American Goverment: the Great Compromise

Topics: United States Constitution, United States, United States House of Representatives Pages: 3 (866 words) Published: April 20, 2011
The Great Compromise of 1787 or the Connecticut Compromise of 1787 refers to the settlement of the dispute that rose due to conflicting views put forward by the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey plan. These plans proposed changes in the Articles of Confederation that was the aim of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. However, whereas the Virginia Plan seemed to provide a greater representation of the more populous states in the national government, the New Jersey Plan was proposed by the smaller states aimed at preventing the balance of the US government from tilting in favor of the more populous states as per the Virginia Plan.

The Articles of Confederation, from 1781 to 1789, provided the virgin country with an efficient form government, transferring power from a monarchy to a democratic republic. However, The Articles of Confederation failed to secure our country. It left our nation utterly defenseless and divided without the existence of a standing national army and grievances among states. The reason for such a short period between its adoption and its revision was due to the many problems that occurred.

Firstly, one of the most important problems was that congress had no control over taxes. The states refused to give the government the money it needed. This led to many other problems. As a result of the government having no money, it could not pay off its debts of about $70 million from the revolution. Then the problem was that there were no federal courts. Disputes between the states could not be settled and they often refused to recognize or enforce the laws of other states. “Because of the fear that resulted from the colonial experience under the centralized government of Great Britain, the committee had been careful to give the states as much independence as possible, while also explicitly stating the limited functions of the federal government. Yet, several years would pass and many revisions would occur before the Articles were finally...

Bibliography: 1. “The Articles of Confederation” http://bensguide.gpo.gov/9-12/documents/articles/index.html, updated: February 26, 2003, October 10, 2010
2. Robert Longley, “The Great Compromise of 1787”, http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/greatcomp.html, September 23, 2004, October 10, 2010
3. “Virginia Plan (1787)”, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=old&doc=7, October 10, 2010
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