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The Voting Record of the Constitution

Interpreting Data

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In May 1787, 55 delegates from 12 states met to revise the Articles of Confederation. Through debate and compromise, 39 delegates signed a new Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787.

Interpret the data in the voting record of the Constitution to measure the varying degrees of agreement and disagreement that existed during the creation of this essential document. Search for the issues that had the most agreement and disagreement and look for trends as to how states voted on the particular issue.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

The Voting Record of the Constitution

Interpreting Data

Examine the document or documents below. Use the numbers to refer to the questions or hints provided. Then label the documents(s) with additional numbers or symbols based if you were asked to do in the introduction and explain them in the margins. Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

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Number: 1
At the top of the document, states from north to south are listed from left to right

Number: 2
The specific issues that were voted on are listed in this column.

Number: 3
The tally for the votes about specific issues are listed in these columns.

Number: 4
Rhode Island did not send delegates to the Constitutional Convention, so their column is always blank.
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2
3


Number: 1
At the top of the document, states from north to south are listed from left to right.

Number: 2
The specific issues that were voted on are listed in this column.

Number: 3
The tally for the votes about specific issues are listed in these columns.
1
2
3


Number: 1
The tally for the votes about specific issues are listed in these columns.

Number: 2
The specific issues that were voted on are listed in this column.

Number: 3
At the top of the document, states from north to south are listed from left to right.



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Activity Element

Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention: 1787

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2

Activity Element

Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention: 1787

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Activity Element

Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention: 1787

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Consider the Source


How do you think this data was collected?
Survey
Observation
Measurement
Interview
Tally or Count
Reporting or recording
Compilation from other sources

Who do you think created the document(s)?

Why do you think the document(s) were created?

What questions does this raise in your mind?

Conclusion

The Voting Record of the Constitution

Interpreting Data

Answer the following:

  • Which issues had the most agreement? Which issues had the most disagreement?
  • In general, how were states divided on these issues? Did they divide based on region? Based on their state's population? Other factors?
  • Overall, which 3 votes on these several pages do you think were the most significant to the final ratified Constitution. Explain your answer.


Your Response




Document

Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

1787

For four months, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention debated fundamental questions relating to government, power, and human nature. Each and every clause of the Constitution was painstakingly argued and resolved. These pages are from the voting record, which is in two bound volumes. It reflects the countless diplomacies, concessions, and comprises that produced the Constitution.

Delegates to the Convention signed the proposed Constitution on September 17, 1787. William Jackson, who served as Secretary of the Convention, recorded the votes. Blanks spaces in the columns indicate states that weren't present to vote on a specific question. Throughout the entire voting record, the column for Rhode Island is blank or blacked out, since that state chose not to participate in the Convention. The column for New York is blank only for the later stages of the Convention, as two of the three delegates from that state departed early.

The last page included here shows the vote on the motion to appoint a committee to prepare a bill of rights. It also records the final vote taken September 15, 1787.

Delegates to the Convention signed the proposed Constitution on September 17, 1787. William Jackson, who served as Secretary of the Convention, recorded the votes.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention.
National Archives Identifier: 301680
Full Citation: Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention; 1787; Official Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, 1785 - 1787; Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/voting-record-constitutional-convention, December 12, 2019]


Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention

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