The Great Compromise By: Aaron Daniel Period 5th Historical Essay

The Great Compromise
By: Aaron Daniel
Period 5th
Historical Essay
“Do you think the United States of America would ever be under control if it were not for the
compromises?” In 1786, fifty five delegates from twelve of the thirteen states attended the
Constitutional Convention. The delegates were there to make changes to the Articles of
Confederation. They did not know that they would compromise to form a Constitution.
James Madison made a plan that needed a three branch government (legislative, judicial,
and executive. James Madison did that so we could have a separation of powers so no man could
have too much authority. The system allowed each branch to check the other. It was like that so
it would protect the citizens. “ Much of the controversy surrounding the plan centered on
legislation.” The plan called for membership in the legistlature to be based on population. This
favored the larger states.
“The plan was referred to as the Virginia plan or the large state plan.” The small states
disagreed so they formed their own plan . Some delegates came together and made a New Jersey
Plan. This plan was for a unicameral legislature that had equal representation. It called for each
state to have one representative. “This legislative branch would have the power to levy taxes,
regulate trade, and appoint a plural executive.” It also called for a Supreme Court. “This plan
favored small states in which would not receive much representation through the Virginia
Plan.”They could not decide on a specific plan after the numerous proposals. “Roger Sherman
resolved this dispute with the help of Ben Franklin when they proposed The Great Compromise.”
The Compromise gave both of what they wanted. It was a bicameral legislature that had a house
of Representatives and a Senate. “Population would determine representation in the House of
Representatives and in the Senate, each state was guaranteed two representatives.
“By July 16, the convention had already set the minimum age for senators at thirty and
the term length at six years as opposed to twenty five House members, with two year terms.”
“James Madison explained that these distinctions, based on the nature of the sentatorial trust,
which requires greater extinct of information and stability of character, would allow the Senate
to proceed with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom than the popularity
elected branch.” The issue of representation threatened to destroy the seven week old
The issue of representation, however, threatened to destroy the seven-week-old convention. Delegates from the
large states believed that because their states contributed proportionally more to the nation’s financial and defensive
resources, they should enjoy proportionally greater representation in the Senate as well as in the House. Small-state
delegates demanded, with comparable intensity, that all states be equally represented in both houses. When
Sherman proposed the compromise, Benjamin Franklin agreed that each state should have an equal vote in the
Senate in all matters—except those involving money