The Constitution: Edmund Randolph And The Constitution

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Edmund Randolph and the Constitution Kara Beal The American Constitution - HIS:303 Professor Lum July 22, 2008 Edmund Randolph and the Constitution There were fifty-five delegates at the Constitutional Convention, but on September 17, 1787 only forty-one were present to sign the Constitution (Mee, 1987). Three delegates that were present, Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to sign what they considered a flawed document. Therefore, only thirty-nine delegates signed the Constitution (Mee, 1987). Randolph is of particular interest because of his role in the Virginia Plan and his thoughts about the proposed Constitution. This paper will discuss the Randolph’s beliefs in government,…show more content…
Twelve of the thirteen states named a total of 74 delegates, only 55 of whom actually showed up at one time or another. Not in attendance was John Adams due to being American Minister to Great Britain; Thomas Jefferson due to being American Minister to France; John Jay due to being the Confederation's Secretary for Foreign Affairs in New York City; and Patrick Henry, who did not attend because he claimed he “smelled a rat” (Mee, 1987). As the convention grew closer Edmund Randolph, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson (even though he was in France) urged Washington to attend the Convention to help seek a more workable government; the men knew what an influence Washington would be at the Convention. The delegates knew they were meeting to discuss a variety of issues such as: financial worries between the federal and state governments (the Confederation government had to rely on state governments for funds and military power), the taxing power of the central government, Congress had no powers of enforcement of the states (the founders wanted the government to have the power for having compliance with its policies), jurisdiction over foreign and interstate commerce, and to provide a framework that would be the supreme law of the land (Morris,…show more content…
The House of Representatives were to be made proportional by population, which Randolph did not agree with, but the Senate was to have equal representation chosen by the people (two representatives from each state). Randolph wanted the Senate to be chosen not by the people as in the House of Representatives, but by the House itself (Morris, 1987). Ultimately, the founders decided to have the sates or respectively the people represent their representatives. The issue of slavery came about and the Virginians, including Randolph, were finding slavery less profitable then the southern neighbors for their state. Over the objections of the liberal Virginians, including Randolph, the delegates compromised where there would be a prohibition on the importation of slaves to any of the states that were currently in existence before the year 1808 (Morris, 1987, p 46). Lastly, the chief executive was to be elected by electors who would be chosen in each state, not by Congress as the Virginia plan outlined. These discussions and the writing of the constitution took eighty-four working days to

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