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How was the creation of the Constitution represented as a remarkable example of...

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newkirk7 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted May 15, 2013 at 3:18 PM via web

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How was the creation of the Constitution represented as a remarkable example of constructive compromise?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM (Answer #1)

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Without knowing what book or article you are asking about, it is hard to give specifics about how the creation of the Constitution has been represented.   In general, however, we can say that the creation of the Constitution has been represented in this way through the great emphasis on compromises in our story of the Constitutional Convention.

The conventional story of the creation of the Constitution tends to emphasize that it was a masterpiece of compromise that kept together a group of states that were not all that inclined to be united.  The compromises allowed them all to feel as if there was something in the Constitution for them and that they could safely be a part of the new Union.

There are generally two major compromises that are discussed.  First, there is the compromise between the North and the South over slavery.  We are told that the three-fifths compromise and the clause that says that the slave trade can’t be banned until 20 years after the Constitution was created were masterful ways of getting the slave states and the free states to agree to unite.  Second, there is the compromise between big states and small states.  This compromise is represented as being remarkable simply through its name, the “Great Compromise.”  This compromise allowed large and small states to feel they were fairly represented in Congress.

By emphasizing these compromises, we portray the Constitution as a set of remarkable compromises that allowed our country to begin life as a unified group of states.

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