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Connecticut Compromise facts for kids

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The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or Sherman's Compromise) was an agreement that the large and small states reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that established a two-house legislature under the United States Constitution.

It retained the bicameral legislature as proposed by Roger Sherman, along with proportional representation in the lower house. It required the upper house, United States Senate, to have two members from each state. The lower house, or House of Representatives, would have representation based on the population of a state.

The Compromise

On July 16, 1787, Roger Sherman (1721-1793) and Oliver Ellsworth (1745 – 1807), both of the Connecticut delegation, forged a compromise for a bicameral legislature consisting of a lower and upper house.

In favor of the larger states, membership in the lower house, as in the Virginia Plan, was to be allocated in proportion to state population and candidates were to be nominated and elected by the people of each state.

A census of all inhabitants of the United States was to be taken every 10 years. Also all bills for raising taxes, spending or appropriating money, setting the salaries of Federal officers were to originate in the lower house and be unammendable by the upper house. In exchange, membership in the upper house, however, was more similar to the New Jersey Plan and was to be allocated two seats to each state, regardless of size, with members being chosen by the state legislatures.

The compromise passed after eleven days of debate by one vote — five to four.

By in large the compromise was accepted into the final form of the U.S. Constitution. The provision that all fiscal bills should start in the House was incorporated as Art. 1, §7, Clause 1 (known as the Origination Clause), albeit in a limited form applying only to tax bills and allowing the Senate to amend.

Aftermath

This agreement allowed deliberations to continue and thus led to the Three-Fifths Compromise, which further wrangled the issue of popular representation in the House. More populous Southern States were allowed to count three-fifths of all non-free, non-Native American people towards population counts and allocations.

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