aka the philadelphia convention constitutional convention
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Constitutional Conventionaka The Philadelphia Convention
IssuesFederalismShould the states or the federal government have more power?How is the Constitution to be interpreted? (Loose vs. Strict Constructionism)
FederalistsAnti-FederalistsGeorge WashingtonBenjamin FranklinJames MadisonAlexander HamiltonFrom Virginia:George Mason andPatrick Henry
From Massachusetts:James Winthrop and John Hancock
From New York: George Clinton
FederalistsAnti-FederalistsStronger central government was needed to maintain order and preserve the UnionStronger central government would destroy the work of the Revolution, limit democracy, and restrict states' rights
FederalistsAnti-FederalistsEmphasized the weaknesses of the Articles of ConfederationShowed their opponents as merely negative opponents with no solutionsArgued that the proposed Constitution contained no protection of individual rights, that it gave the central government more power than the British ever had
FederalistsAnti-FederalistsStrong leadersWell organizedAppealed to popular distrust of government based on colonial experience
FederalistsAnti-FederalistsConstitution was new and untriedAs originally written, it lacked a Bill of RightsPoorly organizedSlow to respond to Federalist challenge
Representation in CongressVirginia Plan - big state plan based on populationNew Jersey Plan - small state plan based on equal representationConnecticut Compromise - two house legislature- one house by population (House of Representatives)/one house equal representation (Senate)
SlaveryHow would slaves be counted when determining a states level of representation and taxation? Three-Fifths CompromiseSlaves could be imported for at least 20 more years (until 1820). At that time Congress could abolish the practice.
Powers and Election of PresidentsTerm of office - would be four years/no term limitsElections - electors, equal to the number of the states representatives (not the people) would choose the president/too much democracy could equate to mob rule
Bill of RightsOpposed by Federalists - The people were to be represented in Congress, so they did not need to be protected from themselves. Assume all right are protected instead of creating a limited list.Favored by Antifederalists - Americans had fought the Revolution to escape tyranny of a central government. What was to stop a strong central government under a Constitution from becoming tyrannical?
AmendmentsCongress may make no laws that infringe a citizen's right to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Congress may not favor one religion over another (separation of church and state).The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.The people cannot.be required to quarter (house) soldiers during peacetime.
AmendmentsThe government may not carry out unreasonable searches or seizures of the people's property.No individual may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. No defendant in a criminal case may be forced to give evidence against himself or herself or to stand trial twice for the same crime (double jeopardy).Anyone accused of a crime has the right to a speedy and public trial and the right to call and question witnesses.
AmendmentsIn most civil cases (one person suing another in court), citizens have the right to trial by jury.Persons accused or convicted of crimes are protected against excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishments.Any rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution are also guaranteed against government infringement.
AmendmentsAll powers not delegated to the federal government belong to the states or to the people.