The Plan for Government

A Guide to the Constitution

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Summer of 1786 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Brandon Blevins

Why a new government was needed.

There was a major need for a new government because there were many flaws in the Articles of Confederation. There were beginning to be rebellions and many people began to attack courthouses because the government did not have the power to enforce laws that were needed. They were allowed to create a military but due to them not having the power to collect taxes they were unable to pay the military and left them basically defenseless. How could you expect the government to protect you from raiders and other countries if they hadn't the power to supply their military with proper equipment and food. Thus leaving the whole country vulnerable.

Delegates

There were fifty-five delegates who attended the Constitution Convention. They were there to vote on the new government. They represented their certain states and wanted what would best benefit them.

The issue with Representation

The issue was that they were not sure of how each state would be represented. The larger states wanted proportional voting, whereas the smaller states wanted one representative from each state. It was Benjamin Franklin who came up with the new system that we use today. We have a Senate which favors the smaller states and the House of Representatives which favors the larger states.

The issue with Slavery

The South wanted the slaves to count in their population, but the North did not believe they should count. They cam to a compromise that three-fifths of the slaves count, and the slave trade was protected for 20 years.

The issue of States and Federal Power

The issue was that they were unsure of which would be more powerful, the state or federal. This was when federalism instated. This divided the power between state and federal.

Separation of Powers

They wanted to find a way to protect against a bad government. They came up with a system which separated the government into three parts: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The Legislative branch makes laws, the Executive branch enforces the laws, and the Judicial branch interprets the laws.

How can the Constitution be changed?

The Constitution can be changed by adding amendments. The amendment can only be added if two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate agree.