The Plan for Government

A Guide to the Constitution- 1787

Reasons for a New Government

  • Government has little power
  • System is unorganized
  • The states have individual needs, sizes, etc.
  • Not allowed to tax and gain weapons
  • Shay's rebellion and Trade barriers
  • Congress has no power

The Delegates

  • 55 White Males

-Representatives of the colonies

  • Famous Delegates

-George Washington

-Benjamin Franklin

-James Madison

-Alexander Hamilton


  • How are the states represented?

-Virginia Plan: Based on Population

-New Jersey Plan: Same Power for All

  • The Great Compromise

-House of Representatives (VA Plan)

-Senate (NJ Plan)


  • Should Population Include Slaves?

-Southern delegates said Yes

-Northern delegates said No

  • Three-Fifty Compromise

-3/5 of slaves count as the population

-Slave trade was protected for 20 years

Who Has Power?

  • System of Federalism Created a Power divided between State/ Federal
  • National Powers = Delegated Powers

-Foreign Issues, Trade Between States, National Defense, Coining Money

  • States Powers = Reserved Powers

-Education, Manage Laws, Trade in State

Separation of Powers

  • Three Branches

-Legislative: Make Laws

-Executive: Enforce Laws

-Judicial: Interpret Laws

  • Checks and Balances

-Branches have some power over others

Changing the Government


  • Adding Amendments

-2/3rds of the House and Senate agree

-2/3 of States agree at Convention