Representation, Taxation, and Slavery

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Following the success of the colonists in the American Revolution and gaining their independence from Great Britain, the colonists achieved what they most certainly sought after—to separate from Britain and never again experience the horrific tyrannical ways of King George III. This is because the colonists feared tyranny and believed that having the power vested in one ruler is not such a good form of government. Thus, the Framers formed their first ever constitution—the Articles of Confederation. However, the Articles proved to be very weak because it did not have a strong central government. It did not have a tax base, a judiciary, and executive branch. In order to fix the problems under the Articles, specifically the dilemma regarding representation, taxation, and slavery issue within the states, the Constitutional Convention took place. These disputes did not only create a problem but they also caused a division between the states. The colonists did not know how great and substantial the issue with representation, taxation, and slavery would affect them, but as they came together and attempted to resolve the problem, they brought forth compromises that would have a lasting influence in the United States. One of the issues that the delegates argued over was representation. They had a disagreement on how representation would work—either equal (small states) or proportional (large states). The large states, mostly from the South, wanted proportional representation, in which they will earn seats in Congress by the amount of their population. They thought that the more populous states should have more seats in the Congress than the less populous states. Thus, Edmund Randolph proposed a plan, with the large states’ support, called the Virginia Plan. This proposed a bicameral legislature and three separate branches of government. Representation will be based upon states population or money contributions. The large states supported this because it promoted their...
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