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All Rights Reserved. The system ensures power is distributed geographically.Some scholars see the small-state bias in the Senate as critical. According to the Great Compromise, there would be two national legislatures in a bicameral Congress. The arrangement means that power in the Senate is distributed geographically, if not by population, ensuring that interests across the entire country are represented. The Electoral College was a compromise between framers of the US constitution arguing Congress should elect the president and others who claimed a decentralized system would safeguard against the concentration of power. As an alternative to the long and unlikely method amending the Constitution, critics of the Electoral College are now perusing the National Popular Vote plan designed to ensure that the candidate who wins the overall popular vote in inaugurated president. The Electoral College system was established by Article II of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. Edwards is doubtful since, as he points out, the majority of Americans at the time of Constitutional Congress came from rural areas—not urban. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images). The Electoral College system, long a source of controversy, came under especially heavy criticism after the 2016 presidential election when Republican Donald Trump lost the nationwide popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by over 2.8 million votes but won the Electoral College—and thus the presidency—by 74 electoral votes. Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. The Great Compromise was forged in a heated dispute during the 1787 Constitutional Convention: States with larger populations wanted congressional representation based on population, while smaller states demanded equal representation. The Electoral College is — and was formed because of — a compromise, just like many parts of the creation of the country we know today. The principle of protecting small states through equal representation in the Senate carries over into the electoral college, which elects the president, since the number of electoral votes designated to each state is based on a state’s combined number of representatives in the House and Senate. Members of the House of Representatives would be allocated according to each state’s population and elected by the people. In addition, while the Founders considered the electors as being “free from any sinister bias” in 1788, electors today are selected by the political parties and are usually “pledged” to vote for the party’s candidate regardless of their own beliefs. (In 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment was passed, tweaking the Senate system so that Senators would be elected by the people.). To keep the convention from dissolving into chaos, the founding fathers came up with the Great Compromise. The Founding Fathers chose it as a compromise between allowing Congress to choose the president and having the president elected directly by the popular vote of the people. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. As a result, one of the main lingering political effects of the Great Compromise is that states with smaller populations have a disproportionately bigger voice in the nation’s Congress. As of July 2020, a National Popular Vote bill has been signed into law in 16 states controlling a total of 196 electoral votes, including 4 small states, 8 medium-sized states, 3 big states (California, Illinois, and New York), and the District of Columbia. Whatever the viewpoint on the fairness of the Great Compromise’s distribution of delegates to the Senate, it is unlikely to ever change. Both sides are misguided. The Great Compromise created two legislative bodies in Congress.Also known as the Sherman Compromise or the Connecticut Compromise, the deal combined proposals from the Virginia (large state) plan and the New Jersey (small state) plan.

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