What led up to the signing of the American Constitution.

Essay by maxramsayJunior High, 8th gradeA+, May 2002

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The Constitution

The Constitution was written in 1787. It was written to create a stronger federal

government, one which could pass national legislation, levy taxes, mediate between the

states, and create a standard currency. Before the Constitution, there were the Articles of

Confederation, which had created the federal government, but which had restricted its

power because of the colonists' fear of central government.

The restriction was so severe that the national government was unable to function. This

had created a time of economic turmoil and panic. The banking system was a shambles,

and commerce was at a standstill. Even though there was still strong resistance to a

central federal authority, the states were forced to accept the new federal Constitution.

The alternative was anarchy and the collapse of the ideals of America.

The new government organized by the Constitution had three branches of government:

The Legislative branch which made the laws; The Judicial branch which dealt with

making sure that he laws were in sync with the constitution and proving the deviation

from those laws; and the Executive branch which enforced the laws.

During the debates leading up to the adoption of the Constitution, two distinct

organizational models for the legislative branch were proposed: the New Jersey plan and

the Virginia plan. The New Jersey plan advocated for a single legislative body with equal

representation for each state, while the Virginia plan suggested two legislative "houses,"

with each state's representation based on population and contribution to the national

government. A compromise was adopted which provided for two legislative bodies: one

in which each state's representation was decided by population and on in which

representation would be evenly distributed.

Thirty-two out of the forty-two delegates present voted in favor of adopting this

document. But nine out of the thirteen colonies...