
Antifederalists v. Federalists
-feared a strong national govt. would threaten
republicanism & state sovereignty
-No Bill of Rights to protect civil liberties
-believed a powerful national govt. would
strengthen states
-defend against invasion, regulate trade &
stop insurrections like Shay’s rebellion
Federalist Papers
-Written by Madison, Hamilton & Jay in
support of Constitution
-Printed in NY newspapers
-anti-federalists addressed the
importance of liberty and the guarantee
of “unalienable and fundamental
Finally Ratified
-Federalists agreed to add a Bill of Rights
-ratified on June 21, 1788
-December 1791 the Bill of Rights (1st ten
amendments) were added to Constitution