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August 10, 2006


Angie L.

which other summer school do you know?
I found some here http://www.summer-school-programs.com

but what is the url of yours? I would like some references


In light of the first comment in this thread (8/10/06, 11:28 PM), Roberts should have mentioned either Roger Sherman or Oliver Ellsworth by name. The fact that it's called the Connecticut Compromise, in honor of Sherman and Ellsworth, makes his failure to name them more glaring.

Also, if "Great Compromise" is a term of art, shouldn't it be singular (not plural, as in JGR's statement)?

And yeah, there is that whole unsavory three-fifths business...


When I hear "framers" and "great compromises" I think of the one that involved the fraction three-fifths. Not exactly something one would want to associate himself with.

Thus, John G. still remains perfect...I am not disillusioned today...

The Great Compromise defined how the States would share power in the new Federal government. The compromise resolved conflicts between the lower- and higher-populated States. In addition, the Great Compromise addressed disagreements between the States about slavery.

The primary conflict focused on State representation in the new Congress. The States with greater population favored "proportional" representation (i.e., representation based on population). The smaller States favored "equal" or "disproportional" representation (i.e., one State -- one vote, regardless of population). Although disproportional representation may sound unfair to us today, it was the existing practice under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the governing document of the United States before the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation created a weak central government serving thirteen virtually-sovereign States. Each State, regardless of population, shared power equally in the central government, and the States retained most governing authority.

The Great Compromise resulted in proportional representation for the States in the less-powerful House of Representatives, and disproportional representation in the Senate. To calculate State populations for House representation, each slave was counted as three-fifths of a free person (Article I, Section 2, third clause), which was the formula used in the Articles of Confederation for State taxes to the United States government.

The Great Compromise also resulted in disproportional powers, favoring the smaller States, in selecting the President. Most Americans today assume their vote for President is equal in strength to the vote of any other American. This is not true.

Exactly two hundred years earlier, the framers of the U.S. Constitution, meeting at Independence Hall, had reached a supremely important agreement. Their so-called Great Compromise (or Connecticut Compromise in honor of its architects, Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth) provided a dual system of congressional representation. In the House of Representatives each state would be assigned a number of seats in proportion to its population. In the Senate, all states would have the same number of seats. Today, we take this arrangement for granted; in the wilting-hot summer of 1787, it was a new idea.

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