us history project
The Declaration of Independence was a document written by Thomas Jefferson, declaring why the thirteen colonies should be independent from the corrupt control of Britain. This document was ratified on July 4, 1776. America is now a free, independent nation!!
Give me Liberty, or give me death!!
Now that America was free, the continental congress started writing the Articles of Confederation; a document that was completely opposite to the sovereignty (absolute power) of the king in England. They gave all the power to the states, and created a very weak central government. The congress spent four years getting all thirteen states to ratify this document.
Give all the power to the people!
States with big populations and cities, wanted to ratify the Virginia Plan. This would allow the amount of delegates (representatives that vote on behalf of the state they come from), to be based solely on population
On the other hand, smaller and more rural states like New Jersey wanted to ratify the New Jersey Plan, and ensure that their is an equal amount of delegates representing each state, no matter how big or small the population is. This would prevent highly populated states like Virginia from gaining to much power over the other states.
The Convention decided that they would create the Connecticut Compromise, which would combine the New Jersey Plan and the Virginia Plan. This allowed there to be a bicameral legislature where one house had delegates based on population of the state, and the other had 2 delegates for every state. They also established the three-fifths compromise which said that slaves counted for three fifths of a person when it came to determining the population of a state
It was soon realized that the Articles of Confederation was too weak, and in 1787 they began addressing the problems in our government and held a Constitutional Convention to try and write a new Constitution. This created a division in our government leaders: the federalists (supporters of the constitution), and the anti-federalists (people against the constitution, because they thought it was too strong).
The constitution gives to much power to the federal government!!!
We need a strong central government to prosper as a country!!!
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