Essay question constitutional convention

To correct these deficiencies, the Virginia Plan removed the state legislatures both structurally, and in terms of powers, from any place in the new continental arrangement. Most importantly, The National Legislature should consist of two branches. The Second Branch of the National Legislature should be elected by the first. This Council will review laws passed by the National Legislature and have the power to reject the laws, unless the National Legislature can pass the act again.

Essay question constitutional convention

Those with sufficient foresight saw this with ease, and were looking for a way to produce a national government that would be more than the virtually powerless government the United States currently had.

So it was in September that a conference was called to discuss the state of commerce in the fledgling nation. The national government had no authority to regulate trade between and among the states. The conference was called to discuss ways to facilitate commerce and establish standard rules and regulations.

The conference was called by Virginia, at the urging of one of its great minds of the time, James Madison. Madison had designs on doing more than just discussing commerce, but his hopes were dashed when he arrived at the conference.

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Only five of the 13 states sent any delegates at all Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginiaand of those, only three Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia had enough delegates to speak for their states. Unable to do much of anything, the people who were there sat down and talked amongst themselves.

The group consisted of some of the great political minds of the time; besides Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Read, and Edmund Randolph. Most were dissatisfied with the current system of government.

The delegates decided that another conference, "with more enlarged powers" meet in Philadelphia the following summer to "take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution Essay question constitutional convention the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.

The entire report of the Annapolis Conference is available. Congress approved the plan to hold another, more sweeping conference on February 21, The wheels were now in motion, though few had any inkling of the momentous changes that were about to come.

He arrived in Philadelphia for the Convention almost two weeks early so that he could start thinking about what he wanted the Convention to accomplish.

From his point of view, there were a few main problems with the Confederation. The states were under no obligation to pay their fair share of the national budget; they violated international treaties with abandon; they ran roughshod over the authority of the Congress; and they violated each other's rights incessantly.

Worse, however, was Madison's view that the liberties of the minorities in the states were being violated, particularly in economic issues. He believed that the Confederation was giving too much emphasis to state sovereignty and not enough to a national focus on consistent and fair policy and the upholding of natural rights.

Madison's idea, certainly not an original one, but unique for the new United States, was to recreate the United States under an entirely different form of government - a republican model.

In a republic, the people are the ultimate power, and the people transfer that power to representatives. As in the United States today, the people would elect their representatives to govern.

Essay question constitutional convention

This was in contrast to the Confederation model of the time, when the states appointed members of Congress. His vision included separate authorities with separate responsibilities, allowing no one to control too much of the government; and a dominant national government, curbing the power of the states.

From Madison's thoughts, notes, and work, the delegates from Virginia all met prior to the start of the Convention. They hammered out the details of what became known as the Virginia Plan.

A bicameral legislature two houses Both house's membership determined proportionately The lower house was elected by the people The upper house was elected by the lower house The legislature was very powerful An executive was planned, but would exist to ensure the will of the legislature was carried out, and so was chosen by the legislature Formation of a judiciary, with life-terms of service The executive and some of the national judiciary would have the power to veto legislation, subject to override National veto power over any state legislation The Virginia Plan was reported to the Convention by Edmund Randolph, Virginia's governor, on May 29, Sherman and the Connecticut Great Compromise Most of the debate in the first few weeks concerned the revision of the Virginia Plan.

The Plan "corrected" the inequality that the "one state, one vote" notion inflicted upon the large states and those, like the Southern states, that hoped to be large soon. Most of the details could certainly be worked out.

Issues like fugitive slaves, export taxes, and import taxes were minor, when compared to the really big issue facing the Convention: Quite frankly, the small states would never agree to a purely representational form of government. They foresaw the annexation of small, ineffective states as the populations of the large states continued to grow and their influence waned.

Some, like the Delaware delegation, were instructed to leave the Convention if equal suffrage in the legislature was compromised. Large states felt the equal suffrage system to be inherently unfair, and were going to do everything they could to abolish it.

Today, a conflict between the big and small states seems odd. Conflicts between states are now generally regional and regardless of size. But at the Convention, size, or anticipated size, was one big dividing line. The intensity of feelings of the two sides were surprises to the others - Madison and the Big State faction thought the inequality of equal suffrage to be so patently unfair that the small states would naturally accede.

The small states, used to the status quo, were surprised at how forceful the big states were about proportionality, seeing that the Congress had operated so long under the equal suffrage rule. The subject of suffrage in the houses of the legislature proposed in the prevailing Virginia Plan came to a debate on June 9, Threats to dissolve the Convention, and, indeed, the Union, flew from one side of the issue to the other.

Constitutional Convention Essays

Fortunately, when the convention adjourned that day, it did so on a Saturday evening, allowing heads to cool and deals to be made that Sunday for presentation to the Convention on Monday. On June 11Roger Sherman of Connecticut rose on the floor and proposed: In his time, he was a leader, respected by political friend and foe alike.The American Freedom Essay Contest challenges educators to get their students to write a word essay on the importance of freedom in their lives.

Entries will be judged in Elementary School, Middle School and High School categories with the winner in each category earning a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour for his/her.

[+]Charles Tilford McCormick Professor of Law, University of Texas Law School. This essay was initially prepared for delivery at a symposium on Interpretation and the Bill of Rights at Williams College on November 4, AN ESSAY ON TERM LIMITS AND A CALL FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION RONALD D.

ROTUNDA* AND STEPHEN. SAFRANEK** I. INTRODUCTION While term limits on state officials are quite common,' and raise no. Teacher's Edition with Constitution Discussion & Essay Questions designed by master teachers and experts who have taught Constitution.

Testimony question: Analyze Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention of and defend why some Framers would support one plan (the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, and the Hamilton Plan) over the other plans.

Compromise was used in the Constitutional Convention of to solve conflict from major problems in the new nation. These compromises included, the Great Compromise, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the Tariff (taxes) Compromise.

The Great Compromise was "representation" based on population in .

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