Historical context[ edit ] Before the Constitution was drafted, the nearly 4 million inhabitants  of the 13 newly independent states were governed under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unioncreated by the Second Continental Congressfirst proposed inadopted by the Second Continental Congress in and only finally unanimously ratified by the Original Thirteen States by It soon became evident to nearly all that the chronically underfunded Confederation government, as originally organized, was inadequate for managing the various conflicts that arose among the states.
In May, 55 delegates came to Philadelphia, and the Constitutional Convention began. Debates erupted over representation in Congress, over slavery, and over the new executive branch.
The debates continued through four hot and muggy months. But eventually the delegates reached compromises, and on September 17, they produced the U. Constitution, replacing the Articles with the governing document that has functioned effectively for more than years.
In in the midst of the Revolutionary War, the 13 states had agreed to establish a new central government under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
The Articles created a confederation of states: No other branch of government existed: And the Congress had no power to regulate trade or to levy and collect taxes. Bydebts from the Revolutionary War were piling up, and many states had fallen behind in paying what they owed. States were imposing tariffs on each other and fighting over borders.
Britain was angry because pre-war debts were not being paid, and it was refusing to honor the treaty that had ended the war the Paris Treaty of George Washington was elected the presiding officer. And without the careful notes taken by James Madison, who attended every session and carefully transcribed the proceedings, today we would know little about how the Constitution came into being.
Before the convention officially began, Madison and the other delegates from Virginia had drafted a plan—the Virginia Plan—for correcting the Articles of Confederation.
Their plan went well beyond amendments and corrections and actually laid out a completely new instrument of government. The plan provided for three separate branches of government: The legislative branch would have two houses, with the first house to be elected by the people of each state, and the second by the first house from a list created by the state legislatures.
Representation in Congress The general outline of the Virginia plan was well received. But the question arose over how to elect the members of the two houses of Congress. For half the summer, the convention debated this issue. Some delegates strongly opposed having the people elect the lower house.
Roger Sherman of Connecticut distrusted the notion of democracy. Should all the states have the same number of votes as they did under the Articles of Confederation where each state had one vote? This issue blocked the proceedings for many weeks.
David Brearley of New Jersey said that representation based on population was unfair and unjust. Some delegates began to leave in protest, and a sense of gloom settled over the statehouse.
Intense debates lasted for two more weeks. Finally, the delegates came together and on July 16 agreed to the Connecticut compromise. Representation in the lower house would be chosen by the people. Each state would have one representative for every 40, inhabitants later changed to one for every 30, Also each state would have at least one representative even if it did not have 40, inhabitants.
Each state would have two members in the Senate, chosen by the state legislature. The small states were jubilant, and the large states uncomfortable.
But from then on, things moved more smoothly. Giving Power to the President After arriving at a compromise on electing the legislature, the convention addressed the other parts of the Virginia Plan.The Compromise of tried to offer something to everyone, but in the end it only worsened the sectional crisis.
For southerners, the package offered a tough new fugitive slave law that empowered the federal government to deputize regular citizens in arresting runaways. meeting of delegates in to revise the Articles of Confederation, which produced the new U.S. Constitution Founders people at the Constitutional Convention who helped create the Constitution.
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention. The Constitutional Convention of May was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where delegates from 12 of the 13 states were present. The state of Rhode Island refused to send a delegate because it was afraid of losing its states' rights.
In this project, students learn about the issues faced. The Constitutional Convention of in February , to call for a convention of delegates to meet in May in Philadelphia "to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union." Exploring Constitutional Conflicts Homepage.
The American Revolutionary War. The American Revolutionary War thus began as a civil conflict within the British Empire over colonial affairs, but, with America being joined by France in and Spain in , it became an international war.
(The Netherlands, which was engaged in its own war with Britain, provided financial support to the Americans as well as official recognition of their. These and other weaknesses, along with an increase in national feeling, led to the Constitutional Convention, which met from May to September The U.S.
Constitution it produced has been called a "bundle of compromises" because delegates had to give ground on numerous key points to create a Constitution that was acceptable to each of .