The History of Great Compromises in United States Government

            Would the United States of America ever be united if it were not for compromises? I would say the chances are slim. During the early years of the new nation, there was a lot of conflict and turmoil. During the Constitutional Convention of 1786, one of the most essential compromises of the early United States was the Great Compromise. Another compromise that arose at the Constitutional Convention was the Three Fifths Compromise. These two compromises helped to establish the early government issues of the nation. Another compromise that was crucial to the survival of this great nation is the Missouri Compromise. Together these three compromises enabled America to become united.

             In 1786, fifty-five delegates from twelve of the thirteen states attended the Constitutional Convention. These delegates were there to make changes to the Articles of Confederation, what they did not know was that they would compromise to form a constitution. James Madison from Virginia proposed a plan that called for a three branch government; legislative, judicial, and executive (Notes 2/16/01). This was intended to separate the powers, ensuring that no one group or individual could have too much authority. In this plan was also a system that allowed each branch to check the other. This was instated to protect the interest of the citizen. Much of the controversy surrounding the plan centered on legislation. The plan called for membership in the legislature to be based on population (Tindall & Shi pp.313). This would favor the larger states. The plan was referred to as the Virginia Plan or the Large States' Plan. Since the small states disagreed, they formed their own plan. Some fifteen delegates came together and submitted the New Jersey Plan. This plan called for a unicameral legislature that had equal representation. It called for each state to have one representative. This legislative branch would have the power to levy taxes, regulate trade, and appoint a plural executive.

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