Compromises of the Constitution in aspects of representation and slavery

Essay by NoTTiNzZz October 2004

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Drafting of the Constitution was not an easy job. The thirteen colonies each had different approaches on how some of the problems were to be settled. People in the rural areas had different ideas than those in the urban areas. Population and size of the states also determined the opinions that led the further compromises in the Constitution. Compromises had to be made when assessing the Constitution such as dealing representation of the states and slavery.

There was a great compromise over how each state would be represented. The populous Virginia State proposed that representation be based on population, an arrangement that would naturally give larger states an advantage. But tiny states such as New Jersey demanded equal representation to prevent the stronger states banding together to over run the other states. A "Great Compromise" was proposed to solve the problem. For the larger states, a House of Representatives was created which had members be elected based on the population of state.

As for the smaller states, every state had its own Senate which was composed of two members. Every tax bill must be originated in the House because that was based on the population of the state. Compromises had to be made to determine representation of each state so that all the states agreed so that a final Constitution was to be drafted.

Most of the northern states wanted to shut off the African slave trade but several of the southern states relied on slave labor. Compromises were to be made once again because states like Georgia and South Carolina wanted to keep slave trade alive. By way of compromise the convention stipulated that the salve trade might continue until the end of 1807, at which time Congress could stop it once and for all. Southerners also...