Constitutional Convention

By: Megan Milroy

What is the Constitutional Convention?

The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia met between May and September of 1787 to address the problems of the weak central government that existed under the Articles of Confederation.
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Virginia Plan

The Virginia Plan was created by James Madison but was presented to the Constitutional Convention by the governor of Virginia is 1787, Edmund Randolph. The Virginia Plan was a proposal for a new form of government and called for the number of votes each state received in Congress to be based on population rather than each state receiving one vote. It also proposed a separation of powers that would be divided among three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Supporters of The Virginia Plan

Supporters of The Virginia Plan included George Washington, James Madison, and Edmund Randolph. Supporters of the Virginia Plan wanted to have separation of powers as well as checks and balances in order to get rid of the abusive power that they had experienced in Great Britain, as well as to create a strong national government.

James Madison

James Madison was known as the Father of the Constitution because he helped write and create a lot of the Bill of Rights and much of the Constitution. He was born on March 16, 1751 and passed away on June 28, 1836. Madison served as a political theorist, American statesman and was the fourth President of The United States.

George Washington

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 and passed away on December 14, 1799. Washington was a monumental figure for the United States of America, serving as the first president of The United States, The Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and was one of the Founding Fathers of America.

The New Jersey Plan

The New Jersey Plan called for a government that had separation of powers that would be divided into three branches, the legislative, executive, and judicial. The New Jersey Plan detailed a legislature of only one house and featured equal representation in which each state had the same number of representatives. The goal was for smaller states to have the same level of power in the legislature as the large states.

Supporters of The New Jersey Plan

Supporters of The New Jersey Plan consisted of William Paterson and Luther Martin. William Paterson was a a New Jersey statesman, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and served as the 2nd governor of New Jersey, from 1790 to 1793. He was born on December 24, 1745 and died on September 9, 1806. Luther Martin was a politician and one of the United States' Founding Fathers, who refused to sign the Constitution because he felt it violated states' rights. He was born in February, 1748 and died on July 10, 1826.

Problems At The Convention

One big problem that occurred was between the big states and the little states. The big states wanted representation based on the amount of population a certain state had. While small states on the other hand wanted each state to have the same number of representatives in Congress. Other problems that the convention also had to face were how was the president going to be elected and set their term, and how to count slaves for both representation and taxation.

Works Cited

  • "The New Jersey Plan: Explanation & Supporters." N.p., 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
  • "US History and Government - New York Regents August 2015 Exam - Multiple Choice." US History and Government - New York Regents August 2015 Exam - Multiple Choice. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.
  • Costly, Andrew. "BRIA 25 2 The Major Debates at the Constitutional Convention - Constitutional Rights Foundation." BRIA 25 2 The Major Debates at the Constitutional Convention - Constitutional Rights Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.