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The Constitution Virginia And New Jersey

The Constitution- Virginia And New Jersey’s Plans Essay, Research Paper In the late 1780s, prominent political leaders in the United States came to realize

The Constitution- Virginia And New Jersey’s Plans Essay, Research Paper

In the late 1780s, prominent political leaders in the United States came to realize

that the government created under the Articles of Confederation was ineffective and

impractical and could not serve a nation in managing relationships among states nor

handle foreign nations. The fear of creating a government that was too powerful was the

basis for foundation of the Articles of Confederation. It created a weak national

government that allowed for most of the power to be under the control of the state

legislatures. Under the Articles, Congress had no means to prevent war or security

against foreign invasion. The federal government could not check the quarrels between

states or regulate interstate trade, collect taxes, enforce laws. These weaknesses of the

confederation distressed political leaders; in response, they requested a assemblage in

order to revise the Articles and revive the ailing nation. In May of 1787, representatives

from each state gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to find the means of turning the

United States government into an efficient and powerful business that conducted affairs

in practical ways.

The delegates meeting at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787

were given expressed consent to alter and revise the Articles of Confederation. With the

exception of those from New Jersey and Virginia, the delegates intended to revise the

Articles. One of 55 delegates, William Paterson and his colleagues Roger Sherman,

Ellsworth, and Dickinson offered a list of suggestions for revising the Articles of

Confederation in his New Jersey Plan. Paterson was a delegate from New Jersey who

favored the weak national government that the Articles created. Patterson asserted the

rights of the small states against the large states and wished to expand upon the Articles

making a more practical and efficient government. The New Jersey Plan suggested the

Congress maintain its unicameral house system, with states equally represented. They

proposed that the Congress would have the power to regulate interstate trade and could

have closely limited power to tax. It also called for a ?federal Executive? with persons

appointed by Congress who could be removed on the request of a majority of the state

governors. The New Jersey plan also allowed for a ?federal Judiciary? with a single

?supreme tribunal? appointed by an executive. The New Jersey plan offered a series of

solutions to the growing concern that the government was too weak under the Articles.

Patterson?s proposals were supported by those who discouraged a strong national

government.

Just as Patterson created a plan, James Madison created a plan that offered

solutions to the flawed Articles of Confederation. Prior to their arrival at the Philadelphia

Convention, Madison and the other Virginian delegates formulated a revised document

that would eliminate the Articles of Confederation and create an entirely new document.

The Virginia Plan called for a stronger national government. The Plan would create a

federal system with the existence of two governments, national and state, each given a

certain amount of authority. Under the Virginia Plan, the national government would

have the power to collect its own taxes and make and enforce its own laws. The

government would consist of three separate branches, the legislative, the judicial and the

executive. The legislative branch, under the Virginia Plan, was bicameral, with the

number of representatives in each house based on proportional representation, or the

number of people in each state. The representatives of the lower house, or the House of

Representatives, would be popularly elected and the representatives of the upper house, or

Senate, would be chosen by the lower house. Congress would also have the power to

veto any state law in conflict with national law, and to accept new states to the Union. In

addition, an Executive branch would have the authority to execute national law and the

Judiciary branch would consist of one or more supreme tribunals and of inferior tribunals.

Both the Judiciary and the Executive branches would be able to override and veto acts of

Congress creating a system of checks and balances.

While both the New Jersey and the Virginia Plan offered solutions to the

problems governing the United States created by the Articles of Confederation, there

were major differences between the two plans. The major differences debated at the

Philadelphia Convention concerned the debate over what powers to give the new

government, the creation of subsequent branches, checks and balances, and the principles

of representation, singular of plural executive. After hours of delegations, it seemed as if

neither Plan could be accepted by small states who did not want proportional

representation and those who feared a tyrannical leader of there was a singular executive.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention disputed over the two proposals. After

three days of deliberations, the New Jersey Plan was rejected due to the overwhelming

demand to create an effective national government. Despite the advantages of both plans,

neither posed a solution to the fears of all the delegates consequently the Virginia Plan

was also discarded. What they created instead was a bundle of compromises. The new

Delegates compromised to secure the integrity of the smaller states and relinquish the

fears of those who believed the central government was too powerful.

If I had been a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, I would have opposed the

idea of a plural executive and favored that of a singular executive. I would support the to

have With an appropriate number of advisors, the American people could be assured that

an Executive leader could be relied on make quality decisions to ensure the success of the

nation. In addition, a single executive is more likely to be responsible for the decisions

made and in effect be more prudent in the process. It seems that an executive committee

would create chaos in the executive branch by the way of disagreement on how to handle

the affairs of the nation. That kind of uncertainty would not assure the people that

government was in good hands.

Alexander Hamilton asked, ?And what even is the Virginia Plan but democracy

checked by democracy…?? The parts of the VA plan that are ?democracy checked by

democracy? are the provisions that provide for three separate branches that can veto the

other and override decisions. This complicated system of checks and balances is the basis

of the government that the Constitution of the United States created.

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