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Agreements And Disagreements At The Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention, (1787), in the history of the United States, convention that designed the Constitution of the United States. Inspired by severe economic hardship that spawned radical political movements such as the Shays Rebellion and the call for a stronger central government, the Convention met at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia (May 25 to September 17, 1787), supposedly to amend the Articles of Confederation. All states, with the exception of Rhode Island, responded to an invitation from the 1786 Annapolis Convention to send delegates. Of the 74 mePs elected by the national parliaments, only 55 participated in the procedure; 39 of them have signed the Constitution. Among the delegates were many leaders of that time. Among them were George Washington, elected president, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Oliver Ellsworth and Governor Morris. The Constitutional Convention was held from May 14 to September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Convention was held on problems with the United States government which, after independence from Great Britain, had operated under the Articles of Confederation. Although the Convention was supposed to revise the articles of Confederation, the intention of many of its supporters, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was from the outset to create a new government rather than repair the existing government. Delegates elected George Washington as President of the Convention. The outcome of the Convention was the Constitution of the United States, which made the Convention one of the most important events in the history of the United States.

Slavery was one of the most difficult topics the delegates faced. Slavery was widespread in states at the time of the Convention. [123]:68 At least one-third of the Convention`s 55 delegates owned slaves, including all delegates from Virginia and South Carolina. [123]:68-69 Slaves made up about one-fifth of the population of the states,[137]:139 and with the exception of the northernmost New England, where slavery had been largely eliminated, slaves lived in all parts of the country. [137]:132 More than 90% of slaves[137]:132, however, lived in the South, where about 1 in 3 families owned slaves (in Virginia`s largest and wealthiest state, this number was nearly 1 in 2 families). [137]:135 The entire agricultural economy of the South was based on slavery, and the southern delegates of the Convention were unwilling to accept any proposal they believed threatened the institution. Before the Convention officially began, Madison and the other Virginia delegates had drawn up a plan — the Virginia Plan — to correct the articles of the Confederacy. Their plan went far beyond amendments and corrections and did indeed present a brand new government instrument. The plan provided for three distinct branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature would have two houses, the first being chosen by the citizens of each state and the second from the first house on a list drawn up by state legislators. On May 25, Congress retired to the Philadelphia Statehouse. George Washington was elected president.

Delegates quickly decided that their discussions should not be made public and that „nothing that is said in the house is printed or published or communicated elsewhere.“ Due to the rule of secrecy, the public didn`t know much about what was going on at the Philadelphia Statehouse. . . .