What was the solution to the Great Comprimise?

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boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The solution to the Great Compromise of 1787, also known as the Connecticut Compromise, was to create a bi-cameral federal legislature whereby each state would send an equal number of delegates to the Senate and a representational number to the House of Representatives.

It was decided early in the Constitutional Convention that each state would send delegates to the national government.  One of the big questions was determining how many would go from each state.  The Virginia plan was to include a proportional number of delegates according to the state population.  This would have provided more populace states with greater control of the government.  However, under the New Jersey plan each state would send an equal number of delegates thereby protecting the smaller states interests in the federal government.

The solution was proposed by Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, Connecticut's delegates to the convention.  The Great Compromise was passed in July, 1787 by a one-vote margin.

msfleming | Student

The rallying cry of the American Revolution was “no taxation without representation,” so when the Constitutional Convention convened in 1787, one of the first things the delegates had to do was decide representation—decide how many votes each state would get.

Large states, meaning states with a large population, believed that population should determine representation; basically, more people should equal more votes. This was the basis of the Virginia Plan, sometimes called the Randolph Plan. The Virginia Plan was favored by large states. States with a smaller population were worried that the Virginia Plan would give power to the larger states while smaller states would be powerless, so they proposed the New Jersey Plan. The New Jersey Plan, sometimes called the Patterson Plan, believed that all states should have equal representation, regardless of population.

The Great Compromise was the solution. Sometimes called the Connecticut Compromise or Sherman’s Compromise, the Great Compromise solved the problem of representation by combining the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. The Great Compromise created a bicameral legislature, meaning Congress would be made up of two houses. In the upper house, the Senate, all states would have equal representation. In the lower house, the House of Representatives, population would determine representation. The Great Compromise was a way to ensure that citizens in both large states and small states were able to have a voice in the federal government.

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