Old Men Wearing Wigs & Co.

Extra Information

 7 Basic Ideas of Government

Natural Rights and Higher Law
To protect the rights of citizens to life, liberty, and property is the purpose of the government

Social Contract
To protect their natural rights, the people agreed to form a government.

Popular Sovereignty
The highest authority is the people

Representation
To make sure the people were served, there is a republican form of government with elected representatives.

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances
Prevent abuse of power

Legislative Supremacy
Most of the power is to the legislature in this form of government

Conventions
Because there were weaknessess of the Articles of Confederation, like strain of economic problems after the Revolutionary War, Shay's Rebellion was started by farmers who didn't want to be jailed or lose their land. To amend the Articles of Confederation, a meeting was called in Annapolis, Maryland in September of 1786. This was called The Meeting of Commisioners to Remedy Defects of the federal Government. New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Delaware were the only 5 states to send delegates, making a total of only 12 delegates.

Since that meeting failed, a new one was called in Philadelphia. It was there because Philadelphia was the social center of the U.S., geographical, and historical. It was also one of the two largest cities in the U.S., and it was where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Continental Congressess also met here during the war. The leaders of this convention were Franklin, Washington, and Madison, but mainly led by Washington. Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were in France, and John Adams in England. Because he didn't trust the Constitutional Convention, Patrick Henry said "I smell a rat". Maine was the only state that did not send any delegates to continental congress in Philidelphia.

This convention was called to revise the Articles of Confederation. Each state would have one vote on what they want to change. So, the framers agreed on a number of basic ideas of government (7 ideas that are above). Fifty-five members attended the convention in Philidelphia, and most of them were white, land-owning males, aging from 26 to 81 years old. Three-fourths of them served in Congress, and most were leaders. Some were righ, but most were not, but none of them were poor. Most of these men were gentlemen or from the well-born class. These men were had various jobs- lawyers, phsician, clergymen, soldiers, farmers, and merchants- but most of them were the "well-bred, well-fed, well-wed, and well-read".

The framers purposely ignored the Congress' instructions and started to write a new constitution. This was because many people were scared that if their descussions were made public, they wouldn't be able to express themselves freely. Because they wanted the constitution that they wrote to be accepted, they decided to keep it a secret for 30 years.

Slavery
Most of the Northern states didn’t want slavery.
Most of the Southern states depended on slavery for financial reasons.  They believed each state had the right to choose for itself. To compromise, the national government chose not to end slavery until at least 1808.
Slave Representation: “Other persons” are worth 3/5 of a person.  3 slaves would be part of the population for every 5 slaves. 
The southern states wanted slaves to count because they would get more representation.  Obviously, the small states didn’t want that.  The above was the compromise. Fugitive Slave Clause: If a slave escapes from slavery to a state without slavery,  they will be returned.

Tariffs: tax on imported goods, purpose is to make imports costly to protect local businessmen from outsiders

The North thought that businesses needed tariffs to succeed.  They wanted the government to control trade between states and nations. The South thought it increased the cost of goods from Europe, and favored the North unfairly.  The South was afraid that England would put tariffs on their products, making them more expensive and harder to sell.  They didn’t want the government to have the power to control trade.
Compromise:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Congress got power to set and collect taxes and duties                                                                                                                                                                                           Congress has power to regulate sales with foreign people

To Pick a President
Congress had power to impeach, and the people weren’t trusted to pick a leader, so electors formed Electoral College, which would elect the President and vice president.