On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, making the United States a free nation. Soon after the Articles of Confederation were created, and were eventually ratified in 1781. This acted as the first constitution for the U.S.
Now that we are independent, we are our own nation! Let's sign the declaration to make things official!
Praise the Lord, John!
I, George Washington, do hereby agree with what is being said in this hall!
Sounds good to me, Thomas.
Do you guys think we should make an agreement? It could be our first constitution!
At the Constitutional Convention, people discussed the creation of a new government. One of the biggest arguments was whether the country should adopt the New Jersey Plan (which wanted equal representation), or the Virginia Plan (which wanted representation based on population). Eventually, they mutually agreed to combine the two plans, therefore creating the Great Compromise.
It's all about that population! We need to base our votes on the population of the states!
We need equal representation! All of us should have the same votes!
Following the Great Compromise, the 3/5ths Clause was put into effect. This counted all "other persons", or the slaves, as 3/5ths of a person towards the population of the U.S.
Lewis, how are we going to count you towards the U.S. population?
Three-Fifths of a person, sir. It says so right there in the 3/5ths Clause.
Mr. Hamilton, please state your political affiliation and why you are here today.
The Federalists were a group of people who wanted a new constitution and a government that was strong and central. Generally, they were from urbanized areas or cities, and they were upper-class citizens. They also were often merchants, and they wanted protection for the United States.
I am a Federalist! I stand in favor of a new constitution! I want a strong, central government!
Mr. Adams, please state your political affiliation and why you are here today.
The Antifederalists were a group of people who did not want a new constitution, and who wanted to keep the political power within the states. They were often rural farmers. They wanted the government to be smaller, that way it could stay more in tune tune with the citizens wants and needs.
I am an Antifederalist! I do not want a new constitution! I stand for a strong state goverment!
On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified. It contained the first ten amendments in the U.S. Constitution.
It's the day of the ratification! I'm so excited to see what is to come for this country! Let me see that Bill of Rights!