The US Constitution has been called a "bundle of compromises" due to the fact that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 had to compromise on numerous key points in order to create a new Constitution that was acceptable to each of the states. Following is a list of the key compromises that helped make the US Constitution become a reality.
The Articles of Confederation under which America operated from 1781-1787 provided that each state would be represented by one vote in Congress. When changes were being discussed for how states should be represented during the creation of a new Constitution, two plans were pushed forward. The Virginia Plan provided for representation to be based on the population of each state. On the other hand, the New Jersey Plan wanted equal representation for every state. The Great Compromise, also called the Connecticut Compromise, combined both plans. It was decided that there would be two chambers in Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate would be based on equal representation and the House would be based on population.
Once it was decided that representation in the House of Representatives as to be based on population, delegates from Northern and Southern states had a difference of opinion on how slaves should be counted. Delegates for the Northern states where the economy did not rely heavily on slavery, felt that slaves should not be counted towards representation. This would provide the South with a greater number of representatives. On the other hand, Southern states fought for slaves to be counted in terms of representation. The compromise between the two became known as the three-fifths compromise because every five slaves would be counted as three individuals in terms of representation.