Thank you in advance for helping me (a Canadian) learn and understand a bit more about early US history. I am looking for an answer to the question below:
At the eleventh hour, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 altered a key component of their proposal for the US constitution. Specifically, they changed one of its articles so that each state would receive one representative in the House of Representatives for every 30 thousand of its inhabitants. The earlier apportionment had been one rep for every 40 thousand inhabitants.
In a book I read recently, the statement was made that this adjustment favored the more populous states (“the big states”) and, hence, that it was all the more remarkable that the Convention delegates from the small states ever agreed to it. I keep thinking that I must be missing something, and I guess I am, but I cannot see how changing the ratio of inhabitants per representative in the House favors any state, whether a big, populous one or a small one.
Regardless whether the allocation is one rep per 30 thousand or one rep for 40 thousand, all states will wind up having their percentage of the total seats in the House remain the same. Sure, with the ‘one rep per 30 thousand’ a populous state receives more seats in an absolute sense. But the ratio of that state’s reps to any other’s reps remains the same, as does any state’s percentage of the total seats in the House.
Am I missing something?