What were the issues, ideas, and concepts behind the formation of our government system?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There were many issues that needed to be decided at the Constitutional Convention. One issue that needed to be resolved was how many representatives each state would have in Congress. The large states wanted representation based on population while the small states wanted equal representation. Roger Sherman resolved this dispute with the Great Compromise. There would be two houses of Congress. In one of the houses, there would be unequal representation while in the other house there would be equal representation.

Another issue to decide was if slaves should be included in the population of a state. The South wanted this to occur since this would give them more representatives in Congress. The North was opposed to this because they didn’t want the South to have more representatives in Congress. This was resolved with the Three-Fifths Compromise. Five slaves would count as three people in terms of determining the population of a state. This compromise helped to determine how many representatives a state would have in the House of Representatives.

A third issue that needed to be determined is who would control foreign trade. It was decided that Congress would control foreign trade. However, only imports could be taxed.

There was much discussion about the executive branch. Some people wanted the executive branch to be run by a group of three people. Other people said there should be one person in charge. They decided to have one person in charge, called the President, and he could be impeached if he broke laws or abused power.

Finally, an agreement was reached to not limit the trading of slaves until at least 1808. There were many issues that needed to be resolved at the Constitutional Convention.

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