Author ORCID Identifier
Bachelor of Arts
Edward F. McKelvey, Chair
Barbara J. Craig
Christopher Andrew James Cotter
Constitution, Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia Convention, Voting, Voting behavior, American history, Constitutional history, Great Compromise, James Madison, Economic history, Economic Constitution, Connecticut Compromise, Founding Economics
How did the economic interests of the delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention impact delegate voting before and after the resolution of the Great Compromise? This research introduces the use of a delegate’s deviation from his state’s majority as the dependent variable in a model that divides the Convention into two periods around the Compromise. Covariates include several measures of a delegate’s economic interest, proxies for his personal ideology, and controls for his place of origin. Results indicate that three economic interests (owning a greater number of slaves, a home county further from navigable water, and holding public securities) significantly impacted the likelihood of a delegate voting contrary to the majority position of his state in a way that was not the same before and after the Compromise. These results imply not only that personal economic interests were significant players during the creation of the U.S. Constitution, but that the structure of the legislative branch and these three economic interests go hand in hand.
Highkin, Emily, "Delegate Voting at the 1787 Constitutional Convention: The Entanglement of Economic Interests and the Great Compromise" (2019). Honors Papers. 124.