Perhaps the biggest debate held by delegates of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was the number of representatives of each state in the legislative branch of the new administration, the U.S. Congress. As is often the case in government and politics, the solution of a great debate required a great compromise – in this case the Great Compromise of 1787. At the beginning of the Constitutional Convention, delegates appeared at a single-chamber congress made up of a specified number of representatives from each state. Connecticut Congressman Roger Sherman is accused of proposing an alternative to a “bicameral convention” consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Each state, Sherman suggested, would send an equal number of representatives to the Senate and one representative to the House of Representatives for the state`s 30,000 residents. The Connecticut compromise (also known as the Grand Compromise of 1787 or the Sherman Compromise) was an agreement between large and small states during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, which defined in part the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the U.S. Constitution. It maintained the bicameral legislation proposed by Roger Sherman, as well as the proportional state vote in the House of Commons or the House of Representatives, but required that the House of Lords or the Senate be weighted in the same way between states. Each state would have two representatives in the House of Lords. The principle of protecting small states by equal representation in the Senate is passed on to the electoral college that elects the president, since the number of votes for each state is based on the total number of state representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Elbridge Gerry mocked the sovereignty of small states and said that “we have never been independent states that were not like that now and could never rely on the principles of Confederation. States and their supporters were intoxicated by the idea of their sovereignty.  In order to ensure fair and equitable representation in Parliament, the redistricting process is used to define or modify geographic boundaries within the states from which representatives are elected.
Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, both from the Connecticut delegation, created a compromise that somehow mixed the proposals of Virginia (Greater State) and New Jersey (small state) regarding the division of Congress. But in the end, his main contribution was the determination of the division of the Senate. Sherman placed himself on the side of the two-headed national legislator of the Virginia plan, but proposed: “The share of the right to vote in the first branch should be according to the number of free inhabitants; and that in the second branch or in the Senate, every state should have a vote and no longer have.  Although Sherman was highly regarded and respected among delegates, his plan initially failed. It was not until July 23 that the performance was finally settled.  As early as July 16, the Convention had set the minimum age for senators at 30 and the term at six years, compared to 25 years for members of the House of Representatives for a two-year term. James Madison explained that these distinctions, based on “the nature of the confidence of senators, which requires a greater degree of information and character stability,” would allow the Senate to continue “with more freshness, with more system and with more wisdom than the popular branch [ly] chosen.” While the populations of the states were different in 1787, the differences were much less marked than they are today.