Delagates from all over meet to revise the Articles
The existing Articles of Confederation
The articles in place now are regarded by many to be ineffective and obsolete. States cannot trade efficiently due to the diversity of currency we all use, and commerce was in turn very much so difficult. There is a weak National Government that lacks an executive and a Judicial branch. Laws are all made and passed by one single legislative branch. congress has no power to levy taxes, as much as we all hate them, to pay for governmental functions. lastly every state gets one vote no matter the size, meaning Virginia gets the same representation for all her people as New Jersey.
Delagates Propose New plans of Government
During the Constitutional congress many people debated fiercely on how they thought the new government should run. One brilliant plan that was proposed was called The Virginia Plan, proposed by Virginian James Madison. this plan would have representation in the government based on population, more accurately giving people their say in government affairs. This plan would favor large states being based upon population size. There would be two houses of legislature based on population. this plan was later fused with another plan called the New jersey plan and thus the Constitution was born from these ideas.
The 3/5 compromise
In the South, the population is mostly made up of slaves. With a legislature based upon population, the Southern states would greatly benefit from their slavery based population, where slaves often outnumbered whites. The northern states saw this as unfair, how can you count them as a person when they're considered property? the North and South would reach a compromise known as The 3/5 Compromise where a slave only counts as three fifths of a person. this was slaves are still represented but their influence is diminished.
Supporters of the New constitution
Many people supported this new "Constitution" thing and welcomed a replacement to the old Articles. They liked the idea of checks and balances within the system and a two house legislature. These people were called Federalists. they argued that there would be no central power to rule over them singly like Britain did with the King. Instead the President would be able to veto laws and be checked himself by Congress and congress could be checked by the Judicial branch, who could be checked by the President.
The people that argued against the Constitution were called Anti-federalists. They were skeptical about the new government and it being limited by the Constitution. they thought a different way would be better and were very hesitant to ratify the new Constitution.
Seperation of Powers
In the new government under the Constitution no one branch or person would have all the power. A system of checks and balances was put in place where one branch could check the power of another. if Congress did not want the president to pass a certain law then they could vote to overrule his decision. the president could also do the same for congress in the form of a Veto. the judicial branch could check both branches by declaring unconstitutionality or something of the like. This way, no one branch holds the power.
An account from George Washington
As a federalist and a patriot, I am a supporter of the new constitution. this new document was created to bring order to this country. The new constitution will support a stronger government for the people to rally under and make this nation great upon the principles it stands for."
An account by James Madison
"I drafted this Constitution to be fair and equal to all men. the Anti-federalist claims that it requires a bill of Rights are Preposterous; the document needs no changes for we just created it! Once the Constitution is ratified by all states we will truly be one nation, under god."