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Agreement under Great Compromise

The matter was referred to a committee composed of one delegate from each State to reach a compromise. On 5 July, the Committee presented its report, which became the basis for the “Grand Compromise” of the Convention. The report recommended that in the Upper House, each state should have the same vote, and in the House of Commons, each state should have one representative for every 40,000 inhabitants,[5] count slaves as three-fifths of a resident,[5] and that banknotes come from the House of Commons (subject to change by the Upper House). Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, both of the Connecticut delegation, created a compromise that, in some ways, mixed the proposals of Virginia (large state) and New Jersey (small state) regarding the division of Congress. In the end, however, their main contribution was to determine the division of the Senate. Sherman sided with the biennial national legislature of the Virginia Plan, but suggested that “the portion of the right to vote in the 1st branch [house] should be based on the respective number of free residents; and that in the second branch or the senate, each state should have one vote, no more. [6] Although Sherman was very popular and respected among the delegates, his plan initially failed. It wasn`t until July 23 that the performance was finally settled. [6] Exactly 200 years earlier, the framers of the U.S.

Constitution who met at Independence Hall had reached an extremely important agreement. Their so-called Grand Compromise (or Connecticut Compromise in honor of its architects, Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth) offered a dual system of representation in Congress. In the House of Representatives, each state would be allocated a number of seats relative to its population. In the Senate, all states would have the same number of seats. Today, we take this regulation for granted; in the heat and wilted summer of 1787, it was a new idea. Because of the impasse, the matter was referred to a committee to reach a compromise. The committee presented a report that served as the basis for the “Grand Compromise.” The report recommended that each state receive an equal vote in the upper house. In the House of Commons, each state would get one representative for every 40,000 inhabitants, including slaves counted as three-fifths of a resident. The burning question was how many representatives of each state.

Delegates from larger, more populous states favored Virginia`s plan, which provided that each state should have a different number of representatives based on the state`s population. Delegates from small states supported New Jersey`s plan, under which each state would send the same number of representatives to Congress. The question of representation, however, threatened to destroy the seven-week-old convention. Delegates from major states believed that because their states contributed proportionately more to the nation`s financial and defensive resources, they should be proportionally more represented in the Senate and House of Representatives. Delegates from small States demanded with comparable intensity that all States be equally represented in both chambers. When Sherman proposed the compromise, Benjamin Franklin agreed that all states should have an equal voice in the Senate on all matters except money. “The founders could never have imagined. the big differences in state population that exist today,” Edwards says. “If you live in a state with a small population, you have a disproportionate say in the U.S. government.” The Grand Compromise of 1787, or the Connecticut Compromise as it is also known, was an agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

This agreement outlined the legislative structure and representation of each state under the U.S. Constitution. Under this agreement, the bicameral legislature proposed by Roger Sherman was kept intact, which is why it is also known as the Sherman Compromise. Perhaps the greatest debate conducted by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 focused on the number of representatives each state should have in the legislative department of the new government, the United States.

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