Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

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  • The Northern states, including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut, believe that slaves should not be counted towards population. We believe that slavery is wrong and should be illegal, which is one of the reasons slaves should not be counted.
  • Also, we do not own many slaves, so our population would not increase by much. Southern states that have many slaves would have an unfairly large population if slaves were counted towards population for representation in Congress.
  • As a representative from Virginia, I and other Southern state delegates believe that states should be counted towards population for representation in Congress. Southern states have thousands of slaves that our economy depends on in order to tend to crops and make money. Without slaves, a large source of the country's income would vanish, which is why slaves should be counted as part of population.
  • If only I had a say in the matter...
  • In order to be fair, I propose the Great Compromise. This combination of the Virginia and New Jersey plans states that there will be a bicameral legislature. In the upper house of Congress called the Senate, there will be equal representation from each state. In the lower house of Congress or the House of Representatives, the representation is to be proportional to the population of each state.
  • The only fair way to make a decision is to use both of the ideas that have been presented. A compromise called the Three Fifths Compromise will be instated. It will say that 3/5ths of slaves will be counted towards the overall population of a state for representation in Congress.
  • As we write our country's constitution, we must take into account things such as what type of Congress we will have. Today, I propose the Virginia plan. This basically states that our Congress will be bicameral and that representation will be proportional. Proportional representation means that the larger a state's population is, the more votes it will have in Congress.
  • Smaller states do not agree with the Virginia plan, so here is the New Jersey plan. It says that there will be a unicameral legislature and that there will be equal representation in Congress. The states with smaller populations feel that this must be done or the larger states will have an unfair advantage. They would have way too much power and would make smaller states feel like they were under a monarchy again.
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