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Introduction Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Signing the Constitution Ratifying the Constitution Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

 


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Ratifying the Constitution Signing the Constitution Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

The Great Compromise

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention came from different backgrounds and held different political views. For example, they argued about how many representatives each state should be allowed. The larger states favored the Virginia Plan. According to the Virginia Plan, each state would have a different number of representatives based on the state's population. The smaller states favored the New Jersey Plan. According to the New Jersey Plan, the number of representatives would be the same for each state.

A delegate from Connecticut, Roger Sherman, proposed a two-house legislature, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate would have an equal number of representatives from each state. This would satisfy the states with smaller populations. The House of Representatives would include one representative for each 30,000 individuals in a state. This pleased states with larger populations.

This two-house legislature plan worked for all states and became known as the Great Compromise.

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The Great Compromise saved the Constitutional Convention, and, probably, the Union. Authored by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman, it called for proportional representation in the House, and one representative per state in the Senate (this was later changed to two.) The compromise passed 5-to-4, with one state, Massachusetts, “divided.”

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