AN02a3_Building a New Nation: Compromise and The US Constitution
Timeline: Late 18th – Early 19th C.
FS: The US Constitution- An exercise in compromise.
I. Compromise is the Order of the Day: ‘Federalists’ vs. ‘Anti-Federalists’
II. Great Compromise: Roger Sherman of Connecticut.
– Bicameral Legislature (Congress)
– Upper House (Senate) where all States have equal representation.
– Lower House (House of Representatives) has number of representatives governed by the population size of the State.
III. Three-fifths Compromise
Slaves, greater in number in the Southern States, would only partially count (three-fifths) toward representation in the lower house of Congress. This solved the political issue of Slavery, but not the economic or moral issue.
Slave Population as a portion of total Population per State, 1770 vs. 1790 census. (see attached files)
Calculate Total percentage?
A division of political power/ governance between State government, Federal government, and the People. Individual State governments will no longer enjoy an exclusive/ dominant political hand.
V. Separation of Powers
To address the fears of a strong centralized government, the powers held by the federal government would be separated into three distinct branches.
Each branch would keep the powers of the other branch ‘In-Check’. The branch powers would balance each other.
1. Executive Branch
2. Legislative Branch
3. Judiciary Branch
VI. Electing the President
The Executive branch of the new federal government generated great fear because of the power one man could amass. Therefore, a system to elect the president was necessary to put the election in the hands of people who could make an educated decision and not far from the influence of the States.=> The Electoral College.
Some of the delegates did not believe the new constitution would last. Nevertheless, the plan was submitted to Congress, then on to the States for ratification (9 of 13 needed for approval).