US History Wk 4

Philadelphia Convention: Virginia’s Proposition (Pt. 2/2)

  • Congressional veto of state laws
  • voted down repeatedly
  • Madison kept bring it up
  • Madison thought new gov would fail in a few years since they didn’t adopt his possibilities
  • commerce and slavery were also issues:
  • federalists called for empowering central gov to tax people through tariff
  • import tax would be easiest tax to administer
  • people from New England were fond of the notion
  • George Mason of Virginia objected
  • Rutledge of South Carolina said, “we want slaves and if there aren’t statements in the constitution guaranteeing our slaves, we will simply leave and not sign.”
  • Mason stood up again and totally dissed slavery and everyone involved in it
  • The south said you’re a Go***mn hypocrite (he owned a lot of slaves) and this isn’t about ethics. It’s about politics and economy.
  • Deep South and far North agreed that there would be a majority vote to level a tariff and an ongoing slave trade so both could have their way. (North wanted tariff but South didn’t, South wanted slaves but North didn’t.)
  • Words slave/slavery weren’t actually mentioned until the 13th amendment.
  • Convention went through 1787 summer and finally reached fall, very close to the end
  • Mason stood up and said, “We need a BILL OF RIGHTS.”
  • Some delegates wanted to leave and others thought it would be dangerous if they forgot to add something
  • Unanimous decision to not create a Bill of Rights
  • Gov. Randolph, who had proposed the Virginia Act at the beginning of the constitution, actually agreed
  • Limits of congressional power were not clearly defined enough
  • September 17 1787, 39/55 delegates still assembled signed the constitution


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