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Dbq The Constitution

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The Constitution
The Articles of Confederation was America’s first constitution. The Articles of Confederation failed to create a strong central government, however. With the demise of the states in sight, the need for a stronger and more structured central government became apparent. An invitation was sent to all thirteen states in February 1787 by the Confederation Congress to resolve the matter. The events that took place over the next several months would create the United States Constitution. Going down in history as a revolutionary form of government, the U.S. Constitution would give life to a country that is still running strong over 200 years later.
In May 25, 1787 fifty-five delegates gathered at the Pennsylvania State house in Philadelphia,
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This task was easier said than done. The fear of creating a government with too much power was a fear that was very much alive throughout the states. Tyranny was a common factor in developing governments, the delegates were seeking to avoid this error. Two ground rules were put into place for the Convention. The first was that any and all deliberations were to remain secretive. The second was that no topic or decisions would be considered closed and could therefore be up for debate and revision at any time. Once these rules were agreed upon, business started. The two contenders were the Virginia Plan, which had the larger states rooting, and the New Jersey Plan, claiming the votes of the smaller states. Under the Virginia Plan, legislature would be two houses and would be represented based on population. Under the New Jersey Plan, legislature would be one house and each state would have equal representation regardless of population. An agreement could not be reached between these two plans, instead a compromise was made. The Great Compromise met each side with an upper and lower house. The upper house was the Senate and would provide equal representation that was elected by the lower house. The lower house was the House of Representatives and would be dispersed based on population of the states. This compromise satisfied the small and large states, giving a…show more content…
Being very different from the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution gave the foundation for the legislature and kept each branch in check, assuring none would become too powerful. With the large and small states finally in agreement, ratifying the constitution was the next step. September of 1787 the final draft, containing around 4,200 words, was created by the Committee of Style. George Washington was the first to sign the document on September 17th. Although 39 of the original 55 signed the document, the delegates of Massachusetts were unwilling to approve the document. Nine of the thirteen states had to ratify the document in order for it to become law. To help gain popularity for the Constitution, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay made essays. There were 85 total essays and they were distributed in newspapers across the states. Those who supported the document were referred to as Federalist and those who did not support the document were known as Anti-Federalist. The first states to ratify the Constitution were Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Connecticut. Massachusetts still strongly opposed the document, saying that freedom of speech, religion, and press were lacking protection. An agreement was made in February 1788 that the document would be amended to include what was lacking upon ratification. With hesitation,
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