Skip to comments.A Senate of the States: July 16th, 1787
Posted on 12/04/2017 1:18:52 AM PST by Jacquerie
The Connecticut Compromise. Roger Sherman of Connecticut was another delegate largely forgotten by history. Born to a self-described low condition, he started off as a shoemaker, subsequently founded prosperous mercantile businesses, and became a judge and town mayor. At sixty-six, he was the second oldest delegate behind Benjamin Franklin. But unlike Franklin, Shermans grating personality often diminished the value of his ideas. Since June 6th, Sherman not only recognized the necessity of state participation in the new government, but consistently advocated an equality of state suffrage, of retaining the confederations congressional structure.1
In something of a parliamentary game of chicken, the generally smaller/low population states dug in and did not budge from their demand of equal representation. James Madison, who likewise refused to budge from proportional representation in both legislative houses, was prepared to risk dissolution of the convention over this issue. History can thank Massachusetts, which heretofore voted with the large state bloc, for putting the small state coalition over the top.2
Key elements of the Connecticut Compromise:
Assignment of the initial numbers of reps in the House of Representatives.
Treatment of new states.
A decennial census.
Count 3/5 of slaves for the purposes of taxation and representation in the house.
Money bills/appropriations to originate in the house; unamendable by the senate.
Equal state representation in the senate.
The conciliation of July 16th assured completion of the convention. Contentious issues remained, but the atmosphere of the convention settled down, not immediately, but soon thereafter as delegates from states large/small, north/south, all calculated that they had the capacity to protect their essential interests. They had found the middle way between an ineffective confederation and thorough consolidation in a national government.
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Thank you for the bumps!
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