The 1787 Constitutional Convention

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The 1787 Constitutional Convention was paramount in unifying the states after the Revolutionary War. However, in order to do so, the convention had to compromise on many issues instead of addressing them with all due haste. This caused the convention to leave many issues unresolved. Most notably were the issues of slavery, race, secession, and states’ rights. Through the Civil War and the Reconstruction, these issues were resolved, and in the process the powers of the federal government were greatly expanded. Slavery There was no significant desire among most delegates to abolish slavery during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In addition, the focus of the convention was on forming a more perfect union, not dealing with the issue of slavery (Dolbeare, 71). Also complicating things was the concern among some delegates that putting too much weight on the issue of slavery might cause the unification process to fall apart. This resulted in the Constitution containing a series of compromises regarding slavery, and blatantly avoiding the issue of slavery. These compromises are found in four main places within the Constitution. The first is the three-fifths compromise, which detailed how slaves would influence the population of each state for the purpose of determining representation and taxation. Located in Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution the compromise states that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for enumeration purposes (Dolbeare, 71). This compromise was important for the Southern states, whose populations consisted of large numbers of slaves, because without it they would have a significant smaller number of representatives in the House. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibit... ... middle of paper ... ...Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It. Knopf, New York: Vintage Books, 1989. Print. Jennings, Marianne M. Business: Its Legal, Ethical, and Global Environment. Mason, Ohio: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print. Lincoln, Abraham. The Emancipation Proclamation. U.S. National Archives & Records Administaration. Web. 05 Dec. 2009. historics/USSC_CR_0074_0700_ZO.html>. Robinson, Luther E. Abraham Lincoln as a man of letters. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: R. West, 1977. Print. Scott v. Sandford. US Supreme Court Center, 1856. Web. 04 Dec. 2009. . Texas v. White. Cornell University Law School Supreme Court Collection, 1850. Web. 03 Dec. 2009. USSC_CR_0074_0700_ZO.html>.
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