How the Framers Overcame Distrust

The framers did not simply sit down together and invent a new system of government. There was a lot of distrust about what kind of system the framers might devise. They needed to find solutions that most people would willingly accept. One of the main challenges the framers faced was how to find a way between those who favored a national government strong enough to enforce its own laws and those who feared the tyranny of such a government over the states and the people.  There was also distrust between large, populous states and small states and between slave states and free states.  To overcome these problems, the framers engaged in serious and lengthy debates that led to a lot of new thinking.

The first part of their solution was a constitution that created a strong federal government with narrowly defined powers while leaving the states generally sovereign in all other powers. 

To read the full course (15 minutes), click here.

Image: Independence Hall, Philadelphia. National Archives.

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