Virginia Plan

In 1787, the Continental Congress called for a Federal Convention to consider revisions to the Articles of Confederation. James Madison gave serious thought to the problems facing the nation and made specific proposals for devising a new constitution which, when presented by his state’s delegation, became known as the Virginia Plan. This was the first plan considered by the Convention, and many of its elements were incorporated into the Constitution in its final form. For example, the Virginia Plan calls for a separation of powers among three branches of government, and it created a bicameral legislature (in the Virginia Plan, both houses of Congress were based on proportional representation, but smaller states, like New Jersey, opposed such a plan in favor of equal representation).

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