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Constitutional Convention

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Because of the Shay's Rebellion, 55 delegates met in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. They had notice that their Central Government was too weak and that they needed to make it stronger and decided to make up a whole new government. Locked in a room in the summer heat they debated, argued, and conflicts arose of a variety of issues. Even though these disagreements arose they were still able to come to a compromise.

One of the altercations was between the large and small states. They argued about representation and how they should be represented. James Madison a key player in creating the constitution proposed the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan proposed a bicameral legislative with membership based upon each states population. Many big states like New York, and Virginia supported this plan. William Paterson proposed the New Jersey Plan which was supported by many of the small states. The New Jersey plan proposed a unicameral where each state had one vote.

This argument went on and on until Roger Sherman suggested the Great Compromise. The Great Compromise suggested a bicameral which pleased both large and small states. The Great Compromise consisted of a senate which would have equal representation. The size of the state determined the representatives for the House of Representation which pleased the large states. The member of the House of Representation would then vote for two members of the senate. This also pleased the people who favored the government by the people because it let them vote for their representatives. Also it pleased the people who defended the states rights by preserving the power of the legislatures.

Once the Great Compromise was settled the next big problem came up. Representation based on population raised the question of whether slaves should be counted as people. The southern delegates wanted the slaves to be counted as the part of the population. This determined the number of representatives



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