Period Five Great Compromise

Group Members and Roles

  • Ben: TV and RADIO SPOT
  • Chloe: SPEAKER and WRITER

Group Slogan

"The Best of Both Worlds!"

What Your Group Wants -- Plan for New Constitution

Bicameral Legislature
We want not just what Virginia wants but New Jersey as well. We know that we need to have both population shown in pressing country wide issues and we also understand that just because you have the most people you shouldn't have the most power.

Bullet Points of Your Plan

  • Compromise between Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan.
  • Taking the best parts of each.

Orator: Text of Your Speech

My fellow gentlemen, as I,
Roger Sherman urges compromise.
Roger Sherman, stand before you today, with the swell of victory still fresh in all of our breasts we must address the issues with which this victory has brought forth. The way we are governed is now in our hands. Our blood, sweat, and tears were able to grant us these rights. So as we were united fighting for this freedom; we should be untied in deciding what is best for our young growing nation.

As the men before me have stated their opinions on the matter, people such as ourselves must ask, what will we benefit from? Should we be represented by the men within each state? Or should each state, despite population size, have an equal say? Shall we place a price on the soul of a man with the power of slavery that we have had since our birth? Or should we push against this and try to start afresh with all men being equal in the eyes of each other as it is in gods? My proposition for the ears willing to listen to sane and fair ideals is that we compromise. Both the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey plan bring up valid points. No matter what way we look at it we all want representation. Each plan however, cannot stand alone because of the soul fact that each has imperfections that take away a portion of equality.

New Jersey’s plan of a one house legislature where each state has one vote is a logical and equal idea. Nothing about it suppresses any point of a people, except for the fact that all states are not the same in population. Allowing a state with such a small populace to have the same power as a one, such as Virginia, does not seem at all fair. This simplistic plan could work if we stayed the size that we are, but the reality is that we are a growing nation and that we need a system that does give power to a majority, but does not completely suppress the ideals of the minority.

"The best of both worlds!"
“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal” Thomas Jefferson did not write these words in vain. This means ALL men and EVERY voice should have an opportunity to be heard.

The Virginia Plans appeal comes in at this point. Its ideals can be more related for the masses. They propose that two legislative houses, both elected by the people and representative of population, be instilled among us men. They wish to retire the Articles of Confederation in order to suite us more, yet that is all that they are. A rewriting of The Articles of Confederation. In some ways, they are not perfect, but Virginia’s idea of a plan incorporating John Locke’s inventive use of checks and balances in government and a plan that will strive to work to please the people in this country. In the Virginia Plan there are three branches of government, legislative, executive, and judicial so that there is never a fear of one source gaining too much power. Yet with population being a main factor the smaller states have less say within the government and that then suppresses them from equality. The simple solution? A compromise.

We should have three main branches of government including the executive, judicial, and legislative, the legislature will be bicameral, one house will have equal representation an ideal from the valid New Jersey Plan, while the other is based on population of the state an ideal from the Virginia Plan. Both the states (upper house) and people at large (lower house) will select legislators, who then will appoint people to serve in the executive branch; and the executive branch will then select the justices of the Supreme Court. Representation for the lower house will be based on the number of free persons and three-fifths of "all other persons." The House will be more so responsible for currency affairs while Congress will be more so in charge of the political aspects.

So as I stand before you, a fellow man bent on what is best for our nation, I must insist that instead of being narcissistic and focused on our own ideas and craving of power that we step back and listen to logic. Instead of being illogical and bickering back and forth on two suburb ideas why not take portions of each and get the best of both worlds. America is sensible therefore America should compromise.

Debater: Possible Objections to Plan and Your Replies
Ben Franklin tells a story about cats...

Who would have more power the House or the Senate?
  • They would have the same power, just one wants to think about building a park, when the other wants to repeal don't ask don't tell.

What would be there difference?
  • As a check on the popularly elected House, the Senate has several distinct powers. For example, the "advice and consent" powers (such as the power to approve treaties) is a sole Senate privilege. The House, however, can initiate spending bills and has exclusive authority to impeach officials and choose the President in an Electoral College deadlock. The Senate and House are further differentiated by term lengths and the number of districts represented. With longer terms, fewer members and (in all but seven states) larger constituencies, senators may receive greater prestige. Additionally, the Senate has traditionally been considered a less partisan chamber and because fewer members gives the Senate a greater potential to broker compromises and act more unilaterally.

Print Journalist: Write-Up of Convention Activity

The Constitutional Convention, a meeting of states delegates to intellectually decide the fate of their fledgling nation, was almost completely the opposite of what it set out to do. With rising tempers and contradictory views the liberty and freedom they had worked so hard for was nearly lost in a schism between two arguments between two different delegate groups.

The Convention started out well with James Madison presenting the Virginia Plan for representation for larger states with a high populace
Great Compromise brochure, page 1
only, keeping a minority from having too much power. This was met with calls of disagreement from New Jersey and those supporting the Great Compromise. Along with proposing three branches of government; Legislative, Judicial and Executive so that we may not again be ruled by a despotic tyrant such as King George the III.

Next was The New Jersey Plan who advocated against Virginia’s ideals to exclude smaller states from equal representation, because of their low population size. Where with the New Jersey Plan there would be equality for the states of lesser size. Although besides that difference, the two opposing plans were quite similar in there wants and needs.

After the two groups presented their proposals, Roger Sherman stepped forward to try and settle their dispute. He asked for a plan that would include equality for all and brought up points such as, “No matter what way we look at it we all want representation. Each plan however, cannot stand alone because of the soul fact that each has imperfections that take away a portion of equality… Allowing a state with such a small populace to have the same power as a one, such as Virginia, does not seem at all fair. This simplistic plan could work if we stayed the size that we are, but the reality is that we are a growing nation and that we need a system that does give power to a majority, but does not completely suppress the ideals of the minority.”

Following Sherman was the Crispus Attucks group who right off created potential problems in the debate to come. Their pressing of equal rights for slaves would incite the Dixiecrat Bloc into southern pride induced fervor in the debate to come. The very idea of slaves being treated as equal as whites caused an outcry from the whole Bloc group during the Crispus opening oratory. When it did come time for the debate the opposing groups got into heated debate over the subject and Franklin had to calm them more than once.

Speaking after Attucks was Charles Pickney, an outlandish, racist, who was the one to instigate the verbal fights during the debate, represented the Dixi
Great Compromise brochure, page 2
ecrat Bloc and attempted to draw support to “…advance a clause in the United States Constitution forbidding Congress from banning or taxing the importation of slaves.” He argued that the Africans in their native land were far worse off than if they were living in the south. He also stated repeatedly that the slave traders, “saved African Americans from tigers,” and that “they would be eaten up by them tigers in Africa,” in his speech and during the debate. *tigers are not indigenous to Africa* The debate was almost completely dominated by the Dixiecrat and the Crispus Attucks supporters heated argument over slavery and slave rights. It was this kind of fractioning within Convention that the elderly Ben Franklin, supported by Sherman, tried to subdue. Pickney even proclaimed at one point that the south would succeed from this new union if their slave trade and driving was disrupted. Franklin tried his best to calm tempers to avoid a faction of delegates from fluxing the new union. The same went for the heated disputes between the New Jersey and Virginia plans. It was then decided that the subject of slavery would be put off to another time to avoid ugly feelings. It was the members of The Great Compromise who through great wisdom and speaking saved the new union from being destroyed.

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