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This Day in Georgia History

July 16, 1787

Great Compromise Reached

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia reached a critical day in the proceedings, which threatened to break up over the question of representation of states in the proposed national government. Days earlier, Georgia delegate Abraham Baldwin had played a pivotal role in arriving at a compromise where one house would be based on population and the other on equality of the states. The crucial July 16 debate ended with the compromise passing by a 5-4 vote. Interestingly, Georgia joined Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina in opposing the compromise. Massachusetts’ four delegates split evenly. But, North Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland voted in favor of what would become known as the “Great Compromise.” A subsequent motion on July 17 to reconsider the vote failed to receive a second, so the July 16 vote stood.