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You should identify the source in primary secondary and tertiary source. The second picture has my question to be done which is question number 2. in question no 2 there is two question separated by Or so just need to do one of them.

Background of the Philadelphia Convention

The Philadelphia Convention of 1787, known also as the Constitutional Convention, is a landmark affair in the political history of the United States of America, as it brought together delegates from the northern and the southern states to propose the creation of a constitutional framework that would serve in future as the Constitution of the United States of America. The Articles of Confederation that preceded the Convention were acknowledged by Americans for the most part, yet it was felt that there were many areas and provisions that required being changed or revised (Bowen & Underwood, 1966). This essay talks about the backdrop against which the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 was formed, the provisions and articles that were created and deliberated upon and the various powers that it accorded to the American Congress. The essay concludes that in spite of a brave and sincere attempt being made by the delegates to create a unified national government, the extreme opposition and resistance faced by members from the southern states, especially when it came to vetoing the rights and views of individual states in certain matters, resulted in many of these powers being stripped away from the Congress, thus making it weak rather than strong. The new constitution that the convention sought to create was thus not as powerful, united and strong as any national constitutional framework should be, with plenty of powers and rights being divided among and given to the states.

Bowen and Underwood (1966) argue that by the year of 1786, the Articles of Confederation were recognized as the cornerstone of a brand new America by the American people, and it was officially adopted in the year 1777. However, they state that what was also acknowledged at the time, was that the Articles of Confederation were in urgent need of modifications. The Articles did not provide the Congress with any power to take charge of and supervise domestic affairs in America, that is, no authority to regulate trade and commerce and no power to impose taxes.

Bowen and Underwood (1966) speak of how, deprived of coercive powers entirely, the American Congress became fully dependent on all the financial contributions that were made by the different American states and more often than not, these states would turn down the requests for financial aid on the part of the Congress. Thus, the Congress was in no position to pay back all of the foreign or overseas financial loans that it had acquired for support and assistance during the American War of Independence.

Provisions and Deliberations of the Convention

 Bowen and Underwood (1966) also argue how the Congress had none of the financial resources that were needed in order to pay and to reward the soldiers who had proven to be so valiant during this American Revolution. The country became officially bankrupt in 1786 while facing many other threats and challenges at the same given time. Northern and southern states entered into a full blown war with each other over economic reasons and for economic advantage, at a time when the nation could ill afford to go to war financially, and a civil war at that.

In the meantime, Bowen and Underwood (1966) argue, that the creditor class in America had worries of their own. A state legislature in Rhode Island that was mostly dominated by debtor classes, that is, people who were heavily in debts, passed a new law, whereby all existing debts, large or small, were forgiven and recalled. This is largely due to the fact that a measure was considered by this same legislature for the distribution of property in a period of every fourteen years. Things were even worse in the western part of Massachusetts where a group of farmers, incensed by the fact that they were knee deep in debt and took part in small-scale rebellions for the purpose of gaining debt relief.

 Maier (2010), states that in February 1787, the Continental Congress was convinced by the Confederation of States to call upon a new convention that would have delegates meeting in the month of May in the American state of Philadelphia, for the purpose of devising provisions that would look into the interests of all Americans living in all the different American states equally. The spirit of liberty formed the basis of such an initiative. It was recognized on the part of the American people that it was necessary to protect liberty, and that this could be achieved by passing laws that would ensure equality of citizens, free slaves from bondage and establish a political culture that was truly democratic in its spirit and form.

According to Maier (2010), in the month of May 1787, various delegates from the different American states met in the state of Pennsylvania. One of the foremost initiatives taken as a part of this convention was to elect none other than George Washington as the man who would oversee the proceedings of the convention. A number of rules were established as to how the deliberations of the convention would be carried out and how utmost secrecy would be maintained when conducting these deliberations.

Powers of the American Congress

 The Federal Papers written by James Madison (1787) mention that many of the delegates were known to take very extensive notes when attending this convention, one well-known name in this respect being that of James Madison (Madison, 1787). The actually functions of the Convention took shape after the Virginia Plan was presented as well as defended, about four days after the Convention was inaugurated. It was James Madison who had been one of the key drafters of the Virginia Plan (Bowen and Underwood, 1966).

According to the Federal Papers by James Madison (1787), what the Virginia Plan called for was the formation of an American legislature that was well represented by all segments of the American population. What the plan essentially gave the national American government the power to do, was to legislate on all matters where the state legislatures proved to be completely incompetent. A national council was even appointed for revisionary duties, and whose task mainly was to veto the authority or power of the state legislatures or any administrative decision undertaken by the states.

According to Maier (2010), delegates from all the smaller states of America, especially the states that were not too much in favor of the broad based federal powers, protested vehemently against the Virginia Plan and did not want it to be incorporated into the legal framework of the country. It was Charles Pinckney, who was particularly vehement in this respect and asked the convention whether its intention was to abolish the powers of the states altogether. Maier (2010), states that a competing plan known as the New Jersey Plan was called upon in the month of June that year, and which limited the federal powers that were awarded to the American Congress rather than working towards the creation of a newly formed Congress.

It is argued by Maier (2010), that many of the powers that were already being held by the Congress were expanded upon by the Virginia Plan. The upholders of the Virginia Plan managed to make it known to the states opposing it, that the more they opposed the new reforms or provision, the more likely it was for their authority to be vetoed when it came to do anything with the American legislature. They would not be accorded any equal voting rights whatsoever in any of the legislative branches.

According to Bowen and Underwood (1966), over the next three months, a number of settlements and compromises were worked out between the convention delegates in between the passage of the competing plans. A number of new powers were accorded to the Congress for the regulation of currency, for national defense as well as for the regulation of the economy, yet the clauses that gave the national government of America complete power to veto the voice of the American states were done away with. Due to the pressure that was imposed by delegate who were representing the southern states of America, the Congress was not allowed to limit slave trade for at least the next twenty five years ("Bill Of Rights — Viewer — World Digital Library")

Opposition and Weaknesses from Southern Delegates

Maier (2010), says, however, while slaves were denied the right to vote in all of these southern states and were not officially recognized as citizens over here, were acknowledged as forming three fifths persons for the purpose of determining electoral votes and for apportioning representation. They were allowed for the very first time in American history to have some say at least in political affairs.

Thus, in the final analysis, what can be understood is that the new provisions or articles and amendments as drawn up by the delegates of the Philadelphia Convention ended up significantly weakening the new form of constitution or constitutional framework that it sought to create. This is primarily due to the fact that the national government or the Congress was imposed with a number of restrictions where governance was concerned. At the initial stage, the delegates of the Convention had sought to create a strong and unified national front by combating the power of the individual states, denying them the permission to print currency, regulate trade and commerce etc. However, due to the vehement opposition that the convention received from the delegates representing the southern states, especially over the power of the Congress to veto the opinions and decisions of states in administrative matters, this power that was initially accorded to the American congress by the Convention had to be curtailed. While the congress took still take charge of economic and political affairs, it would have to do so in agreement with the states, and without jeopardizing or compromising the interests of any individual American state ("Bill Of Rights — Viewer — World Digital Library"). The congress ended up losing a lot of its strength. It was not in a position to bargain with the states or impose on the states due to the opposition that was being created by representatives from the south. The power of the states could not be brought under control by the delegates of the convention, and the concept of a unified and powerful national government remained an illusion. In spite of the fact that the Congress was still in charge of many primary functions and duties concerning the governance of the country, it was still not able to limit something as crucial as slave trade, which it had earnestly tried to do. The oppression of slaves continued in the southern states of America for the next twenty five years and while the slaves were accorded a meager form of political representation, they continued to remain terribly marginalized and abused for the most part. The buying and selling of slaves continued in full force for a long period of time, the states remained all powerful in certain matters, and any protest they raised against the decisions of the national government could not be vetoed by the national government in any way whatsoever.

References

"Bill Of Rights — Viewer — World Digital Library". Wdl.Org, 2018, https://www.wdl.org/en/item/2704/view/1/1/. Accessed 21 Nov 2018.

Madison, James. "Federalist no. 10." November 22.1787 (1787): 1787-88

Bowen, Catherine Drinker, and Kristen Underwood. Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787. Boston: Little, Brown, 1966.

Maier, Pauline. Ratification: the people debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. Simon and Schuster, 2010.

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