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The Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention

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The Constitutional Convention

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  1. The Constitutional Convention May 1787 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  2. Who was there? • 55 delegates • Lawyers, physicians, generals, governors, planters, and a college president • Well educated • All states represented,except Rhode Island

  3. George Washington • Presided over meeting • Gave the meeting greater significance • Would later become the first president of the United States

  4. Benjamin Franklin • Oldest delegate (80 years old) • Like Washington, was well respected and added a positive presence to the meetings

  5. Gouverneur Morris • Powerful speaker and writer • Wrote the Preamble • Wrote final draft of Constitution • Tried to get Constitutional Convention to ban slavery

  6. James Madison • Father of the Constitution • His notes became the best record of what happened at the convention. • Supporter of strong central government

  7. Edmund Randolph • Governor of Virginia • Proposed creating strong national government instead of rewriting Articles • Introduced Virginia Plan to convention

  8. William Paterson • Presented the New Jersey plan, a plan that revised the Articles of Confederation

  9. Roger Sherman • Proposed a compromise to the New Jersey and Virginia plan which came to be known as The Great Compromise

  10. What Influenced the Framers? • English Parliamentary Traditions • The Magna Carta (1215) • The English Bill of Rights (1689) • Enlightenment Thinkers • John Locke • Natural Rights • Baron de Montesquieu • Separation of Powers

  11. Debates, Decisions and Compromises • Convention began by choosing George Washington to preside over meetings. • Each state would have one vote on all questions. • The delegates decided to keep all the sessions secret. This made it possible for the delegates to talk freely.

  12. The Virginia Plan • Proposed by Edmund Randolph • Two-house (bicameral) legislature • Members of the lower house elected by the people • Members of the upper house elected by the lower house • Number of representatives would be proportional to the population of each state

  13. The New Jersey Plan • Proposed by William Paterson • Kept Confederation’s One-House legislature • Gave Congress the power to tax and regulate trade • Congress would elect a weak executive branch consisting of more than one person

  14. The Great Compromise • Suggested by Roger Sherman • Two-House legislature • Lower House (House of Representatives) • Membership would be proportional to population of the state • Upper House (Senate) • Each state would have two members

  15. Slavery Issue • Northern states wanted to ban slavery throughout the nation • Southern states considered slavery essential to their economies • It was agreed that Congress would not interfere with the slave trade until 1808

  16. The 3/5 Compromise • Southern states wanted slaves to be counted as population for the purpose of representation in the House of Representatives • Northerners wanted slaves to be counted as property and taxed • Compromise—slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a free person for the purpose of taxation AND representation

  17. Ratification • 9 out of 13 states had to ratify (approve) the Constitution • Federalists-supporters of the Constitution • James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay defended the Constitution in The Federalist Papers • Anti-Federalists-opposed ratification • Lacked a bill of rights to protect individual freedoms

  18. Adopting the Constitution • June 21, 1788—New Hampshire (the 9th state) ratified the Constitution • June 25, 1788—Virginia ratified the Constitution • June 26, 1788—New York ratified the Constitution • November 1789—Constitution ratified by North Carolina • May 1790—Constitution ratified by Rhode Island