1787 Constitutional Convention: Conflict and Compromise

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1787 Constitutional Convention Conflict and Compromise Introduction Shay's Rebellion struck fear in to the collective souls of the conservative ruling elite, because it demonstrated that the will of the people was a bit more powerful than they were comfortable with (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage, 2009, p. 182). They viewed such actions of dissent as a sign that there was too much democracy in the New World and argued in favor of a strong national government able to protect property and the rights of citizens. The idea of a strong federal government therefore gained considerable support after Shay's Rebellion and a Constitutional Convention was convened in 1787 that would attempt to address these shortcomings through a few amendments. However, what the Confederation Congress and the rest of the nation were unaware that the actual agenda of the Convention was to create a powerful centralized government by hammering out a new Constitution (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage, 2009, p. 184). During and after the Constitutional Convention a number of disagreements arose between the delegates attending. What follows is a description of the main ones and how they were resolved. Conflicts and Compromises The Great Compromise represented an agreement between supporters of the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage, 2009, p. 185). The Virginia Plan called for a strong federal government that reduced state governments to a
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