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Constitutional Convention

Major Agreements and Amendments in the United States Constitutional Convention

After independence from the British government the United States of America was using the articles of confederation to govern them. As a result of this a convention was planned on May 1787 which was known as the Constitutional Convention. During the convention the delegates from all the states of America were expected to attend and they wanted to form a new constitution instead of amending the existing articles of confederation.

The convention, which started a day after the planned date, since the majority number of delegates had not been attained due to transport hitches, saw the delegates come up with some agreements and amendments. First, they agreed that they should go ahead beyond their mandate and produce a new constitution instead of amending the articles of confederation. They also agreed that the government to be formed would have powers of the confederation and have powers over the United States. The major agreements included the following.

James Madison and the Virginia Plan

Before the convention starts James Madison had presented his plan proposal for the Virginia state. Among other things it stated that the legislature should be divided from judiciary and executive and this was not opposed by anyone. The legislature was also separated into upper and lower house. There were also disagreements on who should choose the judges, where Madison thought that the legislature should choose the judges, and some thought that the president should do that, however, they reached a compromise on the last thing. With the many delegates agreeing with Madison James on the Virginia plan, it was voted in immediately the convention started (Larson, 2005).

Agreement on Slaves

A dispute also arose in the convention on whether to count the slaves and have them in the United States of America population. Some claimed that the category was not as productive as free people, whereas others felt that the slaves were foreigners and they should not be treated as citizens of the union.  In the convention each state was expected to cast one vote for or against any proposal. This thus made some states not to be represented with some delegates withdrawing from the convention. The issue of slaves lend to some states coming together against the others. The states that supported slavery from the south and the states from the north that did not support those acts came against one another. This became the beginning of amenity between the North and the South.


The convention was adjourned for one month in July, where a committee of detail was formed to come up with the first draft of the constitution to be presented to the convention one month later. One of the changes made was the agreement between the north and the south to empower the Congress to end slave trade by 1808. There was also an agreement between the north and the south to strengthen the fugitive slave clause in the drafted constitution.  The convention amended the first draft and then the second committee was formed and its members included James Madison of the Virginia plan. The committee changed the president’s term from seven to four years and created the office of the vice president. The president also could seek reelection for the second term according to the second committee formed. Once final adjustments were made, the convention formed the committee of style to revise the constitution which would later be printed and signed. This saw the United States have a constitution (Beeman, 2009).

In conclusion, it was the disputes in the convention that led to the agreements and later amendments. This entire process lead America to creating a constitution. 

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