Discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787. How did the Convention decide what kind of government we were to have? How did they handle the issue of slavery? What changes did they make to get it...

Discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787. How did the Convention decide what kind of government we were to have? How did they handle the issue of slavery? What changes did they make to get it ratified by more states? How did they decide the issues of representation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Please remember that questions on eNotes are generally supposed to be about one topic.  This question includes many different issues.  I will discuss compromises in the Constitution, which will answer most of your questions.

The delegates at the Constitutional Convention came to two main compromises.  One had to do with slavery (as well as representation) and the other had to do with representation.   The first compromise is known as the 3/5 Compromise.  This compromise had to do with slavery and how slaves would be counted for the purpose of determining representation.  The slave states wanted slaves to count in their population so they could have more representatives in the House.  The free states did not want slaves to count at all.  The compromise was that slaves would could as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of representation.  (There was also a compromise over the slave trade saying that it could not be banned for 20 years after the Constitution was ratified.)

The second compromise is known as the Great Compromise.  This had to do with how seats in Congress were to be apportioned.  The large states wanted seats to be allocated by population.  The small states wanted every state to have equal representation.  The compromise was that the Senate would have equal representation for every state and the House would be apportioned by population.

These compromises, along with the promised addition of the Bill of Rights, induced more states to ratify the Constitution.

For more information about the Constitutional Convention, check out this video:

Sources:

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