Economic Conditions Post American Revolutionary War After the Revolutionary War ended, the new nation’s debt caused turmoil for its people. The nation owed France and the Netherlands for their support. The economic hardship led many farmers and other poor citizens to file for bankruptcy. In the beginning each state had it own form of currency and there was no established national currency. Once that changed, the country mass printed this new currency and caused high inflation. The inflation caused the value of the money to dwindle to nearly nothing.
Shays’ Rebellion Rebellion of Massachusetts farmers led by Daniel Shay to protest the fact many of them had their land taken away or were being jailed Cause: High taxes during economic hardship after the war left farmers unable to pay. Effect: Shay’s Rebellion induced panic and showed many delegates that there was a need for a stronger government – contributing to the need for the Constitutional Convention
Six Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation had a unicameral government, and there was no separation of powers.
The central government under this document was too weak and the majority of the power was given to the individual states.
Under this document the government did not have the power to tax. This continually caused chaos with the nations finances.
To amend the Articles, all thirteen states would have to agree.
For any major laws to be passed, 9 of 13 states had to approve.
Congress did not have the power to regulate trade and this cause severe competition between the states.
Constitutional Convention – When, where and the purpose When: From May25th to September 17, 1787 Where: State house in Philadelphia, PA Purpose: The Convention was called upon because the Articles of Confederation were too weak and needed to be either revised or replaced. In order to make sure all the states needs were addressed, delegates from all thirteen colonies were invited to help with this process .
Seven Key Contributors to the Constitutional Convention Strong advocate for a powerful national government; exerted influence in the Senate to ratify treaties and compromise on international slave trade SC Charles C Pinckney Did not sign the Constitution because of the lack of guaranteed rights; believed the Constitution would lead to monarchy VA George Mason Served as President of the Convention; rarely spoke but was greatly influential to bringing many of the delegates to the Convention VA George Washington Kept peace among the delegates – including the Rising Sun speech; help prayer each morning to calm delegates PA Benjamin Franklin Signed the Constitution twice – for himself and John Dickerson who was ill; helped in ratifying the Constitution in Delaware; stood up small states DE George Read Wrote Virginia Plan; “Father of the Constitution”; held a key role in ratifying the Constitution VA James Madison Jr. Created and argued the Hamilton Plan; wrote majority of Federalists Papers; played substantial role in ratifying the Constitution in New York NY Alexander Hamilton Contribution to Convention State Name
Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan - compared to the Great Compromise
For big states
Bicameral (2 houses) – represented by population
House elected by the people
Senate elected by state legislators
Wanted 3 branches (legislative, judicial and executive)
Wanted legislative branch to choose members of judicial and executive branch – legislative most powerful
New Jersey Plan
For small states
Unicameral (1 house) – all states represented equally
Wanted 3 branches (legislative, judicial and executive)
Wanted legislative branch to be elected by people
Wanted legislative branch to appoint executive branch
Wanted executive branch to appoint justices of the Supreme Court
Bicameral (2 houses) – 1 represented by population and 1 represented by state equality
3 branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial
All 3 branches are set up to be equal
People vote for legislative branch
People vote for electoral college members who vote for executive branch
The executive branch appoints Justices of the Supreme Court but they must be approved by Congress in order to serve
The Threefifths Compromise While creating the Constitution, a debate arose between northern and southern states. A population was defined by the number of white citizens under the Constitution. This upset the South because many slaves lived there and they felt that excluding them would not truly represent their population. In order for the southern states to agree to ratification, they wanted the House of Representative “population” to include slaves. At the convention a compromise was made to count each slave as 3/5 of a person. This compromise was significant because by making the slaves a part of the South’s population, it greatly improved the number of representative electors each state could have. By having more representative officials in the House, the South gained a stronger hold on government power.
Believed the Articles of Confederation needed to be replaced
Wanted a strong national government
Believed that talented and experienced men should govern the nation
Believed that the Bill of Rights was not particularly needed because they felt that the Constitution already protected people’s freedoms
Loosely interpreted the Constitution
Overall were more sympathetic to the separation between the nation’s churches and states
For the ratification of the Constitution
Believed the Articles of Confederation needed to be revised
Opposed a strong national government
Wanted states to have power
Thought having a strong central government would strip people of their rights and liberties
Thought the Constitution was written to benefit the wealthy
Had a strict interpretation of the Constitution
Thought the Constitution needed an easier way to be amended and wanted it contain a Bill of Rights
Were against religious references in the Constitution
Against immediate ratification of the Constitution
I support…………………….. As a representative of my colony, I support the views of the Federalist party. I agree with the need for a strong national government for state powers and rebellions are getting out of hand. In these times of uncertainty, I feel that our nation should be led by the utmost talented and experienced men. A new form of government is needed to replace the Articles of Confederation. I support the ratification of the Constitution because it is the best way for unifying the nation.