The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or the Sherman Compromise) was an agreement reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 by large and small states that defined the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the United States
In summary, the Connecticut Compromise established a congressional district system that allocated seats in the House of Representatives based on population with some adjustments for state size. The country was divided into three districts per state, with their own representatives. If there were not enough votes to decide which district each state fell into, then the national capital city would assume it was a local matter for that state to decide.
This system was intended to ensure that smaller states did not lose out when it came to Congress, while also giving equal weight to larger states. At the time, almost all states had populations less than 10 million people, so this arrangement was seen as necessary for preserving federalism—the belief that power should be divided between the national government and the individual states, with neither body having unlimited authority over the others.
There had been talk at the convention of basing representation on total population, but this idea was rejected because it would have given too much power to large states. A plan was proposed by George Washington called "equal proportions," but it was determined that this was not acceptable either because it would have given more power to small states or counties.
The Great Agreement, also known as the Connecticut Compromise, was a landmark compromise at the Constitutional Convention that established a two-house government with equal representation for all states in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives. The agreement was proposed by George Washington and supported by Benjamin Franklin but it took nearly three years to achieve final approval by the convention delegates.
The Constitution as finally approved by the convention on September 17, 1787, lacked any provision for amending it. In fact, it took another seven years before the first amendment was ratified by the necessary number of states. During this time, several other compromises were made at the federal level to resolve issues that had not been resolved by the original drafting process. Two examples are provided below.
The Apportionment Bill was introduced into the First Congress in January 1789 to establish congressional districts based on population numbers reported by each state. It passed the House but not the Senate, so it was never agreed to by the Congress or the President.
The Subsistence Budget was proposed by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by Congress in February 1790. It included a small annual appropriation for the Executive Branch (less than $100,000 today), plus discretionary funds that could be allocated by the President. There was no limit on how much money the Government could spend, so this was truly a subsistence budget.
Their so-called Great Compromise (also known as the Connecticut Compromise for its architects, Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth) established a dual system of congressional representation. Each state would be given a number of seats in the House of Representatives based on its population. The remaining seats would be distributed among the states by using their existing federal electoral districts. This ensured that small states like Delaware and Rhode Island could have an impact on Congress, while large ones like Pennsylvania and New York could not.
In addition to this, the compromise provided for the continuation of the Senate, which at the time was seen as an effective way to ensure that slavery would not be abolished via constitutional amendment. Since small states like Delaware could not possibly have an influence on this body, they were granted two seats in order to give them some voice in Congress.
The final compromise was approved by Congress on July 26, 1866 and officially called the Apportionment Act of 1866. It was signed into law by President Andrew Johnson on August 7, 1866.
These are just some of the many compromises we need to remember when thinking about our current political situation. They are all necessary in order for legislation to pass both houses of Congress and become law. Without these compromises, we wouldn't have a government anymore because everyone would want their ideas implemented immediately without having to worry about what other people think.