As of December 7, five states — Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut — have ratified it quickly. However, other states, including Massachusetts, rejected the document because states do not reserve unlegated powers and lack constitutional protection of fundamental political rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. A compromise was reached in February 1788, where massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document by ensuring that amendments would be proposed immediately. The Constitution was therefore narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was later agreed that, according to the U.S. Constitution, government would begin on March 4, 1789. The first thing the Convention did was to elect a President who unanimously elected George Washington as President of the Convention. [25] [Page required] The Convention then adopted rules for its deliberations. Each State delegation obtained a single vote for or against a proposal, in accordance with the majority opinion of the State delegates.

[26] This rule increased the power of small states. [27] There was resistance to the popular election of the House of Commons or the House of Representatives. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts and Roger Sherman of Connecticut feared that the people would be too easily misled by demagogues and that popular elections would lead to mob domination and anarchy. Pierce Butler of South Carolina said only wealthy men with property can be suspected of political power. However, the majority of the Convention supported the popular elections. [58] George Mason of Virginia stated that the House of Commons should be “the great depository of the democratic principle of government.” [59] At the time, the Convention was not called the “Constitutional Convention” and most of the delegates did not come with the intention of drafting a new Constitution. Many felt that the purpose of the Convention was to discuss and elaborate improvements to the existing articles of Confederation and would not have agreed to participate in other actions. However, at the beginning of the Convention, most, but not all– delegates generally agreed that the goal would be a new system of government, not just a revised version of the articles of Confederation.

Before the Convention officially began, Madison and the other Virginia delegates had drawn up a plan — the Virginia Plan — to correct the articles of the Confederacy. Their plan went far beyond amendments and corrections and did indeed present a brand new government instrument. The plan provided for three distinct branches of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The legislature would have two houses, the first being chosen by the citizens of each state and the second from the first house on a list drawn up by state legislators. Delegates voted more than 60 times before the method was chosen. The final agreement was to have the president elected by the voters of each state who was to be elected “in a way” as he could “guide” his legislative power. Each voter would vote for two people (one of whom could not be a resident of the same state). The person with the most votes would become president..

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