Based on the Founding Father reading, can someone please help me answering the following questions:  1. What does Roche mean when he describes the Constitution Convention of 1787 as a democratic...

Based on the Founding Father reading, can someone please help me answering the following questions: 

1. What does Roche mean when he describes the Constitution Convention of 1787 as a democratic reform caucus 2. What was the major political constraint operating during the Constitutional Convention of 1787?

3. What were the interests of some of the states at the Constitutional Convention?

4. What was the strategy used by the Constitutionalists to get the states rights people to the convention?

5. What does Roche mean when he talks about “nationalists” and “state righters” as a posteriori rather than a priori categories?

6. Were the basic opinions at the convention of 1787 ideological or structural?

7. Why did Madison entertain a lengthy discussion over the New Jersey Plan?

8. How did the small states apply leverage over the large states to incorporate their basic concerns into the Constitution?

9. Why did Hamilton propose an elected monarch for life?

10. What was the Brearly Committee on postposed matters?

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caledon | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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1. Introduction: Roche means to say that the representatives were supremely concerned with public approval and consensus, and that the Constitutional Convention was equally intended to fix existing problems and to satisfy every participant.

2. Section I: The major political constraint was public approval; many of the reform issues would have involved either accepting the status quo, and alienating the disadvantaged, or changing the status quo and angering the majority and/or elite.

3. Section I: Georgia was interested in military defense of its large, underpopulated territory. New Jersey and Connecticut wanted to be less economically bound to New York.

4. Section I: The Constitutionalists didn't ask for an endorsement of specific reforms, only for a meeting to discuss reforms; thus, if their opponents refused, they could charge them with complacency.

5. Section II: A posteriori means "after the fact", i.e. the delegates did not conceive of themselves as nationalists or state's righters, and these labels were applied to them by political historians years later. Roche holds that the delegates didn't actually hold these sort of divisive ideological positions.

6. Section II: Roche specifically states that the divisions were structural. This is because everyone basically agreed on the ideas, but not on their exact execution.

7. Section II: Madison had the votes to override the New Jersey Plan, but simply running things by rule of the majority was antithetical to the purposes of the new American system. Madison wanted to convert his opponents rather than just defeat them. 

8. Section II: The small states mostly relied upon strongly-worded diplomacy and the other delegate's desire for democratic agreement, "digging in their heels" and saying they would rather "submit to a foreign power" than give up their voting strength.

9. Section III: An elected monarch would establish strength and stability; this would keep government out of the control of the "passions of the mob" and focused upon the good of the community.

10. Section V: The Committee on Postponed Matters was formed to deal with the problem of popular election; most of the delegates disliked the idea because it was too chaotic, but neither did they like the idea of unchecked government power over elections. The creation of the Electoral College was their compromise.


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