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Constitutional Compromises

Constitutional Compromises

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Constitutional Compromises

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  1. Constitutional Compromises Four Major Agreements That Helped Create the New Government

  2. Problem: How to Give Representation in Congress • Large states wanted representation to be based on population so they would have more power…As in the Virginia Plan. • Small states wanted each to be represented by statehood, so they wouldn’t be overshadowed…As in the New Jersey Plan.

  3. Solution: The Great Compromise • Roger Sherman of Connecticut suggested the nation use both ideas in a bicameral legislature. • Madison’s Virginia Plan would be used to make a lower House of Representatives based on population and Paterson’s New Jersey Plan would be used in the Senate to give each state two votes. • New laws would have to go through both houses.

  4. Problem: Whether or Not Slaves Should Be Counted for Representation in Congress • Southern states wanted slaves counted to get more representation and power. • Free states in the north disagreed because slaves were not citizens and could not vote.

  5. Solution: The 3/5 Compromise • Slaves would be counted at a rate of three-fifths, or 60%. • This number was to be used in population totals for representation in Congress and for taxation. • Southern states would have more representation, but would have to pay more taxes to get that power.

  6. Problem: The Issue of Allowing Slave Trade to Continue • Southern slave states wanted to continue to import slaves from Africa. • The free states of the north disagreed, partly because southern power in Congress could continue to grow.

  7. Solution: The Slave Trade Compromise • Slave trade was allowed to continue for another 20 years, until 1808, when the issue would be re-examined. • Also, all runaway slaves must be returned to legal owners. • This decision favored southern slave owners like Madison, Washington, and Jefferson, but not forever.

  8. Problem: Ratifying the Constitution • The Constitution was written and approved by delegates in 1787, but states still had to accept or ratify it. • Anti-Federalists feared a strong central government and thought that the Constitution did not adequately protect individual rights and freedoms. • Federalists gave in and promised to guarantee these rights because some states were unwilling to accept the new government until personal liberty was secured. James Madison: Writer of Virginia Plan, Bill of Rights, and Federalist Papers.

  9. Solution: The Promise of a Bill of Rights • Ten Amendments written by James Madison in 1789 to satisfy Anti-Federalists. • Guaranteed basic rights to all Americans, such as speech, religion, and jury trials. • In 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, even though the rest of the Constitution had been in use under President Washington since 1789.