What Was an Area of Agreement at the Philadelphia Convention

What Was an Area of Agreement at the Philadelphia Convention

In the fall of 1786, the combination of a financial crisis afflicting the newly created Confederate government and disorder threatened by disgruntled peasants in western Massachusetts led to a group of „nationalist” politicians gathered at Annapolis on September 22, 1786 to propose to the Continental Congress in New York that a „general convention” be convened in Philadelphia. Congress, which hesitated until 21 Feb. 1787, reluctantly accepted this convention, but limited any change to the mere „revision” of the existing articles of Confederation. The fifty-five delegates who met in Philadelphia between May 25 and Sept. 17, 1787, not only rejected the Articles of Confederation, but also produced the first constitution written for a nation in the history of the world. Originally for the 14th century. The congress had to be postponed because very few selected delegates were present that day, as travel difficulties were difficult at the end of the 18th century. On May 14, only delegates from Virginia and Pennsylvania were present. [23] It wasn`t until May 25 that a quorum of seven states was obtained and the convention was able to begin at the Pennsylvania State House. [23] Delegates from New Hampshire would not attend the convention until July 23, more than half the process. [24] Despite their successes, these three dissidents became increasingly unpopular, as most of the other delegates wanted to end the work of the congress and return home.

As the congress drew to a close and delegates were ready to refer the constitution to the Style Committee to draft the final version, one delegate opposed the civil lawsuits. He wanted to guarantee the right to a jury trial in civil cases, and Mason saw this as a greater opportunity. Mason told the convention that the Constitution should include a bill of rights that he said could be prepared in a matter of hours. Gerry agreed, although the rest of the committee rejected it. They wanted to go home and thought it was nothing more than another delaying tactic. [123]:241 Wilson also argued that the executive should be elected directly by the people. Only through direct elections could the executive branch be independent of both Congress and the states. [79] This view was unpopular. Some delegates, such as Roger Sherman, Elbridge Gerry and Pierce Butler, opposed direct elections to executive power because they felt the people were too easily manipulated. Most delegates, however, did not question the intelligence of voters, but what worried them was the slowness with which information spread at the end of the 18th century. Due to a lack of information, the average voter would be too ignorant of the candidates to make an informed decision.

[80] The question of whether slavery should be regulated by the new constitution was a matter of such intense conflict between North and South that several southern states refused to join the Union if slavery was not allowed. Delegates who opposed slavery were forced to give in to their demands for a ban on slavery in the new nation. However, they continued to argue that the constitution should prohibit states from participating in the international slave trade, including the import of new slaves from Africa and the export of slaves to other countries. The Convention postponed the final decision on the international slave trade to a late stage of deliberations because of the contentious nature of the issue. During the congressional recess at the end of July, the Detail Committee inserted language that would prohibit the federal government from banning the international slave trade and collecting taxes on the purchase or sale of slaves. As the Convention was unable to agree on these provisions when the matter was raised again at the end of August, it referred the matter to an eleven-member committee for further consideration. This committee helped find a compromise: Congress would have the power to ban the international slave trade, but not for twenty years (i.e., not before 1808). In exchange for this concession, the federal government`s power to regulate foreign trade would be strengthened by provisions that allow the imposition of the slave trade on the international market and reduce the requirement for navigation laws to be passed by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress to mere majorities. [138] When the delegates to the Constitutional Convention began meeting in Philadelphia in May 1787, they quickly decided to replace the articles of confederation, rather than simply revise them. Although James Madison is known as the „Father of the Constitution,” George Washington`s support gave the Convention hope for success. .

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