This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol1 Introduction To The Study Of Law Legal History", by Albert H. Putney. Also see: Popular Law-Dictionary.
Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia. Massachusetts was divided, and all the delegates from New York were absent; New Hampshire and Rhode Island were not represented in the convention. Delegates from New Hampshire arrived soon after this vote. The importance of the Connecticut compromise can hardly be overestimated; it is not too much to say, that without it the Constitution could not have been ratified. Two states, Rhode Island and North Carolina, rejected the Constitution; a third, New York, would have done so, if by its so doing the adoption of the Constitution would have been defeated. Rejection by two more states would have defeated the adoption of the Constitution, and these two states would have been found in Delaware and New Jersey, if equal representation in the Senate had not been conceded to them.
"Resolved, That a census be taken within six years from the first meeting of the Legislature of the United States, and once within the term of every ten years afterwards, of all the inhabitants of the United States, in the manner and according to the ratio recommended by Congress in their resolution of the 18th day of April, 1783; and that the Legislature of the United States shall proportion the direct taxation accordingly.
"Resolved, That all bills for raising or appropriating money, and for fixing the salaries of officers of the Government of the United States shall originate in the first branch of the Legislature of the United States; and shall not be altered or amended in the second branch; and that no money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations to be originated in the first branch.
"Resolved, That in the second branch of the Legislature of the United States, each State shall have an equal vote."
With the adoption of the Connecticut compromise, the union between the small states and the extreme States' Rights party came to an end. Delaware and New Jersey became among the strongest supporters of a true national government, and were two of the three states whose convention ratified the new Constitution without a dissenting vote. The compromise, however, aroused great bitterness on the part of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and even rendered the ratification of the Constitution by the latter State doubtful.
Scarcely less bitter than the controversy between the large and small states was that between the opponents and supporters of slavery; an antagonism which gave rise to the second and third compromises of the convention. The first of these settled the question of how slaves should be counted in determining the population of a State, for the purpose of apportioning direct taxes and representation. The extreme South, the States of South Carolina and Georgia, insisted on full representation in Congress for the slaves. To such abolitionists as Governor Morris or James Wilson any additional representation granted to a State on account of people whom she not only did not permit to vote, but even considered as mere chattels, seemed absurd and unjust. The compromise which settled this contest was one anticipated, in part, by a vote of the Congress several years before. In 1783, when Congress was endeavoring to apportion the quotas of revenue among the different states, this same question as to the weight to be given to the slave population had arisen. On this occasion, James Madison proposed a compromise, which was accepted by Congress, by which the slave was rated as equal to three-fifths of a freeman. This same ratio was now adopted by the convention for the apportionment both of representatives and direct taxes.
The third compromise was, in the words of Governor Morris, "a bargain" between the extreme southern states and New England. Each of these two sections had a particular grievance against the Constitution as it stood in the form reported by the Committee of Detail on August 6th. The sixth section of the seventh article, which required a two-third vote to Congress to pass a navigation act, was a severe blow to the shipping interests of New England, while the South was dissatisfied with the absence of a prohibition against the laying of export duties by Congress. Much more alarming to the South, however, was the proposal of Luther Martin of Maryland, on August 21st, to allow Congress to tax or even prohibit the importation of slaves. The whole social and industrial organization of the extreme South was at this time based on the institution of slavery, while the welfare of New England depended largely on her shipping. A compromise between these two sections was the logical result. The provisions of this compromise were that the migration or importation of such persons as any of the states then existing should think proper to admit, should not be prohibited prior to the year 1808, although a tax not to exceed $10 per head might be levied on such importation; that no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any states; and that section six of article seven of the Constitution (as it then stood), which required a two-third vote of Congress to pass a navigation act, should be stricken out. This compromise was adopted by the vote of seven states to four; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, against New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia. It is interesting to notice that next to Pennsylvania, the State whose delegates were most bitterly opposed to the continuation of slave trade was Virginia. In theory, there is much to be condemned and little to be approved in this compromise. It was, however, a practical necessity, if the Constitution was to be adopted. If the slave trade had been prohibited, South Carolina and Georgia would have rejected the Constitution, and their defection would have been as fatal to its success as the loss of Delaware and New Jersey.