Shays's Rebellion (1786): Massachusetts farmer Daniel Shays led rebellion against government to stop courts from taking farms. Proof that Articles were failing to keep the peace in the U.S. Reaction to Shays's Rebellion was to call for a convention to revise the Articles.
Northwest Ordinance: set up system for new western sections to be governed and become states. 5,000+ free adult males = elect legislature. 60,000+ total = apply to become state. Slavery was banned in the Northwest Territory.
Delegates compromised on states’ representation in the federal government: House of Representatives would be based on population (to appeal to large states); Senate would receive 2 senators from each state (equal vote to appeal to small states).
A fundamental principle of American government, guaranteed by the Constitution, whereby each branch of the government (executive, judicial, and legislative) has some measure of influence over the other branches and may choose to block procedures of the other branches.
Federalist Paper, No. 10, Madison responded that large republics actually prevented special interests from taking over. Madison said that in a large republic, “. . . you take in a greater variety of . . . interests; you make it less probable that a majority . . . will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens . . . .” In other words, in a large republic, the special interests balance each other out.
In Federalist Paper, No. 51, Madison told why government is needed. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” He then explained why government needs checks on it. “If angels were to govern men,” no checks would be needed. “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men,” he continued, “the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” In other words, government had to have power, but not too much power.