History Alive! The United States Unit 3 Test Mr Price

Terms in this set (83)

Articles of Confederation
The first plan of government was called the Articles of Confederation, which was ratified in 1781. The Articles of Confederation had issues. The main issue was that the government had no money or way to get money under the Articles. The army wasn't being paid and was deserting. Debts to foreign countries weren't being paid. The government became too weak and a new constitution was needed. Shay's Rebellion (farmers could not pay debts, fought their land being taken) showed something needed to be done.

Constitutional Convention
In May of 1787 the Constitutional Convention gathered to discuss changes to the Articles of the Confederation. However, after much debate, it was decided to throw out the AOC and instead create an entirely new Constitution.

George Washington was elected to be the president of the constitution. 55 delegates from 12 sattes attended. Rhode Island protested a strong federal government and boycotted the meeting. A lot of the debate was held in secret so that the delegates would feel free to speak their minds. v

A primary goal of the Constitutional Convention was to create a strong central government that would be powerful enough to run the country, but would not harm people's or state's rights. To avoid too much power being held by one person or group, they created the Balance of Power between the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

Primary issue was whether power should come from the states or the people. There were two primary competing plans for the Constitution:
1. Virginia Plan - The Virginia plan was written by James Madison. It represented the desires of the larger states and said that the number of representatives to Congress should be based on the state's population. Strong national government with three branches of government. Congress would have two houses - HOR and Senate. Power would come from the people, not the states. More people in a state = more power in Congress.
2. New Jersey Plan - The New Jersey plan was written by William Paterson from New Jersey. It also had a government with three branches. Only one house in Legislative branch. Each state would have an equal vote. The smaller states preferred this option. Power was in the states, each state had equal power in Congress.

In the end, an agreement was reached called The Great Compromise. The Compromise kept two houses in Congress. The HOR would represent the people; the number of representatives for each state would be based on popultion. The Senate would represent the states; each state would have two senators. The vote was close but it was approved.

Another issue was how to treat slaves in the population count. Southerners wanted slaves to be counted as a whole person = greater representation/power in the HOR. Northerners thought slaves should be counted as property and taxed. They compromised that a slave would be 3/5 of a person.

Another compromise reached was that Congress could control trade but could not tax exports and could not interfere with the slave trade for 20 years. After 20 years, importing slaves would be forbidden.

Another issue was how to elect the chief executive (president). 3 people or 1? Decided on 1, but limited term to 4 years. Compromise neither people nor Congress choose president/vice-president. Created the Electoral College to vote. Each state has # of electors (representatives) as the number of senators and Representatives in Congress.

The Constitution was approved after all the compromises then had to be ratified by the states. 9 of 13 states needed to approve. 38 of the 55 delegates voted to approve the Constitution.