Constitution
Late
in May 1787, George Washington welcomed delegates from twelve of the thirteen
states to the Constitutional Convention. The fifty-five men in attendance
expected to consider significant changes in their national government. In turn
the Constitution as ratified was a bundle of political compromises that solved
the differences among those delegates. The first and foremost the issue at hand
was what kind of government was best for a republic? A plan was submitted by the

Virginia delegation that had a guiding spirit belonging to James Madsion. The

Virginia Plan called for a government with three distinct branches: legislative,
executive, and judicial. By dividing this power, it was intended to ensure that
no group or individual could have too much authority. Also by allowing each
branch of government some means to check the other branches, it was intended to
protect the interests of citizens. Although the delegates supported the
principles of the Virginia Plan, they were in disagreement over many other
issues. The greatest controversy centered on representation in the legislative
branch. The Virginia Plan proposed that membership representation in each house
would be based on population. Small states objected saying that it would leave
them helpless in a government dominated by large states. In turn they supported
the New Jersey Plan, which gave all states an equal representation regardless of
the population. Roger Sermen of Connecticut, with the help of Ben Franklin
introduced the Great Compromise. It set up a bicameral legislature, where
representation in the House of Representatives was based on population and in
the Senate each state was guaranteed a fixed two representatives. The issue of
representation continued into the issue of who would be counted as a state’s
population. Southern delegates argued that slaves should be counted for the
purposes of representation but not for the purposes of taxation. Northern
delegates argued that slaves should be counted when determining the state’s
share of taxes and not counted in representation because they were consider
property. The Three-fifths Compromise settled the issue. It stated that
three-fifths of the all the other persons population will be included in a
state’s count and that. It would count for both taxation and representation in
the House of Representatives. The fourth issue that arose was who would control
interstate trade? The solution was plain and simple, the federal government
would control interstate commerce and imports/exports from foreign counties. The
states, in turn, would be in control of intrastate commerce The final issue was
how the president would be chosen. In this case two issues were presented,

Jefferson believed that the people should vote to determine the president. On
the other hand, Hamilton felt that the people are not capable enough to decide.

The solution combined both the ideas of Hamilton and Jefferson. It allowed the
president to be elected indirectly through the Electoral College. Through the

Electoral College, the electors are chosen by the states who vote for
presidential candidates. Each state was entitled to as many electors as it had
senators and representatives in Congress. The electors then voted for whoever
got the majority of votes from the state voters. The Webster’s dictionary
defines the term compromise as "a settling of differences." At the

Constitutional Convention, the delegates of the states were faced with many
disputes and solved them by the giving and taking of practical compromise. It
can be concluded that the Constitution is a bundle of political compromises with
examples such as the "The Great Compromise" and the "Three-fifths

Compromise." As a result the outcome was a new plan for a national government,
which won unanimous support from the delegates.