The US constitutional convention of 1787 was a pivotal historical event that forever shaped the US government and changed its Constitution. Triggered by various economic and political crises, such as Shays' Rebellion, the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation were exposed - leading to delegates from 12 states gathering in Philadelphia to revise the Articles. They debated over the size, scope, and structure of the current federal government, and reached several notable compromises. The impacts that the Constitutional Convention left are still to be felt up to this day, as the creation of which was placed among the most important turnarounds in American history.
This year, HMUN 9th Session is proud to bring you to the Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Will the representatives of 12 states manage to craft a solution that suits for all?
Topic 1: Government structure
Though the Articles of Confederation had provided the framework for governance since the declaration of the American Revolution against Britain, many of the fledgling nation’s political leaders agreed that the creation of a stronger central government was essential to the development of the power and potential of the United States. One of the most spirited debates at the Convention regarded the composition of the legislative branch of government. Should the legislature be unicameral—consisting of one house—or bicameral—consisting of two houses? Perhaps more importantly, how should representation in the legislature be apportioned? These major clashes between states, if left unresolved, might result in the doom of the Thirteen Colonies.
Topic 2: Taxation & Spending
To avoid any perception of “taxation without representation,” the Articles of Confederation allowed only state governments to levy taxes. To pay for its expenses, the national government had to request money from the states. The states, however, were often negligent in this duty, and so the national government was underfunded. Without money, the US government could not pay debts owed from the Revolution or easily secure new funds, and consequently worsened its economic woes. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government lacked the power of taxation, had no authority to regulate commerce, and was impotent to resolve conflicts arising between states.
In your hands is the power to change the course of history. Esteemed delegates, the future is yours!