Let's all agree on something, who thinks that the government should protect people's rights?
The Annapolis delegates called for the states to send representatives to Philadelphia the following May to discuss the changes, led by Alexander Hamilton. Americans doubted that the national government needed strengthening, but they changed their minds after Shays's Rebellion. They also discussed ways to promote trade.
"The Convention Begins"
"The Virginia Plan"
There were 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, that were a very impressive group. There were lawyers, planters, doctors, representatives, members of their state legislatures, and members who helped with writing their states constitutional. America's most famous men were there, too.
Most delegates didn't know what to expect at the Constitutional Convention. Some thought they would design a new plan for the government, others thought they would draft amendments to the Articles of Confederation. At the end they all agreed, that the government should protect people's rights.
"The Great Compromise"
The Virginia Plan wins.
At the meeting, the delegates decided on the rules for the convention. They didn't want to be pressured by the politics, so they were very secretive. The delegates kept the windows closed at all times, they also had guards by the doors and whenever the doors were opened the delegates would stop talking.
On May 29, Randolph offered a plan for a whole new government. The plan was called the Virginia Plan, the plan consisted of 3 branches. The branches were legislature, executive, and judicial. The Virginia Plan was drawn up by Madison, Randolph, and the other Virginia delegates while they waited for the convention to open.
New Jersey delegate William Paterson came up with the New Jersey Plan on June 15th. The plan was similar to the Articles of Confederation. The New Jersey Plan gave the legislature the power to regulate trade and to raise money by taxing foreign goods. They had a vote between the two plans, the Virginia and the New Jersey Plan, on June 19th and the Virginia Plan won.