Constitutional Convention

By Robert S. - Miller D

Constitutional Convention Brief Summary

The Constitutional Convention was a very special event that shaped American history, it all started with one bright idea. After the Articles of Confederation, James Madison and others noticed that the central government created by the Articles of Confederation was weak and ineffective. So many famous political leaders attended a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation. The convention was held at the State House of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in May through September of 1787. They created a strong central government still used today! It was made by different policies and rights that form America as you know it.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 for Dummies

Checks and Balances

Check and Balances are procedures that keep the three branches of government intact. This allows the three branches to make sure that either of them don't gain too much power. For example, The legislative branch can pass a bill to the executive branch, if the president vetoes the bill than the legislative branch can go back and override the veto, but the judicial branch can determine if the bill is unconstitutional or not.

- The Legislative branch is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. These two houses are combined to create the U.S. Congress. This particular branch can make laws, override presidential vetoes, impeach the president, declare war, coin money, and regulate commerce.

- The Executive branch is made of the president, vice president, and the Cabinet. The president is elected by the electoral college and works with the vice president. The cabinet is made up of the heads of the 15 major departments. The executive branch can, sign bills into law or veto, appoint Supreme Court justices, meet with foreign leaders and negotiate treaties, and send troops overseas.

- The Judicial branch is made of the supreme, which overrules any other court, and their nine justices. Some of their duties are, deciding if laws agree with the Constitution, interpreting how laws should be applied.

Checks and Balances for Dummies

The Great Compromise

The Great Compromise was a argument/agreement between the larger states and the smaller states. The larger states came up with the Virginia plan and the smaller states introduced the New Jersey plan.


  • New Jersey Plan

William Paterson of New Jersey came up with the New Jersey plan. This would give each state one representative/vote, it gave more power to the states instead of the nation and favored smaller states.


  • Virginia Plan

James Madison of Virginia came up with the Virginia Plan. He wanted a bicameral legislature, both houses were based on population. This would give much more power to larger states while also supporting the people


  • Connecticut Plan - Result

Bicameral legislature that consisted of two houses. Upper house, senate, gives states equal representation which makes small states happy. The Lower house gives states proportional representation, giving satisfaction to larger states.

The Great Compromise Explained in 5 Minutes: US History Review

Three-Fifths Compromise

The Three-Fifths Compromise played a very important role at the time. First of all, the Census was a population counting every ten years, this did two things, it determines state taxes and determines the number of representatives in the House. The Southern States would have more power in the House if all slaves were counted towards the general population. The Northern States didn't want them to have more power so the three-fifths compromise was made. For every 5 slaves only 3 were counted towards to population. For example, for every 100 only 60 were counted. This was very important in balancing power between North and South.
The Three-Fifths Compromise Explained: US History Review

Electoral College

The Electoral College is the process in which presidents get elected. This process was put in place to balance the powers between the people and the states. This is a great example of federalism, both federalist and states are involved in the process. The process consist of about eight steps.


  1. First, candidates announce plans to run for office.
  2. Then, candidates campaign against other candidates to win primary election.
  3. After the campaign the election is held, democrats vote for their party and republicans vote for their party.
  4. Fourth, political parties have their own convention.
  5. Next, candidates campaign again against all candidates.
  6. Then the general election is held, people vote.
  7. After that the electoral college cast its vote, which can override the peoples vote.
  8. Finally the President is sworn into office on January 20.
The Electoral College for Dummies: How it Works

Ratification of the Constitution

The Ratification of the Constitution was long and hard. Federalist wanted it one way and the Anti-Federalist wanted it the other. The Anti-Federalist wouldn't ratify the constitution because they felt that something was missing. Anti-federalists were people who opposed the strong federal government and the ratification of the Constitution. Elite Anti-Federalist were Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams. Federalists wanted a stronger national government and the ratification of the Constitution, they also believed that it would relieve them of the unorganized weak government after the Revolution. Elite Federalist were Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Jay, and John Adams. The Bill of Rights gave everyone protected everyones rights, and is located known to be the first ten amendments of the Constitution. As a result, the Federalist had choice but to give in, the Constitution was not going to be ratified until the Bill of Rights was added, eventually is was added.
Federalists vs Anti-Federalists in Five Minutes

Works Cited


  • (Articles of Confederation. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Bipartisan Policy Center,. The Great Compromise. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Braces Of Government. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Cdn3.kidsdiscover.com,. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.)
  • (Depts.alverno.edu,. 'Overview Of Constitution'. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.)
  • (Diffen.com,. 'Anti-Federalist Vs Federalist - Difference And Comparison | Diffen'. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.)
  • (Giant Thinkwell,. Electoral College. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Giant Thinkwell,. THREE-FIFTHS COMPROMISE. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (How a Bill Becomes a Law. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. Checks and Balances for Dummies. 2010. Print.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. Federalist vs Anti Federalist. 2014. Print.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 for Dummies. 2010. Print.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. The Electoral College. 2011. Print.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. The Great Compromise. 2012. Print.)
  • (Hughes, Keith. Three-Fifths Compromise. 2010. Print.)
  • (Jackson, Bill. Checks & Balances. 2007. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Massachusetts Institute of Technology,. Maier's Ratification Delivers New Knowledge About The Adoption Of The U.S. Constitution. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Mrnussbaum.com,. 'Constitutional Convention For Kids «'. N.p., 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.)
  • (Political Parties. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Presidential Election . Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Presidential Power. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Primaries & Caucuses. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Shmoop,. 'Constitutional Convention Summary & Analysis'. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.)
  • (Stearns, Junius Brutus. Washington As Statesman At The Constitutional Convention By. 1857. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Student Rights. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (Supreme Court. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (The Dirkson Congressional Center,. Delegates To The Constitutional Convention. 2008. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (U.S. Constitution. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)
  • (U.S. Department of State,. The U.S. Constitution. 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.)
  • (Voting. Avraham Kadar, 2015. video.)

The End