In February 1787, Congress decided that a convention should be convened to revise the Articles of Confederation, the country`s first constitution. In May, 55 delegates came to Philadelphia and the Constitutional Convention began. Debates erupted over congressional representation, slavery and the new executive branch. The debates lasted four hot and humid months. But eventually, the delegates reached compromises, and on September 17, they produced the U.S. Constitution and replaced the articles with the government document that worked effectively for more than 200 years. John Rutledge (1739-1800) of South Carolina was chairman of the five-member Details Committee held from July 23, 1739 to 1800. In July 1787, the nineteen resolutions adopted by the Convention, a plan by Delegate Charles Pinckney (1757-1824) of South Carolina, and the rejected Plan of New Jersey were used as the basis for drafting a Constitution. The Committee`s detailed draft boldly realigned the Convention. The many remarks of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) of New York illustrate the hard work that remains for the delegates. The rules allowed delegates to request a review of each previously agreed decision.
This allowed delegates to hold straw votes to gauge the strength of controversial proposals and change their minds while relying on consensus proposals.  It was also agreed that deliberations and votes would be kept secret until the end of the meeting.  Despite the sweltering summer heat, the meeting room windows were closed to keep the deliberations secret from the public.  Although William Jackson was elected secretary, his notes were short and contained very little detail. Madison`s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, supplemented by Robert Yates` notes, remain the most complete account of the convention.  Because of the commitment to secrecy, Madison`s report was not published until after his death in 1836.  The Constitution also created an executive and a judiciary that established a system of checks and balances. The three branches would have a distribution of power, so that no branch could become more powerful than another. Early on, Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan, which called for a three-branch national government. The legislature would make laws, the executive would take the initiative and enforce the laws, and the judiciary would explain and interpret the laws. Delegates haggled for more than six weeks between May 30 and July 16 over how to divide representation in the Legislature again and again.
Those in large populous states like Virginia and Pennsylvania — supporters of Virginia`s plan — argued that representation in both houses of the proposed new Congress should be based on population, while those in small states like New Jersey and Delaware — supporters of the New Jersey plan — argued for equal representation for each state. The compromise that ultimately succeeded, and for which Connecticut delegates campaigned most vigorously, was obvious: representation in the House of Representatives would be divided by population, with each state receiving equal representation in the Senate. In the final vote on the so-called Connecticut compromise on July 16, five states supported the proposal; four opposed it, including Virginia and Pennsylvania; and one state – Massachusetts – was divided. James Madison and many of his nationalist colleagues were heartbroken and convinced that compromise would destroy the character of the national government they hoped to create. But in the end, they realized the folly of making their desire for their “perfect” plan the enemy of the good, and joined the Connecticut compromise. And it is interesting to note that in the subsequent referendum on the ratification of the Constitution in the thirteen states, Madison will use his “defeat” in the controversy over representation to formulate an entirely new definition of federalism. ==References=====External links===39 He defended the draft new constitution against its critics by praising the various forms of representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate – the House of Representatives representing the people of the nation as a whole and the Senate representing the remaining sovereignty of the states – as one of the characteristics that made the new government “partially national” and “partially federal”. No one knew then how this new definition of federalism would work in practice, and it would remain a source of controversy for the rest of the nation`s history, including today.
In this, as in so many areas, the so-called original meaning of the Constitution was not at all self-evident – not even for the authors of the Constitution itself. The three-fifths compromise was a compromise between the southern and northern states reached at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, in which three-fifths of the enumerated population was counted by slaves for representation purposes both in terms of tax distribution and the distribution of members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It was proposed by delegates James Wilson and Roger Sherman. It was eventually adopted by the Convention. The Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. The Delegation of Virginia took the initiative to shape the debate by preparing and immediately presenting a proposal for which Delegate James Madison received the main recognition. However, it was Edmund Randolph, the governor of Virginia at the time, who officially presented it to the Convention on May 29, 1787, in the form of 15 resolutions. Delegates` commitment to the principles of equality, as set out in the Declaration of Independence, was limited even in the case of free white adult men. For example, most delegates supported the imposition of property qualifications on voters in their individual states.
But nowhere are these restrictions more evident than during the slavery debates. By 1787, slavery in America was in decline, but it remained an important part of the social and economic fabric in five of the states represented by the Convention. In their quest for “compromise,” the delegates exacerbated the contradiction existing in their nation regarding the fundamental values of freedom and equality on the basis of which America had declared its independence. In fact, they enshrined the institution of slavery in their new constitution. As the Convention prepared for the postponement, delegates had little opinion on many details of the Constitution they had created. But whatever their differences, almost all of them, faithful to their revolutionary heritage, tried to create a government with limited powers, which nevertheless had the “energy” to do all that was promised in the preamble of the Constitution: “to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to ensure internal peace, to ensure a common defense, promote universal well-being and ensure the blessings of freedom. It was a great task, especially when, at the same time, they promised to create a government that divides power between states and nation in such a way that the fears of people of an overwhelming central power are dispelled. When the delegates arrived on the 17th. By September 1787, when they made their decisions on the signing of the Constitution, there was little certainty among them about how this balancing act would work in practice, but they had at least begun to create a framework within which questions of state and national power could be negotiated.
Following the final changes, the Style and Arrangement Committee was appointed “to revise and organize the style of the articles agreed to by the House.” Unlike other committees, the latter committee did not include representatives of small States. Its members were mostly in favor of a strong national government and hostile to demands for state rights. Wilson also argued that the executive should be directly elected by the people. Only through direct elections could the executive branch be independent of both Congress and the states.  This view was unpopular. Some delegates, such as Roger Sherman, Elbridge Gerry and Pierce Butler, opposed direct elections to executive power because they felt the people were too easily manipulated. Most delegates, however, did not question the intelligence of voters, but what worried them was the slowness with which information spread at the end of the 18th century. Due to a lack of information, the average voter would be too ignorant of the candidates to make an informed decision.  A deep disagreement arose about slavery […].