The Great Compromise

James Madison’s notes dated July 16, recording the Great Compromise

Library of Congress

The Great Compromise

"On the question for agreeing to the whole Report as amended & including the equality of votes in the 2nd passed in the Affirmative." James Madison's notes dated July 16, recording the Great Compromise Library of Congress-James Madison's Notes on the Convention

-James Madison's Notes on the Conv



The Connecticut compromise - votes in the first house based on population, an equal vote in the Senate, money bills to originate in the first house - passed by the narrowest of margins. Madison records this, the crucial vote of the Convention, as follows:

"Mas. divided Mr. Gerry, Mr. Strong aye; Mr. King, Mr. Ghorum no, Cont. ay, New Jersey ay, Pena, no, Del. ay, Md. ay, Va, no, N.C, ay, Mr. Spaight no, S.C. no, Geo, no. Ayes - 5; noes - 4; divided 1."

Gerry's very reluctant support for the compromise, Strong's vote for it, and the ayes of NC's Davie, Martin and Williamson may have kept the United States united.

The Connecticut Compromise adopted this day provided that the Congress from time to time would reapportion the number of representatives among the states as population changed. To get started, it allocated 65 representatives among the 13 states as recommended by a committee of 11 chaired by Rufus King. Since there had never been a census, this committee had to guess.


Tuesday, July 17, 1787
Supreme Law of the Land
HOME The 225th Anniversary of the Constitution Convention

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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