The Three Major Compromises of the Constitution

Essay by diva03High School, 12th grade December 2002

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The Connecticut Compromise: The Connecticut Compromise played a huge part in the adoption of the Constitution. The Virginia Plan had already establishedthat there were three branches of government, but the Connecticut Copromise made the Legislative branch bicameral. It now consisted of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The problem was that the smaller states thought their interests and concerns would not be recognized and the lager states wanted to dominate. So, the decision was made to make two seperate representative governments. The House of Representatives, which had the representatives based on population, and the Senate, which had each state represented equally. The New Jersey Plan was the plan that decided that instead of only one representative from each state in the Senate, there should be two.

The three-fifths Compromise: The problem was that the southern states thought the slaves should be counted in population, not for taxation, but the northern states opposed.

The south had less free people than the north, so they wanted an equal say in the government. After much deliberation, a compromise was made. The south needed a compromise in order to ratify the constitution for themselves. They decided to make all free people count as a whole, and all non-free people count as 3/5 of a person, but also, the non-free people counted as 3/5 for taxation purposes as well.

The Commerce and Slave Trade Agreement: Now the Congress was scared that the abolishonists, the industrial northern representatives, would try to change the slave laws in the south and add a stronger export tax on the agricultural southern tobacco. So, the congress decided that the governmentcould not interfere with slave laws for the first twenty years after the adoption of the constitution and that there would no longer be an export tax.