Creating The Constitution

Creating The Constitution
The Framers
• The Philadelphia Convention
• 12 of 13 Present
– Rhode Island Chooses Not To Attend
– 55 Legislators From 12 States
– “An Assembly Of Demigods”
The Framers Included:
Funky G Dubb
James Madison
George Mason
Ben Franklin
Alexander Hamilton
John Rutledge
Vast Knowledge and Public
• Many of those present had fought in
– Attendance at previous conventions
– Vast array of ages
– Many of the “big names” did not attend for
various reasons
Wealth and Prestige
• Could there have been ulterior motives?
• Of The 55:
– 34 Lawyers
– 14 Held land for speculation
– 24 Had money loaned
– 11 Were investors of various sorts
– 15 Owned slaves
– 5/6 Stood to benefit financially
Organization and Procedure
• Independence Hall, May 35, 1787
– Majority needed to conduct business
– Each State gets one vote
• Majority carries a proposal
Organization and Procedure
• Immense public attention
– Adopted a rule of secrecy
• William Jackson
– Journal
– Sketchy, limited info
– Incorrect info
– Many delegates took own accounts
Organization and Procedure
• James Madison
– Notes
– Became floor leader in debates
– “Father of the Constitution”
• Few matters resolved in committee
– Work done by full body
The Decision
• The Philadelphia Conventions original
– To revise the Articles of Confederation
– Quickly came into agreement that wasn’t what
they were doing
The Decision
• Once debating began on issues and
proposals it became intense
– Main goal of Convention was never
The Virginia Plan
• Virginia had a lot to do with calling the
– Presented in Virginia Plan
– Written by Madison
The Virginia Plan
• Specifics:
– Gov’t would have 3 branches
– Bicameral Congress
– Representation by population or money
– Lower House – popularly elected
– Upper House – Chosen by House from list of
people nominated by State Legislatures
The Virginia Plan
• Powers of Congress
– All powers listed in Articles
– Veto any state law in conflict with national law
– Use force if necessary to make states obey
– “All cases in which the separate states are
The Virginia Plan
• Congress Would Choose National
– Also would choose a National Judiciary
» These were 2 branches that would form a:
– “Council of Revision”
– Could veto acts of Congress
The Virginia Plan
• State officers take oath to Union
– States were guaranteed a Republican form of
– Congress holds power to admit new states
The Virginia Plan
• Summary:
– Greatly expanded powers
– Power to enforce decisions
– Small states opinion…
The New Jersey Plan
• William Paterson
• Unicameral Congress
– Equal Representation
• Add power to tax and regulate trade
• Federal Executive of more than 1 person
– Chosen by Congress
– Could be removed at any time
The New Jersey Plan
• Biggest Difference:
– How the states would be
– Most bitter of all arguments
Connecticut Compromise
• Congress would be bicameral
– Senate – equal
– House – population
• Everyone is happy with this decision
• CT Compromise = Great Compromise
3/5 Compromise
• Should slaves count in population?
• 3/5 Compromise: Count all free persons
and 3/5 of all other persons
– The 3/5 cost the South dollars
– North reluctantly agrees
Commerce and Slave Trade
• Agreed Congress should be able to
regulate trade
– Would the North have too much control over
the interests of the South?
– Would the South have to pay export duties on
their crops to fund the new government?
– Would the slave trade be messed with?
Commerce and Slave Trade
• Congress is now forbidden to tax exported
goods from any state
• Couldn’t touch the slave trade for 20 years
Bundle of Compromises
• “Sawing boards to
make them fit”
• Many major decisions
based on compromise
Bundle of Compromises
• Main point was not compromised on:
– Creation of a new central government
– Popular Sovereignty and limited government
• Representative government
• Separation of powers
• Checks and balances
Sources of the Constitution
• The Framers were very well educated and
well read
– Very familiar with many different kinds of
– Also used own experiences
– Many ideas came directly from Articles
Convention Completes Its Work
• All ideas organized into one body
• 39 sign it