When the Convention received the draft proposals, another lively debate broke out. Opponents of the export ban have raised objections for economic reasons. One delegate said that denying the power to tax exports would deprive the government of “half of trade regulation.” Another pointed out that export taxation could become important “if America were to become a producing country.” Led by Alexander Hamilton, although initially in secret, the federalists were the first political party in the United States. They supported the Constitution and tried to convince states to ratify the document. Hamilton, along with John Jay and James Madison, anonymously published a series of essays known as the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym Publius. The weaknesses of the articles of Confederation were: the method of electing a president posed another challenge to delegates. While some preferred the president to be elected by a vote in Congress, others felt that the president should be elected by referendum. The compromise was the Electoral College – the system by which the president and vice president of the United States are chosen by voters from each state and district of Columbia. Each state has the same number of votes as representatives and senators in Congress, and the District of Columbia has three. (Originally, the Constitution did not give a vote to the District of Columbia; they were supplemented by an amendment ratified in 1961) One candidate had to get a majority of votes to win the presidential election – today there are 270 votes out of 538. Delegates met for nearly four months when the style committee presented a final draft constitution on September 12. The draft included a new provision that provides for a jury trial in criminal matters in the new federal judicial system. The jury trial was considered one of many fundamental rights, and George Mason was slow to propose to include a comprehensive bill listing fundamental individual rights that the government could not violate.
He believed that a bill of rights would “give great tranquillity to the people” and could be written in just a few hours. Eldridge Gerry agreed and asked for a committee to develop a rights bill. Mason filed his application, but was rejected by 10 votes to 0. (Each state had one vote and only 10 states were represented in favour of the vote) When the document was submitted to Congress and the country, it surprised everyone. In fact, it has been controversial in many states. But until July 1788, nine states had ratified it, and it came into force. On March 1, 1789, the first member of Congress and President George Washington took office under the new U.S. Constitution. What were the statutes of the Confederation? What were the problems with the articles? Although the federalists failed to prevent the adoption of the Constitution, their efforts were responsible for the creation and implementation of the Bill of Rights. Before the official start of the Congress, Madison and the other Virginia delegates had devised a plan — the Virginia Plan — to correct the articles of Confederation. Their plan went far beyond changes and corrections and did present a whole new instrument of government.
The plan included three distinct branches of government: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative branch would have two houses, the first being elected by the people of each state, and the second by the first from a list drawn up by the national parliaments. During the ratification debate, federalists were opposed to the Constitution. They deplored the fact that the new system threatens freedoms and does not protect individual rights.