Short Term Events That Precipitated The Constitutional Convention

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There were two short-term events that precipitated the Constitutional Convention. The text, Experience History, by Davidson, DeLay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff (2013), states that the first crisis, which was international, happened in 1785 because southwesterners were having difficulty navigating the Mississippi River. They were also still threatening to withdraw from the union and add their territory to the Spanish American empire (Davidson, DeLay, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, 2013, p. 195). In the text it mentions that in order to prevent the southwesterners from breaking ties with the union, Congress sent John Jay, the secretary of foreign affairs, to negotiate an agreement with Spain. This agreement was to give Americans the right to navigate the …show more content…

James Madison since the first meeting that was supposed to take had already planned on doing more than revising the Articles of Confederation. At the start of the convention Madison, being a nationalist did not feel like he should be the one to present the plan, so he had his friend Edmund Randolph present it (Barbash, 1987). The Virginia Plan, as it was called, would not only give Congress the ability to do more but it also opened up two other parts of the government. The plan was to be a two-house Congress, a lower and upper. The lower house would be elected by the people and the upper would be chosen by the house (Barbash, 1987). Based on an article titled, Miracle Was That Constitutional Convention Ever Got Started Series: The Summer of ’87, by Fred Barbash, stated that this Congress would then be able to appoint members for an executive and a judiciary branch of government. These members would be able to come together to review and veto acts of the legislature. This plan also gave Congress the ability to veto acts of the state legislatures (Barbash, 1987). The article says that the seats in both houses would be according to the “size of the congressional district” (Barbash, 1987). This plan lead to yet another plan of …show more content…

198). This was known as the New Jersey Plan. In the text, Experience History, it states that this plan raised Congress’s power to tax and regulate trade, and kept national government a unicameral. Though it did not take long before the delegates rejected Paterson’s plan and going back to Madison’s plan. The problem with this plan was the idea of the seats being proportional to the states because some states were bigger than others (Davidson, et al., 2013, p. 198). The Southerners were afraid of being outvoted by the northern states in Congress. The text states that after months of debating, the delegates finally concluded to have states be equally represented in Congress by having the state legislatures appoint two senators for six-year terms. While this pleased the South, the delegates decided to have every 30,000 inhabitants elect one representative for a two-year term, which satisfied the North (Davidson, et al., 2013, p. 198). This brings us to the end of the Constitutional

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