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Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan: A Comparison of Two Founding Documents

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When the United States Constitution was first drafted, there were two major proposals for the framework of the government: the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan. These plans were created to address the issues of representation and power distribution between the states and the federal government.

The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan sparked intense debate among the delegates at the Constitutional Convention. Ultimately, a compromise was reached with the creation of the Great Compromise, which combined aspects of both plans to create the structure of the government we know today. Understanding the differences between these two plans is crucial to understanding the formation of the United States government and the principles it was founded upon.

Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan

Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan: A Comparison of Two Founding Documents

Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan: The Basics

The Virginia Plan

The Virginia Plan was proposed by James Madison, a delegate from Virginia. It called for a bicameral legislature with representation based on each state’s population. This would give more power to larger states like Virginia, which had a larger population than smaller states like New Jersey.

Under the Virginia Plan, the federal government would have the power to tax and regulate commerce, as well as the power to veto state laws that were deemed unconstitutional. This would give the national government more power and help to ensure that the states were operating under a unified system of laws.

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The New Jersey Plan

The New Jersey Plan was proposed by William Paterson, a delegate from New Jersey. It called for a unicameral legislature with equal representation for each state, regardless of population. This was in contrast to the Virginia Plan, which proposed a bicameral legislature with representation based on each state’s population.

Under the New Jersey Plan, the federal government would also have the power to tax and regulate commerce, just like under the Virginia Plan. However, the New Jersey Plan called for a weaker national government overall, with limited powers and a focus on protecting state sovereignty.

Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan: Historical Context

The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan were two proposals presented at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which aimed to establish a new framework for the United States government. The convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was attended by delegates from all thirteen states. The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan were two of the most significant proposals discussed at the convention, and they represented different approaches to the structure of the federal government.

Origins of the Virginia Plan

The Virginia Plan was presented to the convention by Edmund Randolph, the Governor of Virginia, and was supported by James Madison. The Virginia Plan was designed to create a strong central government that would be able to govern the entire country. The plan proposed a bicameral legislature, with the lower house being elected by the people and the upper house being elected by the lower house. The Virginia Plan also proposed a system of checks and balances, which would prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful.

Origins of the New Jersey Plan

The New Jersey Plan was presented by William Paterson, a delegate from New Jersey. The New Jersey Plan was designed to protect the rights of the smaller states, which were concerned that they would be ignored by the larger states under the Virginia Plan. The New Jersey Plan proposed a unicameral legislature, with each state having an equal vote. The New Jersey Plan also proposed a system of checks and balances, similar to that proposed by the Virginia Plan.

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Virginia Plan vs. New Jersey Plan: Main Proposals

Virginia Plan Proposals

The Virginia Plan, also known as the Large State Plan, was proposed by James Madison. This plan called for a strong central government with three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislative branch would be bicameral, with the number of representatives in each house determined by the population of the state. The executive branch would be led by a single person, and the judicial branch would be composed of several courts.

The Virginia Plan also proposed that the central government would have the power to veto any state laws that were deemed unconstitutional. Additionally, the plan called for a national judiciary that would have the power to resolve conflicts between states.

New Jersey Plan Proposals

The New Jersey Plan, also known as the Small State Plan, was proposed by William Paterson. This plan called for a unicameral legislature, with each state having one vote. The executive branch would be led by a committee of several people, and the judicial branch would be composed of a single court.

The New Jersey Plan also proposed that the central government would have the power to regulate trade and raise revenue, but it would not have the power to levy taxes. Additionally, the plan called for a national judiciary that would have the power to resolve conflicts between states.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who supported the New Jersey Plan?

The New Jersey Plan was mainly supported by small states such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut. These states were concerned that the Virginia Plan would give too much power to larger states and wanted to ensure that each state had an equal say in the federal government.

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Who proposed the New Jersey Plan?

The New Jersey Plan was proposed by William Paterson, a delegate from New Jersey, during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

What did the New Jersey Plan argue for?

The New Jersey Plan argued for a unicameral legislature, where each state would have equal representation. It also suggested that the federal government should have the power to tax and regulate commerce, but not to veto state laws.

What did the New Jersey Plan suggest?

The New Jersey Plan suggested that the Articles of Confederation should be amended, rather than replaced, to create a stronger federal government. It also proposed that the federal government should have the power to regulate commerce and to tax imports and exports.

What was the difference between the Virginia and New Jersey plans which states did each plan favor?

The main difference between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan was the way in which representation in Congress would be determined. The Virginia Plan favored larger states and proposed a bicameral legislature, where representation in both houses would be based on population. The New Jersey Plan favored smaller states and proposed a unicameral legislature, where each state would have equal representation.

Why did small states prefer the New Jersey Plan over the Virginia Plan?

Small states preferred the New Jersey Plan over the Virginia Plan because they feared that the Virginia Plan would give too much power to larger states. They believed that a unicameral legislature, with equal representation for each state, would ensure that smaller states had an equal say in the federal government.

See what’s next:

The New Jersey Plan was mainly supported by small states such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut. These states were concerned that the Virginia Plan would give too much power to larger states and wanted to ensure that each state had an equal say in the federal government.

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The New Jersey Plan was proposed by William Paterson, a delegate from New Jersey, during the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

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The New Jersey Plan argued for a unicameral legislature, where each state would have equal representation. It also suggested that the federal government should have the power to tax and regulate commerce, but not to veto state laws.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What did the New Jersey Plan suggest?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The New Jersey Plan suggested that the Articles of Confederation should be amended, rather than replaced, to create a stronger federal government. It also proposed that the federal government should have the power to regulate commerce and to tax imports and exports.

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The main difference between the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan was the way in which representation in Congress would be determined. The Virginia Plan favored larger states and proposed a bicameral legislature, where representation in both houses would be based on population. The New Jersey Plan favored smaller states and proposed a unicameral legislature, where each state would have equal representation.

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Small states preferred the New Jersey Plan over the Virginia Plan because they feared that the Virginia Plan would give too much power to larger states. They believed that a unicameral legislature, with equal representation for each state, would ensure that smaller states had an equal say in the federal government.

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