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Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

Roger Sherman in Constitutional Convention

Roger Sherman (1721-1793) was a drafter and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a longtime member of the Continental Congress (1774-81, 1783-84), helped to draw up the Articles of Confederation, and served as one of the most important members of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He was also one of the strongest proponents of the new Constitution. Sherman also became a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Connecticut.

At the Convention, Sherman worked with William Paterson of New Jersey and the Delaware delegation to devise a resolution to the deadlock between the large and small states in their debate over the basis of congressional representation. His proposal, dubbed the Great Compromise, or the Connecticut Compromise (Sherman was representing Connecticut), outlined the governmental structure that exists today: a lower House of Representatives with representation based on population and an upper house—the Senate—with equal representation for each state. In other words, Sherman proposed a bicameral legislature with dual representation. The compromise saved the entire Convention from dissolution.

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