So, what do you think you know about the Constitution?
Articles of Confederation• America’s first form of government• Confederation: loosely allied states –Each state keeps their independence but will work with other parts of the confederacy (Where have you heard the word “Confederacy” or “Confederate” before?)• This system didn’t work very well
Constitutional Convention• Met in Philadelphia in 1787 to discuss the problems with the Articles of Confederation• Henry Laurens and Charles Pinckney were sent as delegates (Laurens got sick and couldn’t attend) along with Pierce Butler, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and John Rutledge
South Carolina Positions on the Issues• Writing a new Constitution – Supported a stronger national government• Government – Three branches: legislature, executive, judiciary• Strength of the President – Strong executive; single term of 6-7 years• Representation – Only elite could hold office• Supported the Virginia Plan (representation based on population) instead of the New Jersey Plan (equal representation between states)• Also supported the Great Compromise (equal representation in the Senate, proportional representation in the House)
But what about the slaves….• South Carolina and other slaveholding states wanted to use their slaves to their advantage by counting them in the population to determine representation.• Northern states opposed this resulting in the 3/5 Compromise….each slave would be counted as 3/5 of a person.• South Carolina also worried that the federal government would try to regulate the slave trade through import/export regulations. – Agreed that federal government would not interfere with slave trade for 20 years.