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The Constitutional Convention and Debate Over Ratification

  • Shays’s Rebellion exposes the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and this leads to the Philadelphia Convention
  • During the convention, there were debates over the distribution of power between the federal and state governments, the type of legislature that the U.S. should have, representation, slavery
  • Many Enlightenment ideas, such as Montesquieu’s separation of powers in government & creation of checks and balances
  • Conflict arose between Federalists and Antifederalists
  • Washington became the 1st president & John Adams became the VP
  • First ten amendments (Bill of Rights) were added in 1789 & then ratified in 1791

The Constitutional Convention and Debate Over Ratification

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:07
  • Debts, Taxes and Shays 3:31
    • Postwar Depression
    • Resentment of Farmers
    • Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt
  • Effects of Shays' Rebellion 5:29
    • Sentenced to Death
    • No Federal Army
    • A Riot Act
  • What Type of Government to Create? 7:20
    • A Stronger Central Government
    • Money Questions
    • Alexander Hamilton
    • James Madison
  • Madison's Virginia Plan 12:06
    • 3-Tiered National Government
    • Lower House
    • Upper House
  • Patterson's New Jersey Plan 14:47
    • William Patterson
    • One-House Legislature
    • Tax and Regulate Commerce
  • The Great Compromise 16:30
    • Roger Sherman
    • Connecticut Plan
    • Legislature
  • Other Important Decisions 19:56
    • In One Supreme Court
    • The Electoral College
    • A Fugitive Clause
  • The Supreme Law of the Land 23:17
    • National Supremacy
    • The Constitution
    • Fear of Abuse of People's Rights
  • Federalism, Enlightenment and Republicanism 25:34
    • Federalism
    • Enlightenment Ideas
    • Enumerated Powers
  • Federalists V.S. Antifederalists 28:42
    • Federalists
    • The Federalist Papers
    • Antifederalists
    • A Bill of Rights
  • Completing the Structure 30:57
    • First Elections
    • Ratification
    • Washington and John Adams
    • First Ten Amendments
    • The Judiciary Act of 1789
  • Map of State Ratification of Constitution 32:17
  • Creation of a Cabinet and Three Departments 33:33
  • Example 1 34:32
  • Example 2 35:25
  • Example 3 42:23

Transcription: The Constitutional Convention and Debate Over Ratification

Welcome back to

This lesson is about the constitutional convention and the debate over ratification.0002

Let us start.0010

To pick it up from last time, I mentioned that one of the problems with the articles of confederation was that it was very weak.0013

This incident known as Shay's rebellion is going to specially expose the weaknesses of the articles of confederation,0020

mainly, that we do not have a centralized army that can be quickly mobilized effectively to crush rebellions.0027

Because again, we are trying to create a stable nation during the early years.0037

We are also going to talk about the Philadelphia convention, the constitutional convention,0043

and all of the different conflicts that arise amongst the various parties.0049

And of course, democracy is a very messy process.0055

There are many conflicting interests and that is going to come to a head during the constitutional convention,0061

which was somewhat of a secretive process.0066

In many ways, a very of selective group of people, elitist group of people were really only represented at this convention.0073

But nonetheless, they were successful in coming up with some very important compromises,0082

and in creating our constitution that is still here today.0087

Although it is flawed, in many ways, it certainly had many strengths.0091

Some of the major compromises that were made, the Virginia and New Jersey plans.0098

We are going to talk about that.0104

We will certainly highlight the conflicts between big states and small states,0105

when they eventually come up with a compromise known as the great compromise.0110

This will refer to the type of legislature that we end up creating in the United States.0114

The slavery issue, this was a contentious issue.0121

They could not come to any kind of consensus.0127

During the constitutional convention, one can really see that this was a problem that they were unable to have consensus over.0131

This is going to haunt the United States throughout its history and come to a head eventually, by the Civil War.0142

We are going to see that they compromise over slavery, unfortunately.0152

I think most of today would agree that slavery is a bad thing.0160

The other issue at hand that caused a lot of conflict was,0165

whether we should continue to have strong states' rights and to what extent we should have a strong national government.0169

This conflict between national authority and states' rights is part of our system of federalism that we have in the United States,0179

that continues to cause conflict but is also one of our strengths because it is another way to divide the power.0189

Lastly, we will touch upon the debate over ratification,0198

and kind of get into all the messy issues that came to the surface during the Philadelphia convention.0203

Let us get to it.0211

First, we are going to talk about some of the problems in the aftermath of the revolutionary war.0214

After the war, we are going to see that the economy is definitely struggling.0222

There is a postwar depression between the years 1784 and 1787.0226

This left the United States with a weak money supply.0232

It was very hard on debtors and this led to increased taxation.0236

Poor farmers could not afford the taxes and this led to increased resentment.0241

Then, there was one particular incident that epitomized all of these problems.0248

Daniel Shays, he was a former captain in the continental army.0254

He issued a set of demands that were to address a lot of the problems that people like him were experiencing.0258

Paper money, tax relief, moratorium on debts, the relocation of the state capital from Boston to the interior,0266

and the abolition of imprisonment for debt.0274

This one, in particular, was one that was a sore spot for many of the regulars,0279

many of the continental army volunteers who gave their life for the revolution,0288

and now they were suffering, because they were being overburdened by taxes.0294

The whole tax issue is a sore spot for Americans and still is kind of inherently.0301

Perhaps, it is part of this history.0308

In the summer of 1786, Shays and his followers prevented the collection of debts, and used force to keep courts from sitting.0312

Sheriffs were also prevented from selling confiscated property.0320

This will become known as Shays’ rebellion.0325

This was a very significant event, took place in western Massachusetts.0331

And ultimately, it produced some concessions at first, but Shays and his lieutenants were eventually sentenced to death.0336

They were arrested and this kind of causes a lot of problems.0346

Yes, this did bring to the surface the need for new national constitution0354

because the United States did not have a federal army to crush the rebellion.0359

This is a main point that historians like to focus on when we talk about Shays' rebellion,0364

especially in its relation to the articles of the confederation, and the desire to strengthen our central government.0371

We are going to see that when Shays’ rebellion does break out, Massachusetts did take matters into their own hands.0380

They try to flex their muscle, they passed a riot act outlawing illegal assemblies.0388

That is not going to go over very well, that seem very antidemocratic.0395

It was not well liked by the people.0400

Shays’ army dwindled during the winter in 1786 and 87, and was disbursed eventually by the governor’s military force.0403

This is highlighting that we need to have an even stronger national Federal government.0413

But again there is a lot of resentment starting to build.0421

Many families who have suffered during the war felt that they have traded one king for another,0423

one kind of tyranny for another.0431

They are looking for order and fairness.0435

Shays’ rebellion is going to be an important event that will also influence a lot of the founders in their thinking.0441

In this American experiment, it is very exciting because they have an opportunity to create a new government.0452

Many of them are very idealistic and wanted to create something new, something republican.0460

When you are talking about democracy, it is a messy process.0470

It is impossible to find 100% agreement.0473

There was a lot of debate and there is a lot of ego involved as well.0478

This was going to be a very difficult process.0483

Many support in creating a stronger central government, while others preferred a weak central government.0488

You can really understand both sides.0494

However, money questions dominated the post war agenda.0497

This was kind of the day to day reality that people were trying to address,0502

and realize that they needed a national government to fix these problems and to deal with these larger issues.0507

They needed a consistent, strong approach, to take on these large issues.0518

They looked at them from a national rather than a state perspective.0524

What were some of the questions that they were concerned about?0531

How should they pay for foreign debt without tariff revenues?0534

That was obviously a huge issue, how to get revenue?0540

How can I have an organized system to get revenue, so that they can pay off their debts,0543

and get in the black, instead of being in the red.0550

We are going to see Alexander Hamilton is going to be an influential figure in the early years of the nation.0556

He is from New York, and he calls for a convention to overhaul the entire document.0566

He is definitely going to advocate for a strong central government.0575

He is going to be a huge supporter of finding a means to bring in revenue.0579

He believes that you are going to have to tax.0585

You are going to need to have a very organized system to strengthen the government and to make the economy succeed in the long run.0588

Delegates meet in Philadelphia.0598

George Washington was elected as presiding officer and decided to deliberate,0600

and ultimately, all of the delegates decide to deliberate in secret.0607

This is intended to make sure that they are very focused on their agenda and they do not want it to be sabotaged.0613

Some other details, let us see.0625

All of the states except Rhode Island responded to an invitation issued by the Annapolis convention of 1786 to send delegates.0628

Of the 74 deputies chosen by the state legislatures, only 55 took part in the proceedings.0637

Of these 39, signed the constitution.0644

There were many important founding fathers but some that I will highlight here.0649

Besides George Washington, who was presiding, but really did not partake in the debates, purposely.0656

He did not want to play that role but James Madison, he is going to be extremely important,0665

and considered the main author of the constitution.0670

Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, John Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Oliver Ellsworth,0675

and Gouverneur Morris, just to name a few.0681

All of these, again, they are elite white men, this was very exclusive and not inclusive.0685

Women, African-Americans were not included at the constitutional convention.0694

Just knowing that, there is going to be a bias.0700

You know that there are flaws when this constitution was created, that was the time.0702

Not to justify it but just to understand the context of 1787.0709

Madison, he is going to be very influential, in particular, over the legislative structure, and again the overall constitution.0719

Let us talk about the legislature first, and I'm going to highlight some of the main aspects of the debate during the constitution.0729

You could go into much greater depth but I’m going to highlight the main points.0740

There certainly was concern over the legislature.0745

One of the main conflicts that arose very quickly was the conflict between large states,0749

meaning states that were very populated, and small states, states that were not as populated.0754

There was certainly a kind of a power conflict and clash of interest, as far as how much representation each of the states should have.0762

Obviously, at this point in time, the larger states really felt that they have more population, they should have more representation.0773

They should have a greater voice.0782

Whereas, the small states felt that that is not fair because they are not going to ever have a voice,0783

because we do not have a huge population, we are a small state.0789

That is going to cause huge problems and conflict.0793

Eventually, they are going to have to come to some kind of compromise.0798

But at first, both sides are unwilling to let it go.0802

They were standing their ground on these two perspectives.0808

Anyway, let is talk about Madison's plan, his Virginia plan.0812

Virginia, big state or small state, big state.0817

Within the Madison plan, this called for a three tiered national government0822

including a bicameral or two house legislature, and it also favored national authority, very centrist.0827

The lower house would be based on population.0839

Ordinary voters would vote for these representatives.0842

The upper house, members were to be elected by lower house under leveraged system of representation.0850

However, again, as I was mentioning, this plan did not go over well with small states0860

because meaning the small states would have less influence than larger states.0864

The other issue, citizens would oppose the nation, the national governments, of vetoing of state laws.0870

That was another issue that we will see at the constitutional convention will take up.0878

They do not agree with.0888

The other plan that was suggested was William Patterson's New Jersey plan.0890

New Jersey at this point in history was considered a small state.0897

I mean, geographically today, we probably consider it a small state but one of the more populated states.0901

Quebec, during the late 18th century, it was not as populated.0906

It is considered a small state, specially, in comparison to Virginia or Massachusetts.0913

Anyway, this plan devised by William Patterson.0918

Probably heard of Patterson New Jersey, those of you who are from the East Coast, you may know what I’m talking about.0922

Anyway, this called for a Federal government that would strengthen the confederation,0928

by giving the power to raise revenue, control commerce, and make binding requisitions on the states.0935

But, preserve the state's control over their laws and guaranteed their equality.0942

Again, more emphasis on states' rights and the confederation, not on national power.0949

This called for one house legislature with equal representation regardless of the size of your population state.0957

Congress would have expanded powers to tax and regulate commerce.0966

These were the two proposed plans for the legislature.0972

And of course, you know in addition to these two plans, John Adams's ideas were also in the mix.0976

But these two plans, in particular, were the major two models that they were trying to figure out how they are going to put those in place.0984

Eventually, after hours and hours of debate, they have come to a compromise known as the great compromise.0997

It is also known as the Connecticut plan.1011

This was proposed by Roger Sherman.1015

I wanted to put his name down because he is the one who comes up with the idea.1020

This is known as the great compromise and it is also known as the Connecticut plan, because it was proposed by Connecticut delegates.1029

But he is the brainchild behind it.1036

They come to a compromise.1040

We want to make the big states and the small states happy.1042

They take the best of both and combine those ideas.1045

Thus, this is what we have today.1049

The lower house would be based on population.1051

Now, that brings us to the issue of the slavery.1055

Because, especially in states like Virginia, that had a large population of slaves, that obviously brought to the surface.1058

Are slaves going to vote?1069

Of course, they did not want to give slaves the right to vote.1070

To southerners, in particular, southern slave owners, specially, they believed slaves were a property, and some northerners as well.1074

Slavery was accepted at this point in time.1086

There are certainly those who are against it, yet the issue of population is going to be a huge concern.1089

They come up with this idea and it sounds disgusting.1096

It is hard not to judge.1100

But they come to a compromise that slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person.1102

This becomes known as the three-fifths clause where they tried to appease both sides.1108

Three-fifths, considered three-fifths of a person which ultimately ends up being like three-fifths of the black population in a slave state,1119

for instance, that they will only be counted that much in the population.1129

So that they would not get that much, so Virginia for instance, when it gets that much more representation.1134

That is one of the compromises early on during the constitutional convention.1143

The upper house would be based on equal representation.1150

This is just kind of simple.1153

Regardless of your size and population, you just get two representatives.1155

This ultimately is what we have today.1161

The House of Representatives based on population.1163

A state like California, for instance, has the largest population, has the most representatives in Congress.1167

Senate, regardless of your size and your population, whether you are Montana, Alaska, or California, or New York,1176

you each get two senators per state for representation.1187

This is known as the great compromise.1193

Moving on to other important decisions, the convention vested the judicial powers of the U.S. in one Supreme Court.1198

That is going to be an important aspect of the constitutional convention and what they create in the constitution.1207

They let the national legislature to decide whether to establish lower courts.1214

That is going to be a work in progress.1220

We are also going to see that there is a debate over how to choose, how to elect the president.1224

Another major compromise was the Electoral College.1231

This is what many would consider an elite type of institution.1236

It is not a real college, but this aspect of voting for the president1249

is something that was advocated by the more elite members of the constitutional convention.1256

And ultimately, we are going to see the president was, this was chosen...1263

The people who were delegates of the Electoral College, were chosen on a state by state basis.1267

This is a whole lesson onto itself that you should talk to your teachers about.1273

Congress was denied, going back to the slavery issue, was denied the power to regulate slavery for 20 years.1280

What I would like to say is they kicked the can down the road.1293

They do not want to deal with the slavery issue because this is going to cause the biggest tension between north and south.1296

The southern planters are dependent on the institution of slavery at this point, to continue their plantation economy.1305

In the north, there is slavery in several areas but some of the states were outlawed early on, like in Vermont and Pennsylvania.1316

It is not practiced as widely.1329

But it was not a priority of the majority of the members of the delegates of the constitutional convention.1332

They put it off, they did not want to deal with it.1342

They are trying to take on all these other complex issues.1344

The issue of the slavery one is a messy one and they are basically putting it off.1349

Although, there are certainly, several of the founding fathers who know that this is going to erupt at one point.1356

They were right, eventually we will come to a civil war over the slavery issue.1364

To protect the property of slave owners and the notion of free markets, delegates agreed also to a fugitive slave clause,1372

that allowed masters to reclaim enslaved blacks or white indentured servants.1383

Although, that was pretty much being phased out at this point, who took refuge in other states.1390

That was kind of a compromise to appease southern planters.1397

Some other issues about the constitution.1406

The constitution was to become the supreme law of the land.1408

We will see that the supremacy clause, in fact, will be established.1414

And that national government was given power over taxation, military defense,1418

and external commerce. It was also given the power to make laws, national supremacy.1424

We will see that there are some powers that, both the Federal government1432

or national government has and our state governments have.1439

And then, there are some powers that are supreme, that only the Federal government can have.1442

Then, we will also see that there are some reserved powers.1449

Powers that are reserved to the states.1453

We will get into that when we talk about the Bill of Rights.1456

The constitution was signed on September 17, 1787.1461

It mandated that the U.S. honor its national debt and it restricted the ability of state governments to assist debtors.1469

That is where we are starting to see the national government flex its muscle and its supremacy.1477

Other issues that were left out.1484

There is no definition of citizenship, that was left open.1487

That is going to have to be clearly defined and it will eventually by the court.1491

There is no list of individual rights.1497

This one is going to be a controversial issue, as we will see the anti federalists, in particular, are going to take issue with that.1499

There are fears of the national governments abuse people’s rights which is related to this.1507

Where is the guarantee that the government will not become this monarchy that will abuse our rights once again?1513

Obviously, flawed document, it was not completely inclusive and had major limits, as far as he who was out to protect and serve.1521

This slide is focusing on some of the overarching themes and ideas that shaped the constitution.1538

Constitution is a bundle of compromises.1548

It is something to keep in mind.1554

You do have to keep in mind that the founding fathers are distrustful of concentrated power.1557

They are really looking for ways to divide the power.1564

We will see not only will the constitution divide power between the national government and the state governments,1568

sharing power between the national and state.1577

But we will see the separation of powers in government by branches, different branches of government.1582

Maybe I will include that here.1594

In particular, we know that we will have three branches, three different branches,1601

the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.1610

Back to the constitution, and the sharing of powers in this federalist system.1617

There are some enumerated powers of the Federal government,1624

meaning powers that are very clear and laid out that the national government has.1628

The Federal government has a power to tax, regulate commerce, control currency,1637

and to pass laws that are necessary and proper for carrying out its other responsibilities.1641

This is a really important clause known as the elastic clause.1648

It gives the Federal government some flexibility, when there are incidences that they cannot predict,1653

where it will need to assert its power.1660

We will see that being used a little bit later in history.1662

Enlightenment, you are probably sick of hearing about it.1667

But the enlightenment ideas, they continue to have a huge influence.1672

The idea of consent to the governed, popular sovereignty.1676

The idea of Montesquieu, three different branches.1682

The idea of protecting human rights, that we all have natural rights.1689

All these ideas are going to continue to have huge influence.1695

Republicanism, the idea of representative government, very important.1698

Women continue to contest patriarchy, and although most American women did not insist on civic equality with men,1704

they did insist on ending various restrictive customs and laws.1712

We are starting to see women contesting these limits.1718

When it comes down to ratifying the constitution and trying to get a pass and trying to sell it to the American people,1726

we are going to see there is a huge debate between the federalists,1733

those who were supporters of the constitution who believed in a Federal union.1737

They ultimately are for a strong central government and they want this constitution to pass.1742

The major leaders of these actions were Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison.1748

Of course, Madison is going to support it because he is the main architect of the constitution.1758

And anyway, they write a series of papers, the federalist papers, to persuade voters to ratify the proposed constitution.1763

I do recommend that you read some excerpts from these federalist papers, so you can get an idea of what they argued.1771

The authors denied that a centralized government would lead to a domestic tyranny.1777

And yes, they will draw from Adams, as well as Montesquieu,1783

to try to justify that the government they are creating is going to have checks and balances.1787

That one branch will not be able to become stronger than the other, because they have ways to check the other branches.1794

It is like rock, paper, scissors.1804

This is supposed to be rock, smashed, right, and then paper, this kind of thing.1812

You get the idea, that is the purpose of the three branches.1820

Anyway, the antifederalists opposed ratification because they feared a strong central government.1826

Some of the major anti-federalists are Patrick Henry, Sam Adams, Richard Henry Lee, George Mason, James Morris, and John Hancock.1833

They believed that the constitution needed a Bill of Rights.1842

They wanted tariff protection as well, from British imports.1846

They were mere protectionists.1851

This is going to be kind of another stumbling block where they have to come to some kind of compromise.1855

Eventually, we will see that the federalist will listen to the anti-federalists and promise them that they will add a Bill of Rights,1862

because that was not included in the original constitution.1872

We will see that they do eventually ratify the constitution successfully.1877

We will see that the first elections were held in 1789.1887

Most senators and congressmen favored ratification.1892

Washington, not a surprise, became the first President.1896

John Adams became the Vice President.1899

He was second runner up.1902

The first 10 amendments also known as the Bill of Rights were added in 1789, and then, ratified in 1791.1904

That will definitely satisfy the anti-federalist concerns.1914

Another important law which will help to clarify the structure of the judicial branch.1919

The judiciary act of 1789 was passed, that provided for Supreme Court of six members with one Chief Justice.1925

We are starting to see some direction and structure for our first major government, under our first President.1935

The articles of confederation was during the revolutionary period and could be considered our first government.1947

But this is really our first strong centralized government.1955

Here is a map to show you how divided some people where and how some of these states were divided.1961

In purple, the delegates who supported ratification.1969

In red, the delegates who opposed ratification.1972

The delegates in green, the districts that were evenly divided.1977

In blue where there were no returns.1981

Georgia was kind of this area here, not quite as populated and kind of isolated from a lot of these discussions.1986

As you can see, this region, in particular, was particularly divided.1996

The areas in green, some of the frontier areas.2005

Lastly, we are going to see the creation of a cabinet and three departments.2014

Cabinet, these are advisers of the President and important leaders that will oversee these different departments.2020

The treasury department would be run by the Secretary of Treasury.2030

It will be Alexander Hamilton.2034

And as I mentioned earlier, he is going to be extremely influential over our economic policy early on, creating a bank, and so forth.2036

Our Secretary of War, that would oversee our military issues.2044

That is supposed to be Henry Knox.2051

Our Attorney-General, Edmund Randolph.2053

The Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who of course had a lot of experience,2057

and was very well known for his efforts reaching out to the French, and so forth, to deal with foreign affairs.2063

With that, we will have our structure for our first administration under George Washington,2070

which brings us to the examples and multiple choice questions.2078

This is referring to the map, I just showed it to you.2085

Here we go, which of the following states was most divided over ratification of the constitution?2089

Hopefully, you will be able to pick this up.2099

The answer is Pennsylvania.2103

Which of the following states ratified the constitution last?2107

We have to look here, looking at the dates.2112

The answer is Rhode Island.2122

Moving on, we have to read, here we go.2126

These are multiple choice, short answer, excuse me.2130

Here we go, Sir, suffer me to recall to your mind that time, in which the arms and tyranny of the British crown were exerted,2137

This, Sir, was a time when you clearly saw into the injustice of a state of slavery, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine,2147

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,2157

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.2162

But Sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind,2170

and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them,2178

that you should at the same time counteract his mercies,2187

in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression.2192

Benjamin Banneker, he was an African-American scientist and surveyor.2206

This was a letter to Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who will later become President.2210

Short answer, let me get myself organized here.2221

You should read through this.2226

Using the previous excerpt, answer A, B, and C.2233

Briefly explain why Banneker questioned Jefferson's actions on slavery.2237

You may want to pause this and write down your answer.2243

How would you respond to this?2245

I will give you my response.2251

Banneker questioned Jefferson's actions on slavery because he was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence2254

that advocated for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.2260

By allowing slavery and supporting human bondage, Jefferson was contradicting his ideals.2267

Banneker was questioning Jefferson’s stance really on freedom and liberty.2274

Let us move on, briefly explain why one of the following people would either support or refute Banneker’s view.2286

I realized that I may have talked about this a bit.2301

This could be a teaching moment.2305

If you have learned about this, you should pause and then check your answers.2308

I will give you an example using Ben, and then I will mention the other two as well.2318

Ben Franklin would support Banneker’s assertion, and tried to convince other founding fathers that slavery should be outlawed in the constitution,2322

When he was persuaded by many of his colleagues,2330

that this would prevent the southern delegates from supporting and ratifying the constitution.2333

He, therefore, compromised his ideals for the sake of keeping the peace with the majority,2338

and not pointing apart the union.2343

Ben Franklin was pro-abolitionist, that is really what he believed.2347

Actually, Adams was one of the only founding fathers who did not have slaves as well.2354

That is kind of interesting, I think.2360

Sometimes people forget about that.2362

This day and age, we tend to focus on all of the founding fathers who had slaves, which there were certainly many like George Washington.2364

George Washington did have slaves.2373

Although, he did free his slaves in his will.2376

That is kind of an interesting thing that you could highlight.2381

Let us move on to letter C, briefly explain how Thomas Jefferson might have responded to Banneker’s questions about slavery.2395

You might want to pause.2405

You should read up on Jefferson’s biography, in general, really fascinating story.2410

He is very prolific, and very interesting, specially, regarding the slavery issue.2418

Thomas Jefferson was in fury against slavery and would call it a moral depravity.2428

But he believed that slavery could only be outlawed through the democratic process.2434

Although, he believed the institution to be immoral and believed in abolition, he viewed slaves as racially inferior.2439

He also believed that if they were to emancipate slaves on American soil, it would lead to civil war that would destroy the union.2447

And that is where he had a lot of foresight because we know that we did not have our union destroyed.2456

But we almost had the union destroyed when we are at civil war.2462

He, certainly, was concerned about, we will talk about this when we get to Jefferson.2467

When the Haitian revolution breaks out, for instance, that is going to cause huge revolution again in the United States.2474

He wanted to avoid that.2485

In any way, his views on slavery is very complex.2488

Some of you may also know that he actually had a relationship with Sally Hemings, a woman who was a slave in his house.2493

There is a lot of controversy concerning this but it is pretty well documented.2501

His whole stance is pretty complicated and controversial, very interesting,2507

and highlights the complexity of this issue, and immorality, and how it shaped people's thinking in a negative way.2514

Anyway, I think we are done.2529

Yes, let me see, double check, one more.2537

Last question, briefly explain how one of the following best supports the idea that the United States constitution is a bundle of compromises.2545

Provide at least one piece of evidence to support your explanation.2559

The office of the presidency, the system of representation, or the institution of slavery.2564

There is a lot to work with here.2572

Pause, write your response, and I will give you an example.2574

Let us talk about the great compromise.2581

The great compromise that created the upper and lower houses of the legislature.2584

One was based on the Virginia plan that favored big states.2590

One was based on New Jersey plan that favored small states.2593

Small states and large states had to find a compromise over their conflict concerning representation, something like that.2602

Let us look at B, briefly explain a criticism of one of the compromises cited above.2616

You could choose any of those.2623

There is a lot here.2626

Ordinary citizens did not directly choose their representatives in the upper house.2629

The legislature still tended to favor elite propertied white men.2635

That could be criticism of one of the compromises cited from above.2642

You could also talk about the Electoral College being very elitist.2649

There are a lot of other ones you could do.2656

It is like even talking about slavery, that it should have just been abolished,2659

and not even protected at all in the constitution from the beginning.2666

It could be a valid criticism.2671

Let us look at the last one. Identify and briefly explain the role played by an individual at the constitutional convention,2676

in bringing about one of the compromises mentioned above or a compromise not mentioned.2684

This gives you a lot of options.2690

I will choose, how about James Madison.2693

He advocated for a system of checks and balances, in order to advocate that one branch would not be stronger than another branch.2699

And that, they would have to have checks and balance to make sure that the power distribution was fair and balanced, ultimately.2713

That is one example you could use.2722

You could also talk about Roger Sherman and the Connecticut compromise.2729

I did not bring that in specifically but you could mention him from Connecticut,2738

who is very influential in forging this compromise between the small states and the large states.2743

That is the system that we have today, the House of Representatives and the Senate.2748

With that, I think it is a wrap.2754

Thank you for watching