Roger Sherman was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the five people who finalised the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Roger Sherman was born in Massachusetts in 1721. He did not get any formal education and started working at a young age. During his early career, he worked on hard jobs which included work as a shoemaker and a store supervisor,
However, while working he developed an interest in reading books. This helped him learn a great deal about different subjects and inspired him to get formal education. So he studied law and finally became a lawyer in 1754.
Soon after becoming a lawyer, Roger Sherman also became involved in politics. He was elected to the Connecticut Assembly in 1755 and then was re-elected many times as a member of the legislature.
In 1762, Roger Sherman became the justice of peace. This was a very important position and made Sherman very famous in America. In 1766, he was made the Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut.
In 1775, 13 American colonies declared war against Britain. They wanted to be free from Britain and create their own government. So as the war was going on, the 13 colonies elected their own Parliament which was called the Continental Congress.
Roger Sherman was a part of the famous Second Continental Congress which passed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In fact, he was a part of the Committee of Five who drafted the Declaration before it was approved by the Congress. He was also a member of the committee of 13 members who wrote down the Articles of Confederation.
In 1777, the Continental Congress passed the Articles of Confederation. These were a set of rules which were meant to establish a united government of the 13 states.
But the rules weren’t sufficient and a lot of things were left unspecified. So in 1787, a Constitutional Convention took place. Here, representatives from all 13 states were supposed to sit down, discuss and create a new constitution for the United States of America.
But a deadlock took place at the convention. Smaller states wanted that all states should have equal number of votes in the Congress while larger states wanted more votes because they had a larger population.
Roger Sherman played a very important role at this point. He proposed that the Congress should comprise of 2 houses – the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, each state should have votes according to its population. But in Senate, each state should have 2 votes. This was a very reasonable suggestion and all the states agreed to it. In this way, Roger Sherman can be called the father of the bicameral American legislature.
Roger Sherman continued to be active in American politics until the end of his life. He was a part of the House of Representatives from 1789 to 1791. From 1791 to 1793, he served as the Senator in the United States Senate. He died in 1793.