The Original Compromise: What the Constitution's Framers Were Really Thinking

By David Brian Robertson | Go to book overview

8
Selecting U.S. Senators

The delegates initially imagined that the U.S. Senate would be an institutional barrier, a small body of select leaders who could block the unruly democratic urges of the House of Representatives. Some hoped it would be a bastion of elite wisdom or propertied privilege. But the struggle over representation in the House made it increasingly clear that representation in the Senate would be determined by political compromise.

Representation in the Senate became the principal political battleground between the broad and narrow nationalists. The proponents of the New Jersey Plan dug in to defend equal representation in the Senate. James Madison and his closest allies fought for proportional representation with equal intensity. As antagonism over representation in the Senate grew more intense, a few delegates who supported the Virginia Plan began to waver and seek compromise. The delegates came to an impasse in July and turned the problem over to a special committee. This committee reported the Connecticut Compromise that provided for proportional representation in the House, equal state representation in the Senate, and the House control of initial tax and spending proposals. Even as this compromise won acceptance, it changed the path of the Convention by irreversibly fracturing the coalition Madison hoped to sustain.


Envisioning the Senate

At the start of the Convention, delegates envisioned the Senate as a political levee that would restrain the flood of democratic passions expected to swamp the House of Representatives. Edmund Randolph, worried about the policy impact of “the passionate proceedings” of a large body like the House, believed the Senate would check the “turbulence and follies of democracy.”1 Unless the Senate were strong, the House of Representatives, “being more numerous, and coming immediately from the people, will overwhelm it.” The state legislatures’ “Democratic licentiousness” proved the need for an effective check on the House, and

-94-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Original Compromise: What the Constitution's Framers Were Really Thinking
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 326

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.