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    Connecticut Compromise, also known as Great Compromise, in United States history, the compromise offered by Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth during the drafting of the Constitution of the United States at the 1787 convention to solve the dispute between small and large states over representation in the new federal government. The compromise provided for a bicameral federal legislature that used a dual system of representation: the upper house would have equal representation from each state, while the lower house would have proportional representation based on a state’s population. In 1787 the convention met in the Pennsylvania State House

    Three-fifths compromise

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    Three-fifths compromise, compromise agreement between delegates from the Northern and the Southern states at the United States Constitutional Convention (1787) that three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for determining direct taxation and representation in the House of Representatives.

    Many of the Founding Fathers acknowledged that slavery violated the ideal of liberty that was so central to the American Revolution, but, because they were committed to the sanctity of private property rights, the principles of limited government, and the pursuit of intersectional harmony, they were unable to take bold action against slavery. Moreover, the Southern Founders’ thoroughgoing embrace of slave-based agriculture and their deeply ingrained racial prejudice solidified the barriers against emancipation. That the Continental Congress removed Thomas Jefferson’s statement regarding the injustice of the slave trade (and, by implication, slavery) from the final version of the Declaration of Independence is emblematic of the Founders’ resolve to subordinate the controversial issue of slavery to the larger goal of securing the unity and independence of the United States.

    Notwithstanding the initial disagreements over slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the framers of the Constitution continued to privilege the maintenance of unity of the new United States over the eradication of slavery by resolving to again diffuse sectional tensions over the matter. As they went about creating a new scheme of government, the delegates from the small and large states were divided on the issue of the apportionment of legislative representation. The Virginia, or large state, plan provided for a bicameral legislature with representation of each state based on its population or wealth; the New Jersey, or small state, plan proposed equal representation for each state in Congress. Neither the large nor the small states would yield, but the deadlock was resolved by the Connecticut, or Great, Compromise, which resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house and equal representation of the states in the upper house.

    The matter of how to determine population was anything but trivial. Having failed to secure the abolishment of slavery, some delegates from the Northern states sought to make representation dependent on the size of a state’s free population. Southern delegates, on the other hand, threatened to abandon the convention if enslaved individuals were not counted. Eventually, the framers agreed on a compromise that called for representation in the House of Representatives to be apportioned on the basis of a state’s free population plus three-fifths of its enslaved population. This agreement came to be known as the three-fifths compromise:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other Persons

    It should be noted that neither the word slave nor the word slavery appears in this clause or anywhere in the unamended Constitution.

    Granting slaveholding states the right to count three-fifths of their population of enslaved individuals when it came to apportioning representatives to Congress meant that those states would thus be perpetually overrepresented in national politics. However, this same ratio was to be used to determine the federal tax contribution required of each state, thus increasing the direct federal tax burden of slaveholding states. Provision was also added to the Constitution for a law permitting the recapture of fugitive slaves, along with a moratorium until 1808 on any congressional ban against the importation of slaves, though in the meantime individual states remained free to prohibit slave imports if they so wished.

    The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn.

    Source : www.britannica.com

    The Great Compromise of 1787

    How many representatives to the new Congress should each state get? The answer required the Founding Fathers to make a truly great compromise.

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    The Great Compromise of 1787

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    The Great Compromise of 1787, also known as the Sherman Compromise, was an agreement reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 between delegates of the states with large and small populations that defined the structure of Congress and the number of representatives each state would have in Congress according to the United States Constitution. Under the agreement proposed by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman, Congress would be a “bicameral” or two-chambered body, with each state getting a number of representatives in the lower chamber (the House) proportional to its population and two representatives in the upper chamber (the Senate).

    Key Takeaways: Great Compromise

    The Great Compromise of 1787 defined the structure of the U.S. Congress and the number of representatives each state would have in Congress under the U.S. Constitution.

    The Great Compromise was brokered as an agreement between the large and small states during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman.

    Under the Great Compromise, each state would get two representatives in the Senate and a variable number of representatives in the House in proportion to its population according to the decennial U.S. census.

    Perhaps the greatest debate undertaken by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 centered on how many representatives each state should have in the new government's lawmaking branch, the U.S. Congress. As is often the case in government and politics, resolving a great debate required a great compromise—in this case, the Great Compromise of 1787. Early in the Constitutional Convention, delegates envisioned a Congress consisting of only a single chamber with a certain number of representatives from each state.

    Weeks before the Constitutional Convention convened on July 16, 1787, the framers had already made several important decisions about how the Senate should be structured. They rejected a proposal to have the House of Representatives elect senators from lists submitted by the individual state legislatures and agreed that those legislatures should elect their senators. In fact, until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, all U.S. Senators were appointed by the state legislatures rather than elected by the people.

    By the end of its first day in session, the convention had already set the minimum age for senators at 30 and the term length at six years, as opposed to 25 for House members, with two-year terms. James Madison explained that these distinctions, based on “the nature of the senatorial trust, which requires greater extent of information and stability of character,” would allow the Senate “to proceed with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom than the popular[ly elected] branch.”

    However, the issue of equal representation threatened to destroy the seven-week-old convention. Delegates from the large states believed that because their states contributed proportionally more in taxes and military resources, they should enjoy proportionally greater representation in the Senate as well as in the House. Delegates from small states argued—with similar intensity—that all states should be equally represented in both houses.

    When Roger Sherman proposed the Great Compromise, Benjamin Franklin agreed that each state should have an equal vote in the Senate in all matters—except those involving revenue and spending.

    Over the Fourth of July holiday, delegates worked out a compromise plan that sidetracked Franklin’s proposal. On July 16, the convention adopted the Great Compromise by a suspenseful margin of one vote. Many historians have noted that without that vote, there would likely have been no U.S. Constitution today.


    The burning question was, how many representatives from each state? Delegates from the larger, more populous states favored the Virginia Plan, which called for each state to have a different number of representatives based on the state’s population. Delegates from smaller states supported the New Jersey Plan, under which each state would send the same number of representatives to Congress.

    Delegates from the smaller states argued that, despite their lower populations, their states held equal legal status to that of the larger states, and that proportional representation would be unfair to them. Delegate Gunning Bedford, Jr. of Delaware notoriously threatened that the small states could be forced to “find some foreign ally of more honor and good faith, who will take them by the hand and do them justice.”

    Source : www.thoughtco.com

    How the Great Compromise and the Electoral College Affects Politics Today

    Larger states wanted congressional representation based on population, while smaller states wanted equal representation. They met in the middle.

    How the Great Compromise and the Electoral College Affects Politics Today

    Larger states wanted congressional representation based on population, while smaller states wanted equal representation. They met in the middle.

    Author: Amanda Onion Updated: Mar 21, 2019 Original: Apr 17, 2018

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    Larger states wanted congressional representation based on population, while smaller states wanted equal representation. They met in the middle.

    The Great Compromise was forged in a heated dispute during the 1787 Constitutional Convention: States with larger populations wanted congressional representation based on population, while smaller states demanded equal representation. To keep the convention from dissolving into chaos, the founding fathers came up with the Great Compromise. The agreement, which created today’s system of congressional representation, now influences everything from “pork barrel” legislation to the way votes are counted in the electoral college during presidential elections.

    The debate almost destroyed the U.S. Constitution.

    At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates from larger states believed each state’s representation in the newly proposed Senate should be proportionate to population.

    Smaller states with lower populations argued that such an arrangement would lead to an unfair dominance of larger states in the new nation’s government, and each state should have equal representation, regardless of population.

    The disagreement over representation threatened to derail the ratification of the U.S. Constitution since delegates from both sides of the dispute vowed to reject the document if they didn’t get their way. The solution came in the form of a compromise proposed by statesmen Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut.

    The Great Compromise created two legislative bodies in Congress.

    Also known as the Sherman Compromise or the Connecticut Compromise, the deal combined proposals from the Virginia (large state) plan and the New Jersey (small state) plan.

    According to the Great Compromise, there would be two national legislatures in a bicameral Congress. Members of the House of Representatives would be allocated according to each state’s population and elected by the people.

    In the second body—the Senate—each state would have two representatives regardless of the state’s size, and state legislatures would choose Senators. (In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment was passed, tweaking the Senate system so that Senators would be elected by the people.)

    The plan was at first rejected but then approved by a slim margin on July 23, 1787.

    George Washington presiding over the Constitutional Convention, 1787. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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    Smaller states have disproportionately more power in the Senate.

    At the time of the convention, states’ populations varied, but not by nearly as much as they do today. As a result, one of the main lingering political effects of the Great Compromise is that states with smaller populations have a disproportionately bigger voice in the nation’s Congress.

    As political scientist George Edwards III of Texas A&M University points out, California hosts about 68 times more people than Wyoming, yet they have the same number of votes in the Senate.

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    “The founders never imagined … the great differences in the population of states that exist today,” says Edwards. “If you happen to live in a low-population state you get a disproportionately bigger say in American government.”

    The imbalance of proportionate power favoring smaller states in the Senate means that interests in those states, such as mining in West Virginia or hog farming in Iowa, are more likely to get attention—and money—from federal coffers.

    “In the Senate when they’re trying to get to 51 votes to pass a bill, every vote counts,” says Todd Estes, a historian at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. “That’s when the smaller states can demand amendments and additions to bills to look out for their own state’s interest.”

    Source : www.history.com

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