How would you compare and contrast the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan in a diagram?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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To answer your question, I am going to share with you my notes which I present to my classes.  This should help you answer the questions you have asked.  Also, feel free to check out the links listed.

A.     Plans for National Government

            1.   Virginia Plan (authored by James Madison and presented by

                   Edmund Randolph)

                  a.    Three branches of government

                         1.   Legislative branch  (Congress) makes laws

                        2.   Executive branch carries out laws

                              a.    President as the leader

                              b.   Chosen by the legislature (Congress)

                        3.   Judicial branch interprets laws and includes judges and the


                  b.   Two houses of Congress

                        1.   Lower house elected by people

                        2.   Upper house elected by members of lower house

                  c.    Representation based on population of state (Unequal


           2.   New Jersey Plan (presented by William Paterson)

                  a.    Three branches of government (like Virginia Plan)

                  b.   One house of Congress

                  c.    Equal representation per state

                  d.   Congress would elect a weak executive branch led by more

                        than one person

            3.   The Great Compromise (Roger Sherman) called for two houses of


                  a.    House of Representatives (Lower house) has representation

                         based on population

                  b.   Senate (Upper house) has equal representation (with two

                        senators per state)

             4.  The President

                  a.    Should it be one person or a committee of three people?

                  b.   One President but Congress could impeach him if he abused

                        power and broke laws


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