Constitutional Convention & Federalists Essay

1046 words - 4 pages

The Constitutional Convention was held during the hot summer of 1787 in town of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this convention, delegates from twelve different states came together to begin to write the Constitution of the United States. The first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, was abandoned so that they could create a stronger, more reliable form of government. In this constitution they created a central government with three branches, which were the legislative, executive, and judicial branch, two legislative houses, a powerful president, and a judicial body, otherwise known as the Supreme Court.Many controversies arose at the Constitutional Convention. One of these controversies was that the smaller state delegates objected to representation on the basis of population. They wanted a counterproposal, and it took quite a few weeks, but they got it and this proposal was called the New Jersey Plan, and it was in support of the smaller states objections to the Constitution. This plan resolved the problem by creating a one-house legislature with one vote for every state, and they were all given representatives that were chosen by the state legislature.The New Jersey Plan and their followers also discussed the fact that the convention had not been given the power to construct a new form of government, and they insisted that the states remain independent so that they could maintain conclusive and final authority on questions and law of policy. They accepted that the federal government should have the ability to pass export and stamp duties, in addition to controlling foreign relations among states. They also favored the concept of having three branches of government, however they did not want a single executive because it reminded them too much of royalty. So instead, they wanted more than one executive that would have less power, a judiciary with limited purpose and say-so, and a legislature where each state had an equal vote.Both the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan were rejected by the delegates. A delegate by the name of Roger Sherman proposed something that became known as the Great Compromise, which was also called the Connecticut Compromise. This proposal was set up as to were there would be two houses of Congress. To satisfy the larger states, the number of delegates each state would have in the House of Representatives would be based on population. To please the small states at the same time, regardless of the size of the state, they would have two representatives in the Senate. This compromise did not satisfy any of the delegations completely.The convention decided upon three branches of government, but created a system, known as the checks and balances, so that no one branch would have more power than one of the other branches in the system. The delegates also sought a happy medium between the power of the states and power of the federal government. Even though the Articles of Confederation were disregarded, the states...

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