Soon after America had fought a memorable and historical war, it felt the need to organize things in the country. There was chaos everywhere, and no one knew what to do. Even though the nation was finally independent, people needed a source of light to guide its coming years. Hence in the year 1787, between the important months of May and September, important members of 12 states gathered. The place of meeting was in Philadelphia and the aim was to plan a better constitution for America’s future.
One of the major objectives was also to form a new and better government in a more organized manner. The people involved in the debates and arguments had agreed on many things, while they left some to a mighty compromise. From how the government should select its leaders, to how the government should function, they discussed everything. This resulted in bicameral legislation. This legislation included the Senate, also known as the lower house in the country’s government. And it included the House of Representatives, the upper house. They allotted the president an executive role to be selected with the voting system.
What Was the Key Issue at the Constitutional Convention?
There were several key issues at the popular constitutional convention. Some of them are:
Distribution of Powers: the primary issue was regarding the distribution of powers between state and federal government. Every leader and delegate had to fall towards a compromise to allow major power to the federal government. While they allotted the other powers to the states. The majority were in favor of the federal government being more powerful, however.
Slavery: Another major issue was regarding slavery. While some leaders were in favor of a complete ban, no action regarding that was taken. But, the discussion regarding slavery led to the popular ‘three-fifths compromise. It meant that three-fifth of the people enslaved would count in the congressional representation. A few decades later, the nation also witnessed a ban on the slavery trade.
Representation in the House: Representation was another issue that was argued over. The states with several people as residents wanted to allow representation by numbers. But, the smaller states, were demanding fair representation throughout the nation. Ultimately, this decision was also taken with a compromise. The House of Representatives had the representation as per the number of people. While the Senate has an equal number of representations despite the size or number of people living in the state.
Trade and Commerce: The common notion of the major leaders involved in the convention was to build a nationalized economy. Earlier, each state had its own set of currencies and taxation systems. This was leading to a chaotic and competitive situation at the ground level. Hence, smoother and simpler trade and commerce were promoted.
Hence, after a long series of debates and discussions, a constitution was devised that presided over George Washington. Among the fifty-five delegates that adorned the convention, some of them played a key role in the success. This included big names like George Washington, a delegate from Virginia, who was elected with no opposition as the President. Others included George Mason, James Madison, William Paterson, James Wilson, etc.