Connecticut Compromise

Also known as the Great Compromise, Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth of the Connecticut delegation engineered this crucial compromise when delegates reached an impasse at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The smaller of the 13 states refused to accept a federal plan of government in which the people of the states were represented in both the upper and the lower houses of the legislature solely on the basis of population-based, proportional representation. Sherman and Ellsworth proposed that while representation in the lower house of representatives be based on population, each state, regardless of population, would be equally represented in the upper house by two senators elected by their state's legislature. The delegates voted to accept the compromise, allowing the work of the Convention to continue.