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One Nation … Indivisible

6 Jul

Over the weekend, we celebrated the 4th of July … a time to reflect on our nation and our heritage, in addition to eating a hot dog or 2. And while enjoying an extra day off, I wondered … how on earth did our forefathers arrive at the structure for our government?

Since it’s been quite a long time since I sat in history class, I did a little research. And it turns out there was a “compromise” which is always music to a mediator’s heart.

It was called the “Connecticut Compromise.”

James Madison had proposed a central government with 3 branches: a bicameral legislature, an executive and judiciary branch. At issue was the how the legislative branch representatives would be chosen.

The symbol of Independence Day of the United States of America, holiday is marked on July, 4th.

“Representation” was a key word in the development of the Constitution. In other words, what was the best way for authority to be delegated from the people and the states to one centralized governing structure?

The representatives from Connecticut proposed an approach that blended two ideas and it was narrowly approved.

The Senate would include two representatives from each state, regardless of size. This gave small states, like Connecticut, an equal footing with larger states and reflected the importance of state sovereignty.

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, would have representation that was population based. The larger the state, the more representatives it would have. And this would be adjusted every 10 years through the federal census, so that the distribution would remain current.

There were lots of other other issues that our nation’s founders had to work through such as who could vote and how the issue of slavery in some states would be addressed.

Yet the “Connecticut Compromise” was a fundamental building block that balanced the interests of small and large states and served a key factor in turning the United States into “One Nation … Indivisible.”

Jeanette

 

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