Getting to Union

Navigating Differences in the Constitutional Convention

Part I. Citizens of Our Fragile New Country were Deeply Divided by Their Differences.

Part I. Step 5. Disagreements Among the Delegates

Delegates at the Constitutional Convention agreed that:

  • The new United States was fragile and might fail.
  • The hard-fought Revolutionary War victory could be lost if their governmental problems were not solved.
  • They wanted to keep the states.
  • There would be no king of the United States.

Delegates did not agree on how to solve the problems in government. These questions remained:

  • What power balances should be in Congress? Should all states have equal votes?
  • How will decision-making power function? Will some states lose their voice in a federal system?
  • How should Congress be chosen?
  • Should Congress have the power to tax?
  • Should the institution of slavery have legal protections?
  • Citizens needed to be virtuous to uphold the responsibilities of self-government. What was the role of the state in promoting religion to encourage a virtuous citizenry?

On your own paper, respond to this question:

In your opinion, which would be the hardest problem to solve. Why?


Learn more about how to promote the 3Rs — rights, responsibility, respect — in your school and community.