New Jersey Plan vs. Virginia Plan

Topics: United States Constitution, United States House of Representatives, United States Pages: 2 (467 words) Published: May 30, 2006
In forming the constitution many rigorous negotiations took place in order for a prosperous government to take stride. It was hard to decide if the government should have a legislature based off of population or if each state should have an equal representation. Or should the legislature have two houses or one. There was so many choices and decision that know body knew what to do. The convention compared and contrasted the New Jersey Plan as well as the Virginia Plan and came up with the final solution, The Great Compromise On May 29, 1787, Virginia delegate Edmund Randolph proposed what became known as "The Virginia Plan." Written primarily by fellow Virginian James Madison, this plan traced the broad outlines of what would become the U.S. Constitution: a national government consisting of three branches with checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power. In its amended form, this page of Madison's plan shows his ideas for a legislature. It describes 2 houses: one with members elected by the people for 3-year terms and the other composed of older leaders elected by the state legislatures for 7-year terms. Both would use population as a basis for dividing seats among the states. This plan allowed for a strong central government to take hold. After two weeks of debating the Virginia Plan, a counterproposal was put forth by William Patterson, which has become known as the New Jersey Plan (or the Small State Plan or the Patterson Plan). Patterson's ideas amounted to no more than a simple reshaping of the Articles of Confederation. The New Jersey plan called for three branches of government; just like those of the Virginia Plan. Except in the New Jersey Plan the Legislative branch would have be unicameral (one house) in which all states would have an equal number of votes. This plan benefited the small states because of the states would be represented equally and no state would have more power over the other. To solve the differences regarding representation...
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