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Weaknesses in the Articles of Confederation

led to the effort to draft a new constitution.

Constitutional Convention

State delegates met in Philadelphia and decided not to revise the Articles of Confederation but to write a new constitution.

George Washington

was elected president of the Constitutional Convention.

Delegates debated over

how much power should be given to the new government and how large and small states should be represented.

The new national government included three separate branches of government:

legislative, executive, and judicial.

The Great Compromise

decided how many votes each state had in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Constitution was signed

at the end of the convention.

Ratification of the Constitution

9 of the 13 states had to vote in favor of the Constitution before it could become law.

Bill of Rights

Based on the Virginia Declaration of Rights (George Mason) and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (Thomas Jefferson).

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution

provide a written guarantee of individual rights (freedom of speech, freedom of religion).

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