The Aspects, Discussion, and Conclusions of the Constitution Convention
The American Constitution
Instructor: Brandy Robinson
October 4, 2010
Aspects, Discussions, and Conclusion of the Constitutional Convention
Thesis statement: Even though there were many conflicts in the constitution, when the newly formed nation desired to become a strong democratic nation, the constitution convention was called to overcome the difference through compromise and designed a government which has successfully answered the individual and collective needs of this country.
The United States Constitutional Convention (also known as the Philadelphia Convention, the Federal Convention, or ...view middle of the document...
In order to replace that plan, the convention would have to overstep its authority, stated in the American pathways to the Present enotes. The colonies decided to call a "Grand Convention" to discuss the need to reform the national government. Delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies (all except Rhode Island) arrived in Philadelphia in May, 1787. The Constitutional Convention began on May 25 and lasted for four months. At first, it was merely a discussion of how to make the existing government stronger. But all that changed when Virginia delegate Edmund Randolph got up to speak.
Randolph proposed a new national government, one that would rule over the states. Prior to the start of the convention, the Virginian delegates met, and using Madison's thoughts, work, and notes, came up with what came to be known as the Virginia Plan, also known as the Large State Plan. For this reason, James Madison is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. Presented by Virginia governor Edmund Randolph on May 29, 1787, the Virginia Plan proposed a very powerful bicameral legislature. Randolph proposed that this new national government have a national executive and a national judiciary. He also proposed that the one house of the Confederation Congress be replaced with two houses of a new Congress. These two houses would be an upper and a lower house. The voters of each state would elect the members to the lower house. The members of the upper house would be chosen by state assemblies. Further, the numbers of representatives allowed to each state in both houses would be based on the population in that state. Larger states would get more representatives than smaller states. Lastly, the new federal judiciary would be able to reject laws passed by the state governments. This last provision especially infuriated delegates from smaller states. They didn't like it that they couldn't have as many representatives as the larger states, and they really didn't like it that the laws that their states did pass could be rejected by the federal government. Delegates from smaller states got together and presented an alternative plan.
Because it was presented by William Paterson of New Jersey, the small states' proposal was called the New Jersey Plan. This plan kept more of the existing national government. The Congress would still be one house, but it would have the power to raise taxes and to regulate trade. More importantly to the small-state delegates, each state would continue to have one vote in Congress, regardless of that state's population. This plan wasn't too popular with the large-state delegates, who seemed to have a majority. But the small-state delegates didn't much like the Virginia Plan, either, and refused to vote for it. It seemed that the Constitutional Convention was deadlocked.
Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut, provided the answer. He offered a deal that he thought both sides would like. This was called the Connecticut Compromise, or the...