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America's History: The Virginia Plan

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The Constitutional Convention that took place from May 14 to September 17, 1787, was set in motion to address the problems in government in the United States of America. This Philadelphian Convention was being operated under the Articles of Confederation following their independence from Great Britain. Even though, it was intended to revise the Articles of Confederation the intention soon was perpetuated by many of who were responsible for it, like that of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. These men thought that it was better to create a new government rather than fixing the existing one. It was clear that the result of this Convention would later become what we call the United States Constitution; however the bases of how this event took place would be left to one of the most historical figures at that time, James Madison. Once the convention began, the delegates all agreed on the Virginia Plan, a modified document thought up and written by Madison.

The Virginia Plan, which consisted of Madison’s own thought’s and notes, was presented by Virginia governor Edmund Randolph on May 29, 1787. Madison’s plan proposed a very powerful and affective bicameral legislature. Most of all the house of the legislature would be determined proportionately. The lower house was to be elected by the people, while the upper house was to be elected by the lower house. The executive would exist solely to ensure that the will of the legislature was carried out would therefore be selected by the legislature. The Virginia plan also created a judiciary, and gave both the executive and some of the judiciary the power to veto, or subject to override.

Through these votes those who were not involved in the government would be able to have a say in what they wanted. In a way it gave commoners a chance to choose and vote, however it still gave the government more control over what was being said. My opinion, though biased, I still have a sense to agree with the Virginia Plan. It not only helped the government make better decisions but it also helped by keeping order between politics and the right of the people. For instance, the establishment of checks and balances, which was embodied in a provision that legislative acts could be vetoed by a council composed of the executive and selected members of the judicial branch, their veto could be overridden by an unspecified legislative majority.

Madison was known as the “Father of the Constitution” primarily due to the fact that he wrote the Virginia Plan. The Virginia Plan became one of the most significant events in the history of the United States. The main reason the plan became this was because of the convention that took place to contemplate this idea. The Federal Convention that attempted to revise the Confederation really re-wrote our history as a nation. This meeting between the politicians and generals of the 1700s; who we would later view as the most powerful men responsible for our government.




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