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History 17A
Question 1 In 1787 six states urged for a convention to fix the articles of confederation that were not working out for the nation. Through the Articles of Confederation congress had no power in the court, no power to levy taxes, and no power to enforce resolution; the citizens had all the power and because of this the people had no respect for congress. In May of 1787, 55 delegates gathered in Philadelphia for a convention. Of the 55 men who gathered for the constitutional convention included men from the continental congress, from the continental army, wealthy landowners and idealist as well as James Madison, George Washington, George Mason, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton. At the Philadelphia convention they decided to completely throw out the articles of confederation. All the delegates agreed that the new Constitution would create a legislature, an executive, and a national judiciary. Congress would have the power to raise money without relying on the states. States would be prohibited from infringing on the rights of property. And the government would represent the people.
There were many different ideas over the proper balance between the federal and state government and between the interests of large and small states. Madison presented a plan that came to be called the Virginia Plan. It proposed the creation of a two-house legislature with a state’s population determining its representation in each. Smaller states disliked this plan because they feared that bigger and more populated states would dominate the new government. The smaller states supported the New Jersey Plan which called for a two-house Congress in which each state cast one vote. In the end Roger Sherman presented The Great Compromise, which was a two-house Congress consisting of a Senate in which each state had two members, and a House of Representatives appointed according to population. Senators would be chosen by state legislatures for six-year terms and rep-representatives were to be elected every two years by the people. It gave the president great amount of power and no tax on exports. The Constitution was finally ratified in 1789 by
The constitution guarantees our liberty and freedom of speech, religion, and press; which without we would not be Americans. The constitution embodies two political principles; federalism and the systems of check and balances between the different branches of the national government. The Constitution, unlike the Articles of Confederation, significally strengthened national authority. It charged the president with enforcing the law and commanding the military. It empowered congress to levy taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, declare war, deal with foreign nations and Indians, and promote the general welfare. The constitution also declared national legislation, the supreme Law of the Land, and it included strong necessities to prevent the states from interfering with property rights. It limited the states to not be allowed to issue paper money, impaired contracts, interfere with interstate commerce, and levy their own import or export duties.
Anti-Federalists were against the ratification of the Constitution because they believed that the Constitution shifted the balance between liberty and power. They predicted that the new government would fall under the power of merchants, creditors, and others antagonistic to the interests of ordinary Americans. Anti-Federalists believed that a large amount of territory could not be governed on the principles of freedom. Self government was best for small communities, where everyone would be able interacted daily with each other. The Anti-Federalists also pointed out the lack of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, which left unprotected rights such as trial by jury and freedom of speech and the press. The bill of rights was written by George Mason and presented by James Madison to congress. It consists of ten amendments that are the