Sample History Paper on The Constitutional Convention
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 at Philadelphia led to the formation of the U.S. Constitution. The convention was headed by Washington, and all states apart from Rhode Island were represented. Small states were after retaining their power whereas the larger states preferred power to be determined by population. Additionally, an agreement was made for the new Congress to become an effective body. The major question was about commissioning power in the new government. The plan that was approved stipulated that a lower house would be elected based on population (the House of Representatives), and the upper house would be selected by the states (the Senate). Additionally, the Congress was granted power to levy direct but not indirect taxes. Also, slaves were treated as property in estimating taxes. The argument of eradicating importation of slaves ended with the agreement that the importation should not be prohibited before 1808. Several points of view were raised, and some of the representatives were disgusted and later headed their states in opposing the approval of the constitution (Ellis 19).
In the United States record, Anti-Federalists referred to those who were against the establishment of a strong federal government and the Constitutional approval in 1788. They preferred power to be retained by state and local governments. The Anti-Federalists mainly resided in rural regions. Additionally, the majority of them were farmers and smaller rural communities. They believed that states had the freedom of managing their revenue and spending their money as they desired (Storing 3). On the other hand, Federalists were individuals who preferred a stronger national government and the ratification of the Constitution to assist in appropriately managing the debt and pressures that emerged from the American Revolution. The Federalists mainly lived in urban areas. They were dominated by big business interests. The Federalists wanted the government to assist in regulating the economy. They also believed that several people and various fiscal and monetary guidelines resulted in economic tussles and national weakness. Federalists backed central banking and central financial rules (Storing 4).
Several issues and controversies surrounded the formation of the U.S Constitution, which included apportioning of representations in the legislature, the powers and method of electing the chief executive, and the status of the institution of slavery in the new continental body politic. Delegates of larger states emphasized that the seats in the legislature would be allocated proportionally by population, while smaller states preferred every state, regardless of the population, to have equal representation in Congress (Beeman 36). A two-house legislature was formed, which included the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Slavery and representation was another issue of Northern and Southern states. Several Northern states sought to bar slavery completely or forbid the activity of importing new slaves. An agreement was reached whereby Congress could legislate against the slave trade but not until 1808, leading to increased importation of slaves into the South (Beeman 37).
The issue of the division of powers and the status of the American presidency was prolonged. Nationalists supported a strong, independent executive that could give “energy, dispatch, and responsibility” to the government. On the other hand, Roger Sherman of Connecticut stated that the task of the highest magistrate’s office was affecting the legislature’s will (Beeman 37). Therefore, Sherman concluded that the president could be impeached whenever a majority in the legislature differed with him/her on a critical subject.
Beeman, Richard R. “The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Revolution in Government.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum 86.3(2006): 35-38.
Ellis, Joseph J. “Philadelphia Story.” American Heritage 60.2 (2010): 18-21.
Storing, Herbert J., ed. The complete anti-federalist. Vol. 1. University of Chicago Press, 2008.