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Who Is Roger Sherman

Who Is Roger Sherman

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Who Is Roger Sherman

Roger Sherman
was the only Founding Father to have signed what is now considered the four
great state papers of the United States of America: the Continental
Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation,
and the United States Constitution. Roger Sherman was a prominent politician
who served on the Committee responsible for drafting the Declaration of
Independence.

In contrast
to more radical or boisterous Founding Fathers, Roger Sherman was a reserved
man, focused primarily on the legal system of America. Sherman served as the
Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and quickly grew a mountain of wealth that
earned him both power and respect. His peers viewed him as an honest, educated
man who perceived the Revolution as an economical and legal issue.

Roger Sherman greatly resented Parliament and
their unjust taxation methods. An active and influential member of the
Continental Congress, Sherman was one of the first Founding Fathers to deny the
supremacy of Parliament. He believed that the British government had no legal
justification to enforce laws or levy taxes on American settlers.

Although
conservative, Roger Sherman quickly became a leader in Revolutionary politics.
Even though the prominent politician was staunchly against British politics,
Sherman still believed that a central government was necessary for the
betterment of man. Sherman originally favored the Articles of Confederation. While
in Congress he drafted a series of amendments which attempted to solidify the
powers of the central government.

Along with
supporters, the Mayor of New Haven envisioned a government stable enough to
levy taxes, establish a Supreme Court, and create a set of legal codes that all
of society would follow. Sherman’s efforts, unlike George Mason or Patrick Henry,
were not focused on the rights of the individual, but instead, on the process
of electing officials and balancing powers within the Federal Government.

When various Founding Fathers and State leaders
met at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 their objective was clear. The
Articles of Confederation represented the first true form of Constitution in
American history. Like many first drafts, the Articles of Confederation was met
with great skepticism. Sherman and the other prominent figures set out to amend
the Articles and create a document that unified, as well as successfully
established, America as a functional and progressive nation.

In response
to the objective, Roger Sherman proposed what is now known as his greatest
accomplishment to American History. The Great Compromise, or Tennessee
Compromise, was introduced by Sherman during the Constitutional Convention and
aimed to organize the inner-workings of the Federal Government. The Great
Compromise was created to alleviate a long struggle regarding State
representation. When the Articles were drafted, the separation of powers
between large and small states were askew. In the Great Compromise Roger
Sherman essentially created the bicameral legislature which resulted in the
current formation of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

The
bicameral legislation (lower House and upper House) in the Great Compromise
featured a legislative structure that balanced powers between heavily-populated
states and their smaller counterparts. The lower House favored the larger
states and based representation on the population of the State. Candidates were
to be elected by the people of the particular State in proportion to the
population. Membership in the upper House, however, was not based on population
and instead allocated two seats to each State regardless of size. Upper House
(presently the Senate) officials were elected by State legislatures until
ratification of the 17th Amendment awarded that right to the people. The Great
Compromise lead the way for the creation of the United States Senate and House
of Representatives and successfully balanced the powers between large and small
states.

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