Designing the Republic
At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, called to strengthen the Articles of Confederation, delegates debated whether the states should be represented in the legislature. Large states like Virginia favored representation proportional to population. Small states like New Jersey favored an equal number of delegates per state. Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth, both of Connecticut, proposed the Great Compromise that shaped the new Congress: a bicameral legislature with equal state representation in the Senate and proportional representation in the House of Representatives.