What was the Great Compromise?


Quick Answer

The Great Compromise, also known as the Connecticut Compromise, was the result of a debate among delegates that decided how much representation each state should have in Congress. Delegates gathered at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to reach a compromise on this issue. The Great Compromise affected the formation of Congress and the House of Representatives.

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What was the Great Compromise?
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Full Answer

Prior to the Great Compromise, delegates envisioned only one law-making branch of the government. Most delegates agreed that representatives from each state should be a part of this branch, but no agreement could be reached regarding how much each state should be represented. Most delegates from larger states favored the Virginia Plan. This plan determined the extent of state representation by the population of a state. On the other hand, smaller states were in favor of the New Jersey Plan that would require all states to be represented in Congress equally, regardless of the number of citizens in a state.

A compromise was reached when Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman proposed the creation of a two-chambered Congress. This led to the creation of the House of Representative. Today, each state is represented by two senators and several members of the House of Representatives. The amount of representatives for each state is determined by the population of the state.

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