The delegates to the Constitutional Convention represented the broad spectrum of U.S. citizens: lawyers, farmers, college graduate, and merchants. Each had a belief that there was at least one area in which the articles could do a better job. It wasn’t long before the delegates were divided into two camps: one for the big states (Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.) and one for the small states (Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, etc.) Both sides offered plans of what they wanted to see as the new form of government for their nation. As we shall see, a grand compromise would be necessary to bring the two groups together.
The Great Compromise was the end result of the debate over the Virginia and New Jersey Plans. Within the Constitution, the framers established a clear separation of powers, so that no one entity in the new government could be lawmaker, law enforcer, and judge. This, they hoped would provide a system in which the nation would not be dominated by one branch of government. The president is charged with ensuring that all laws passed by Congress are enforced. The president does not have the authority to create laws on his or her own. The Constitution created only one court in the judicial branch, the Supreme Court, and established only one member on that court, the chief justice. This way, Congress can create as many courts underneath the Supreme Court as is deemed necessary and may place as many judges and justices in these positions as it sees fit. Examples of countervailing forces are the veto to kill laws, the ability of Congress to overturn a veto, and the power to impeach and removed members of the executive and judicial branches.The Framers learned from the mistakes in the articles. Instead of requiring unanimous consent, now, to amend the Constitution, two thirds support of the states is all that is needed.
Once the Constitution was submitted to each state to ratify, two distinct camps emerged. The Federalists, which included Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, published essays arguing for the ratification. Members of the Anti-Federalists, men such as Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry, were not as well organized in their rebuttals, but were still widely read. For ratification: standardized monetary supply, reduction of taxes, repayment of the war bonds. Against ratification: no Bill of Rights (added in 1791), a similar government system to Great Britain so fear of power struggles could be avoided, ratification process illegal under the articles.
The small states did not have as vocal of opponents to the Constitution as did the larger states. Without New York and Virginia ratifying, the new government would be but a shell. Once those states ratified, the new government was formed and the old disbanded. New York was chosen as the site for the first capital.
His 121 chapter 7 the articles of confederation
The Articles of ConfederationChapter 7
Treaty of Paris(Ratified by both sides April 9, 1784) Unfinished painting by Benjamin West. British delegation refused to pose.
Important Points of Treaty of Paris British acknowledged United States to be sovereign nation, free and independent British Crown relinquishes all claims to government, property and territorial rights Established boundaries between the United States and British North America Granted fishing rights to the Grand Banks Lawful debts paid to creditors on both sides Congress of the Confederation “earnestly request” restitution for seized property United States will not seize property of Loyalists Release of prisoners of war U.S. and Great Britain given perpetual access to the Mississippi River Territories captured by U.S. returned to Great Britain without compensation
Weaknesses of Articles of Confederation Congress had no power to tax No executive power to enforce laws enacted by Congress Congress had no authority to engage in meaningful diplomacy Trade with West Indies Spanish closed Port of New Orleans Congress could not enforce uniform tax or trade policies among the individual states Tariffs differed from state to state Some states paid their debts others did not Some states printed a lot of paper money, others did not
Shay’s Rebellion Daniel Shays a Revolutionary War veteran of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Saratoga Shay’s was wounded in action and never paid wages Hauled into court after the war for non-payment of debts John Hancock and Massachusetts war debt Issuance of more currency devalued the money and enabled the debtor to pay off debt at a lower price. Rebels attempted to shut down courts engaging in actions to collect debts and foreclose on farms Western (rural Massachusetts) vs. Eastern Massachusetts) Private militias and federal armories (January 25, 1787 Cannon fire 4 dead; 20 wounded
Adopting the Constitution The Constitutional Convention Delegates in attendance The emergence of James Madison Differing political philosophies and plans The Virginia Plan The New Jersey Plan
Adopting the Constitution The Great Compromise Principles incorporated into the Constitution Separation of powers Nature of the presidency Nature of the judicial branch Examples of countervailing forces in the new government Ratification provisions
The Fight for Ratification Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Arguments for ratification Arguments against ratification
The Fight for Ratification The decision of the states Small states adopt it first Demand for a Bill of Rights Delaware becomes ninth state to ratify Government is formed