Comparison between The Virginia and New Jersey Plan


With reference to earlier records, Mr. James Madison is considered as one of the protuberant emissaries to be involved in the Constitutional Convention. Evidently, James Madison was concerned with the effectiveness of the Articles. Therefore, Mr. James Madison embarked on a plan to remedy the reigning situation during that era. James Madison proceeded to draft The Virginia Plan at the convention, which was intended for the new national government. Fundamentally, the plan drafted by Mr. James Madison (The Virginia Plan) aimed at recommending a robust national government that had the capability of drafting and enforcing decrees and collecting taxes.

The plan depicted the fact that the government of the United States had two main branches: namely, the national and the state governments. The system of governance as mentioned in the above statement is referred to as the federal system of government. In addition to this, the two chambers of the legislative branch would feature a comparative embodiment. The aforementioned statement simply means that the higher the number of people a state has the higher the number of representatives that state has in the legislature. Noticeably, The Virginia plan drafted by James Madison was in favor of larger states. Due to the aforementioned fact, smaller states within the United States were unsettled by Madison’s drafted plan. The plan posed the danger that if it was approved the smaller states would have no affirmative control over the government. The conflicting interests between the small and large states as brought out under The Virginia Plan forced the smaller states to draft their own plan. The plan drafted by the smaller states was referred to as The New Jersey Plan. The New Jersey Plan was drafted to accommodate one house in its legislature which featured equal representation. This way the smaller states can have equal number of representatives as the large states.

Comparison between The Virginia and New Jersey Plan

            First and foremost, both houses had proposed a plan with three branches of the national government which are legislative, federal and judiciary. With regard to The Virginia Plan, it proposed for a legislative branch which was bicameral in nature. The aforementioned statement denoted the fact that Congress would have two houses which are the lower and the upper house.The representation of states would be proportional to the state’s population. The aforementioned statement meant that larger states such as Virginia shall have more representatives than the smaller states. Furthermore, under The Virginia Plan, members of the lower chamber of the legislative branch would be elected by the American citizens while the member of the upperhouse would be selected by the members from the lower chamber from a list of nominees submitted by the state legislature.The rationale behind the election of the members of the lower house was to enable the citizens to have a heightened level of attachment and interest in the federal government. Members of the executive branch of the national government would be selected by the legislative branch. Generally, the terms of office under this plan was not specified but it is worth noting that the members of the executive and the elected members of the legislative house could not be selected for an irresolute spell later.  In terms of state laws, the legislative branch was charged with the responsibility of disproving laws that were discordant with the articles of the union. The Virginia Plan also ensured that checks and balances were imposed on the government. These checks and balances were manifested in a provision that stated that all legislative deeds would be extensively scrutinized by the council.The council was made up of the selected members of the judicial arm of the national government and the members of the executive branch.

Evidently, The Virginia Plan exhibited a different structure from the Articles. The New Jersey Plan served as the remedy to the above concerned since it separated the differences. By separating the differences it used the same structure as the Articles and the same distribution of powers as Madison’s draft of The Virginia Plan. The New Jersey Plan suggested for a legislative arm that was unicameral in nature. Under this form of plan all states within the union would have equal votes regardless of the state’s size. The New Jersey Plan served to amend the Articles. Under this plan the Congress was given the power to negotiate with foreign policies and nurture resources through set tariffs. Any kind of case which involved the aforementioned party was to be heard by the state court except with provision that it has been drawn to the federal judiciary. Additionally, the Congress was responsible for the election of a federal executive which consists of many individuals who are not liable to re-election but are only liable to recalling by the Congress upon the request of the majority of the executives of the states.

The New Jersey Plan claimed that the federal judiciary is embodied by a Supreme Tribunal which is prearranged by the federal executive branch of the government. The federal judiciary has authority over federal impeachment cases and appeal cases regarding national issues. The New Jersey Plan offered a National Supremacy; this means that the Constitution and all acts correlated to the constitution would be the supreme laws governing the states. The aforementioned statement infers that the sovereignty of the nation would shift from the states to the federal government. A fraction of the executive and judicial authority would now rest on the federal government. This signified the fact that the state government would still enforce state laws and regulations while the federal government would enforce the federal laws.


            In enacting the new constitution the constitutional emissaries gave consideration to the following issues; whether the American Revolution was fought to eradicate a tyrannical national government and does the new plan complies with the underpinning of the revolution. Finally, The New Jersey Plan was overlooked as a potential basis for the new constitution. Constitutional emissaries considered the New Jersey Plan a continuation of the same old style exhibited by the Articles of Confederation. Even though this was the final stand a fraction of ideas presented in the New Jersey Plan were implemented in the American constitution. The Virginia Plan was utilized as well; although delegates made slight improvements to encompass the government’surgent need of novice authority and a novelmeans of exercising those powers.








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