How did the Great Compromise balance the wishes of small states and large states? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Great Compromise, proposed by Roger Sherman, balanced the wishes of both the large states and the small states. The large states believed representation in Congress should be based on population. Since they had more people, they would have more representatives and thus more power. Small states objected to this. They were afraid their voice wouldn’t be heard if the plan of the large states prevailed. The small states wanted equal representation in Congress. By proposing a two-house system, a bicameral legislature, the needs of both large states and small states would be met. In one house, the House of Representatives, representation would be based on population. This favored the large states. In the other house, the Senate, there would be equal representation with each state having two senators. This favored the small states. Thus, the Great Compromise benefited both groups of states by giving each group some of what it wanted.