The Constitution

Anaya Monroe

The Bill of Rights

The English Bill of Rights, which was an act of Parliament, guaranteed certain rights of the citizens of England from the power of the crown.
The Bill of Rights was later added on by the Act of Settlement in 1701
The United States Bill of Rights was modeled after the English Bill of Rights.
Twelve amendments, written by James Madison, were presented to the states for final approval. Only ten were approved.
Those ten make up the Bill of Rights. They are also the first ten amendments to the Constitution

The Three-Fifths Compromise

The Three-Fifths Compromise established the process to allow states to count slaves as part of the population in order to determine representation and taxation for the federal government.

The Southern states wanted to count all slaves toward the population for representation purposes but did not want to be taxed on the slaves because they considered them property.

The Northern states did not want all the slaves counted toward the population because that would take representation away from the North, but that was outweighed by the North's attempts to shift the burden of taxation off themselves.

The two sides of the argument agreed to count three out of every five slaves toward state populations and for taxation.

The decision to count three out of five slaves as members of the population greatly benefited the Southern states

A Fight for Rights

Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution. They desired a weak central government and were the supporters of the Articles of Confederation. They were many small farmers and small landowners. After the Philadelphia Convention, some leading revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and Richard Henry Lee publicly opposed the Constitution, a position known as "Anti-Federalism”.

Anti-Federalists were concerned that the constitution did not equally divide power among the three branches of government. They also worried about giving the federal government the power to regulate commerce. Many were concerned that a strong national government was a threat to individual rights and that the President would become a king.

Leave it to the Feds

Federalist are supporters of the Constitution. They opposed a bill of rights for much of the ratification period because of the uncertainties it would create. The Federalist Papers was a series of essays promoting the Federalist position. They had a desire to establish a strong central government. Federalist wanted a weaker state governments. They were many large landowners, judges, lawyers, leading clergymen and merchants. They felt that a strong central government would give protection to public and private credit. They pointed out that the European powers were not likely to negotiate thirteen separate commercial treaties, and that Britain was well served by letting the situation fester. The term "Federalist" was later applied to the emerging political party headed by Alexander Hamilton in George Washington's administration.

The Virginia Plan

The purpose of the plan was to protect the large states' interests in a new government, which would be stronger than the Articles of Confederation. The Virginia Plan helped shape the United States government. It was drafted by James Madison and had 15 resolutions. It was based on some of the ideas of French political theorist Montesquieu.

It proposed a separation of powers that would be divided among three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The plan also included provisions for allowing new states to enter the United States of America. Supporters of the Virginia Plan wanted to have separation of powers as well as checks and balances in order to eliminate the abuse of power and tyranny like they had experienced in Great Britain, as well as to create a strong national government.

Three Branches of Government

Delegates at the Constitutional Convention wanted federal government power divided. They believed powers should not be controlled by one man or one group. The delegates were afraid that if a small group received too much power, the United States would fall prey to the rule of another dictator or tyrant. To avoid the risk of dictatorship or tyranny, the group divided the new government into three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. This is to create a checks and balance.

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779 by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law. The statute renounced the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths. The statute was the first step in creating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph

My last will and Testament by Thomas Jefferson


A New Way to Govern by James Madison

As we transition our government, we need to find a way for everyone to get along and the idea of counting three out of five slaves toward the population seems like a noble thing to do. The compromise between the Northern idea of counting three out of four slaves and the Southern plan of counting one out of four slaves toward the population. Because New Hampshire and Rhode Island would not agree to the term the amendment was not initially passed.