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Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey plans presented at the Constitutional Convention - Essay Example

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Summary
According to Virginia Plan, congressional members of first branch should be chosen by people of several states while the members of second branch should be chosen by individual legislatures while New Jersey plan states that members should be chosen by the public.
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Compare and contrast the Virginia and New Jersey plans presented at the Constitutional Convention
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Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan Structural Differences The structural differences between the two plans are discussed as follows:
Numbers of Branches
According to both plans, the government should consist of executive, judiciary and legislative.
Number of Houses
According to Virginia Plan, there should be two houses of the National Legislature while New Jersey Plan does not account for two branches.
Congressional Members
According to Virginia Plan, congressional members of first branch should be chosen by people of several states while the members of second branch should be chosen by individual legislatures while New Jersey plan states that members should be chosen by the public.
Length of Terms
According to Virginia Plan, members of first branch should have term of 3 years while one year for members of second branch for one year. New Jersey Plan does not provide length of terms of the members.
Congressional Representation
According to both the plans, the congressional representation of both branches should be in equitable ratio of white and other free citizens of every age, sex and condition and 3/5th of rest of the persons except Indians who do not pay taxes in each state. However New Jersey plan is more specific about confederation and states about diminishing or increasing number of states as well.
Power Difference
According to Virginia Plan, the national legislature may have the power of legislation by confederation in all cases where individual states are incompetent or harmony of the country may be at stake. It may have the right to negate all laws that are passed by states found contravening to articles of Union. New Jersey Plan offers the same power in addition to the authority to promote commerce, impose levy and raise revenues in the states.
Executive Branch
Executive branch in both the plans is compared and contrasted below:
Composition
National executive should consist of single executive.
Selection
Virginia Plan states that executive should be selected for 7 years by national legislature while New Jersey Plan does not state about the length of term.
Powers of Executive
According to both plans, executive may negate any legislation that may not be passed by 2/3rd of national legislature. Executive may have powers to execute national laws to appoint to offices or impeach for certain reasons. New Jersey Plan states the same powers for executive in addition to directing military operations without taking any command over troops.
Judicial Branch
Judicial Branch is compared below:
Composition and Selection of Supreme Court
According to both the plans, judicial branch will be composed of one Supreme Court tribunal selected by second branch of national legislature.
Additional Courts
According to Virginia Plan, national legislature will be empowered to select inferior tribunals while New Jersey Plan does not state about additional courts.
Power of New Federal Govt.
Comparing both the plans, it is specifically found that New Jersey plan offers more power to the new federal government because it focuses to revisit and enlarge articles of confederation and gives executive authority to direct military operations as well. Read More
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