The Constitutional Convention

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What were the issues debated during the constitutional convention?

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There were several issues debated at the constitutional convention. One issue was about representation in Congress. The large states wanted to have unequal representation in Congress. They believed large states should have more representatives than small states. The small states feared they would always be in the minority if this occurred. They were concerned their needs wouldn’t be addressed. A compromise was reached where one house of Congress, the House of Representatives, had unequal representation while the other house, the Senate, had equal representation.

A second issue that was debated was if slaves would be counted in the population figures. The South wanted slaves to count as part of the population since they would get more representatives in the House of Representatives. The North didn’t want slaves to count in the population. Another compromise was made where five slaves counted as three people for purposes of the population count to determine representation in the House of Representatives.

A third issue discussed was the power of the executive branch. Some people were afraid of what would happen if one person led this branch. These people were afraid this person would have too much power and would abuse it. They decided to have one person, the President, lead the executive branch. However, the President could be impeached if laws were broken or if the power was abused.

A fourth issue debated regarded trade. The North wanted Congress to control foreign trade while the South was concerned about this happening. Both sides agreed that Congress would control interstate trade. They agreed that Congress would also control foreign trade. However, only imports could be taxed.

There were many issues debated at the constitutional convention. Fortunately, the delegates were able to make compromises that resolved the differences that existed between the North and the South.

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