The Constitution of United States has withstood the test of time for over two centuries, that is, it has been phenomenal when it comes to protecting the rights of its citizens, curbing despotism and adapting the multiple diversities and dynamics that are characterized by the United States, which is the ever-growing nation. This implies that the constitution has undergone various amendments, seeking to accommodate different needs arising in the country at different times. It is the dynamic nature of the US constitution that makes it comparable to the Virginia Plan, a constitutional proposal that played an integral role in the establishment of the U.S. Constitution.
Comparing the Virginia Plan to the Constitution.
Apparently, the constitution of United States drew a lot of content, concepts, and framework from the Virginia plan. From the proposal made, it can be purported that Virginia Plan acted as the platform upon which the current Constitution of United States was created. In 1786, James Madison together with other 56 delegates to the Constitutional Convention embarked on holding a meeting in Philadelphia. The main purpose of the meeting was to carry out amendments to the identified articles of the confederation (World book Encyclopedia 12). It is apparent that the outcome of the meeting led to the creation of the new constitution, with Madison representing Virginia State.
The Constitutional convention delegates, who held their meeting in Philadelphia were driven by the purpose of proposing amendments to articles of confederation, which would easily be compatible with the federal government. The final product of the convention encompassed the replacement of the articles; despite the fact that the first proposal of the Convention was presented in the form of a series of variations to the articles. It is through this Constitutional Convention that the Virginia Plan, which was in the form of 15 proposed changes (resolutions), was presented by Mr. Randolph (Liberty Fund 2). In the first resolution, it was proposed that the articles of the confederation should be rectified and broadened to achieve the objectives set by their institutions; that is, the common defense, security of liberty and the basic welfare of citizens.
Another element of the Virginia plan that contributed to the formation of the U.S. Constitution was the separation of powers. Apparently, Virginia plan advocated for the introduction of a bicameral legislature, which implies a legislative branch that is composed of two chambers. It follows that according to the proposal, the legislative was supposed to contain the dual principles of rotation when it comes to public offices and recalling of the legislators, as it is applied to the lower house of the national legislature (Ritchie 8). The plan also proposed that the proportion of the representation for each state will be about the quotas of contribution or the number of free inhabitants. From this proposal, it can be claimed that states that had a relatively large population would have more representatives as compared to the states that have the smaller population or them small in small in size. It followed that the Virginia received huge support from large states as opposed to the smaller states that opposed the plan and instead, advocated for the New Jersey Plan.
The Virginia plan pushed for a strong government, opting to distribute the powers of the government to three arms of government: The judicial, legislative and executive branches. Delegates from Virginia, who led to the creation of the Virginia Plan proposed a strong federal government that would be in a good position, not only to make laws but to enforce them (Liberty Fund 3). The policies and laws enforced by the federal government were supposed to be beneficial when it comes to governing the nation and implementing various policies such as collection of taxes. The Virginia advocated for a federal system of government that facilitated the governing of people by the state governments as well as the national governments.
Virginia plan provided the framers with a framework or the basis to create U.S. Constitution. The delegates of the Constitutional Convention embarked on extensive debates that led to expansion, development and compromises on the Virginia and New Jersey plans that paved the way for the creation of the constitution, which has been in used for over 200 years, as far as American heritage is concerned (Ritchie 10). It is apparent that Virginia plan and the U.S. Constitution have different elements in common, which are vital when comparing the (Virginia plan and the Constitution). The Plan was used as a prototype by the framers to debate and develop U.S. constitution.
James Madison, who is considered to be the father of the American constitution. The majority of the main points from the Virginia Plan, which was drafted by Madison, were utilized and implemented in the American constitution. Madison, through his proposals, suggested the implementation of the federal plan that supported a strong central government (World book Encyclopedia 12). The plan proposed the division of the government into three branches: the legislature, judiciary, and executive. The plan further called for the adoption of the bicameral legislature that included the upper and lower houses. It was proposed that the members of the lower houses were supposed to be elected by the citizens of a given state, whereas the upper house members were supposed to be appointed from a list of nominees earmarked from each state. The executive branch of the government as proposed in the Virginia Plan resembled the system of premiership (a system led by the prime minister) and not the presidency. The proposal suggested that the president is elected by the legislature.
Differences between Virginia Plan and the Constitution.
The Constitution Convention delegates who had been given a task of carrying out amendments to the articles of the confederation experienced conflicts, on whether to endorse Virginia Plan or New Jersey Plan. Delegates from the larger states pushed adoption of the Virginia Plan whereas delegates from the smaller objected it, calling for the acceptance of the proposals made in the New Jersey Plan, which seemed to be appropriate for the small states. Representation in the national legislature proved to be a volatile element that led to disputes between delegates from large and populous states and delegates from smaller states (World book Encyclopedia 12). This prompted the Connecticut delegates to seek for compromises that were meant to end the stalemate between the opposing delegates. The Great Compromise implies that there are elements in the Virginia Plan that were overlooked or omitted when it comes to the creation of the constitution. It follows that there are some articles in the Virginia Plan that were not included in the U.S. Constitution.
One of the main difference between the Virginia Plan and the constitution that was later created is the representation of the states in the national legislature. Virginia plan called for the adoption of the bicameral legislative branch. Under this form of legislative representation, which is a form of a legislative branch with two chambers. The chambers included the upper house and the lower house. It was proposed that the members of the lower houses were supposed to be elected by the citizens of a given state, whereas the upper house members were supposed to be appointed from a list of nominees earmarked from each state (World book Encyclopedia 12). Bicameral legislature implied that the representation of any given state in the national legislature was proportional to the population of the state: the larger the population/state, the larger the representation. Unlike in the Virginia Plan, where representation in the national legislature depends on the size of the state or its population, the constitution calls for the equal representation of the state as well as the representation that depends on the population in the House of representation.
The executive branch can also be used to outline the differences between the Virginia Plan and the Constitution. The plan proposed that national executive is instituted; suggesting that executive member is selected to be nominated by the legislature. It follows that Virginia plan was pushing for the executive system that resembles premiership (ruled by the prime minister) in which the prime minister is nominated by the members of the legislative. This was totally different with the executive system that was adopted by the constitution. Under the constitution, executive endorses presidency system, where the president is elected by the citizens of different States (National Archives and Records Administration 2). Virginia Plan did not do not specify the number of terms and duration of the presidency; However, the constitution specifies that the maximum presidency terms are 2, with a duration of four years for each term.
Virginia Plan played an integral role in the eventual creation of the United States. Various elements that were proposed in the plan were widely implemented in the constitution. It follows that Virginia Plan acted as the framework or the platform upon which the framers created the current U.S. Constitution. Works Cited
BIBLIOGRAPHY Liberty Fund. "1787: Virginia and New Jersey Plans." Liberty Fund (2014): 1-3. print.
National Archives and Records Administration. "Presidential Election Laws: The Constitution." National Archives and Records Administration (2015): 1-2. print.
Ritchie, Donald A. "Our Constitution: Why was the constitution necessary?" Justice Learning Organization (2011): 2-226. print.
World book Encyclopedia. "About America: The Constitution of the United States of America with explanatory text." The Wold Book Encyclopedia (2004): 2-92. print.
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