Lesson 2 Philadelphia Convention Bellringer: What were the problems with the Articles of Confederation?
“These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we screwed up the endgame.” 55 “Framers” at the Philadelphia Convention. Who is missing?
Guiding Questions What was included in the Virginia Plan? How did the goals of the Convention change?
Philadelphia Convention Philadelphia Convention May 14 – September 17, 1787 Address problems in governing the US The US had independence, but was not a nation Rebellions Anarchy
Call for Change Many felt the Confederation needed to be changed James Madison called for a meeting to revise or improve the Articles Madison is referred to as the “Father of the Constitution” The Convention ended up creating a new constitution and a stronger national government
Call for Change 55 delegates came to Philadelphia; Washington was chosen as the presiding officer Starting goal was to improve and advise, but the goal quickly changed “Framers”; framed or shaped the constitution Decided to change the constitution and keep the meeting secret Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry did not attend No women, African Americans, or Native Americans
Post-War Problems 13 very different states made up the US Each state had their own constitution May 1176, the Continental Congress requested all the states draft their own constitutions All made different constitutions
State Constitutions The states were very wary of one party having too much power Drafted constitution to limit power in the hands of a single ruler Pennsylvania set up a council of 12 States divided power between the governor (or executive leader) and the legislature (i.e. the Congress) Hosted frequent elections
Studying the Past Madison studied and prepared for the convention Look at past governments Came up with the Virginia Plan Republics vs. Democracies Republics; elected officials Democracies; power to the people “Representative Democracy”; power derived
Rome Rome 2000 years ago Elected representatives No king All classes had a say in government Representatives worked for the “common good”
Republics Benefits Worked towards a common good People had a say Representatives were responsible to the people Disadvantages Worked best in small communities Hard to utilize in diverse groups Naturally divides people into factions which would only fight, not work for common
Madison Madison Madison determined republics were weaker than monarchs because Kings and Queens could make decisions quickly US needed a strong national government Needed some type of leadership without the misuse of power Checks and balances
Virginia Plan Virginia Plan Strong national government 2 governments (state and national) National government could make and enforce laws National government could tax 3 branches 2 houses; one proportional to state size and the other equal representation Madison had a coalition backing him Those who opposed the Virginia Plan came up with the New Jersey Plan
New Jersey Plan New Jersey Plan Weak national government 1 house with equal representation National government could tax and regulate trade 2 branches Created by small states
Convention Continues Convention agreed it must go beyond amending the Articles and instead produce a new constitution The new national government would have the powers of the Confederation, as well as the power over the state Next step was choosing a plan
Making Decisions Delegates voted in the Virginia Plan and began to modify it INTENSE debate State representation; equal or proportional? Slaves; property to be taxed or people who counted towards the state’s population Would the executive be 1 person or more
Making Decisions Compromise Great Compromise; 2 houses in legislative branch Senate; equal representation House of Representatives; proportional 3/5 Compromise; slaves counted as 3/5 of a person 3/5 as productive as a free person Other decisions Bicameral; 2 houses Elections; electoral
Making Decisions Agreed the government should . . . Be a constitutional government with limited powers Serve to protect the fundamental rights of the people and the common good Be stronger to protect rights Be a republican form of government Have a series of checks and balances Have a separation of power Adjourned to let the Committee of Detail work on the first draft of the Constitution
Civic Virtue “Civic Virtue”; citizens and leaders put aside private interests for the common good Is this happening today? How virtuous are our current politicians? Are we working towards a common good? Read article “Continuing Deadlock in Congress May Boost State Power” Are we following the Framers plan? How can we fix this?
Exit Card(s) What is “common good”? What is “civic virtue”?
Building a Country Create your own country with your group Decide what type of country you would have Constitution Type of Government Taxes Laws Write a basic outline like the Virginia Plan
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