The major agreements and compromises made at the Constitutional Convention addressed the issues concerning governing of the United States. It was supposed to reconsider the Constitution that has been in use since America got its independence. That government was weak and, from the colonial experience, there was a need to replace it with a better government that would address such issues like security and different economic problems. The delegates wanted a government that would provide freedom to the citizens. Slavery and allocation of seats at the Congress were among the issues addressed at the convention. Many comprises were done in order to make the required changes. The delegates decided to come up with the laws that represented their issues on a state level.
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The first compromise was about the composition and election of the Senate. The issues concerning the executive power were under discussion. The question whether to have a single president or three people at the head of the executive branch was also discussed. The way of electing a President was among the addressed issues as well.
It was agreed that the President was to be elected indirectly by the Electoral College for a four year term of office. In addition, he or she could be reelected after an initial term. They also created the Office of the Vice President who was to succeed a President unable to complete a term of office and additionally to preside over the Senate. Important powers initially held by the Senate were given to the President. For instance, the President would be able to make treaties and appoint the ambassadors.
The current Constitution stated that the House of Representatives was to be based on population. Taking this into consideration, there was an argument whether the slaves were to be counted. Unlike the southern states, the northern ones opposed the counting of slaves, arguing that they did not contribute to their economy. On the other hand, if slaves were to be counted, there would appear another dilemma of how they were to be represented. Therefore, it has led to formulation of a compromise between the two states.
Another compromise was made on the tariffs. The southern economy was heavily dependent on trade and, therefore, fought for the fair tariffs. By contrast, the delegates from the north welcomed the tariffs, which shielded their industries from the foreign competition. However, a compromise was reached, and it was decided that the government would impose taxes only on the imports. The exports were to be exempted from taxation. What is more, any legislation concerning regulation of the foreign commerce through the tariffs or quotas would be passed only with two-thirds majorities of both Houses of Congress.
Another successful step made by the delegates was enactment of the Bill of Rights, which eventually became a law in December, 1791. The Bill of Rights was created because of the high level of interest regarding individual freedoms. People wanted their rights to be respected and protected by the government. Therefore, the Ten Amendments were made. The First Amendment focused on the way of enforcing the laws by the Congress. It was agreed that no law should bare people of their right to speak. The press was also made free, and there was no law concerning religion. People also got an allowance for a free protest. They could call on the government on matters that were not addressed accordingly. The Second Amendment dealt with the issues concerning the militia. Everybody was given a right to bear arms since it was assumed that in a country, where every individual is able-bodied, a well-regulated militia should be achieved. Besides, the soldiers were obliged to be at war, except the cases provided by law. Another amendment was also based on the security issues. All the house-checks were to be done only upon a probable reason.
Another amendment also dealt with the rights of people. It was agreed that the citizens were to be protected from any harassment in the occurrence of an infamous crime. A person should only respond to calls in cases involving security matters such as the military, land defense or naval activity. One more amendment stated that people accused of any crime were to be trialed openly and without any delays. These trials were to be conducted in regard with the accusations made against the accused, and presence of the witnesses was obligatory. The accused was also free to look for his defense team and witnesses.
It should be mentioned that the amendment focused on the law and suit. Jury was to be given a full control, and their decisions were to be treated with no objection or reexamination. Harsh penalties on those found guilty by the law, such as unusual punishments, unreasonable fines and bails, were to be done away with.
Finally, the last change was concerning the powers for the states and people that were not supposed to be accountable to the Constitution. The above mentioned amendments and agreements were made at the Constitutional Convention and are embodied in the modern Constitution of the United States.
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