The United States Constitution also referred, as a bundle of compromise, is an influential set of laws that came into operation in 1787, through the deliberations by representative delegates of twelve states. Its existence was due to unanimous agreement that the present law; the Articles of Confederation was ineffective in governance. Consequently, in an attempt to develop a genuine and all-inclusive law, the delegates adopted many concessions acceptable to all the thirteen states that dubbed the US Constitution as a bundle of compromises.
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The significant compromise was the “Great Compromise.” The compromise decided on representation of states in Congress from the previous one vote representation by adopting the Connecticut Compromise. The Connecticut concession combined two proposed plans by different delegates namely, the Virginia Plan that sought to see representation on a foundation of each state’s population while the New Jersey Plan recommended for equal representation. The compromise created two chambers in Congress, the Senate comprised of two senators representing each state while the House of Representations, contained state representatives based on their populaces.
The second compromise was the issue of slavery and representation. With a decision on representation agreed on, there was a contention on whether slaves constituted persons during the census. The North States that did not practice slavery felt that slaves should not count, while their Southern counterparts wanted slaves counted as individuals purposely for their influence on representation. Nevertheless, the delegates agreed by conceding five slaves to count as three, which came to be known as the three-fifth’s compromise.
The matter of slavery sparkled yet another dispute that threatened the Constitutional making process. On the one hand, the Northern states took a strong position arguing for the abolition of the slave trade while the Southern states pushed for its continuance claiming it was economically beneficial to all states. The settlement reached saw the call for the abolition of this trade shelved until 1808, the introduction of ten dollars taxation on each imported slave, and an agreement that the Northern states would repatriate slaves who fled.
Another key compromise was the choice of the president. The previous law in the Articles of Confederation failed to provide for the position of a president. Therefore, the delegates took up this mandate but had to storm through different opinions. Some delegates felt that a popularly elected president was the best option, while others argued for Senate representatives deciding, citing fears of citizens lacking enough information to advise their voting. In the end, they agreed that citizens would vote for electors guaranteed to a particular candidate depending on the voter’s votes. The electors would sit in an Electoral College comprising of electors representing the population of each state who would then vote for the president.
The Commerce Compromise was another significant concession. During the making of the Constitution, states at the North boasted of industrialization and production of ready goods while those in the South primarily relied on agriculture. The North states proposed the introduction of import tariffs on finished products to counter competition essentially forcing South states to buy their products. Additionally, they wanted imposing of export taxes on raw goods to increase returns. Contrary, South states objected to export taxes on their raw goods citing fear of trade interference. The compromise introduced tariffs only on imports from outside countries and directed the federal government to control commerce between states. Also, they agreed that all trade legislation would become binding after a two-third majority Senate approval.
The fifty-five delegates that oversaw the creation of the US Constitution implemented a system of check and balances that safeguarded both the conservatives and federalists alike. The people determined the government, there was a fair representation, and business was protected. In the end, the Constitution became the basis for governing, which is still in effect today.
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