New Jersey Plan


New Jersey Plan

The New Jersey Plan (also widely known as the Small State or Paterson Plan) was a proposal for the structure of the United States Government proposed by William Paterson at the Constitutional Convention on June 15, 1787.[1] The plan was created in response to the Virginia Plan's, calling for two houses of Congress, both elected with apportionment according to population or direct taxes paid.[2] The less populous states were adamantly opposed to giving most of the control of the national government to the larger states, and so proposed an alternate plan that would have given one vote per state for equal representation under one legislative body (i.e., a Unicameral Legislature). This was a compromise for the issue of the houses. This plan was opposed by James Madison and Edmund Randolph (The proponents of the Virginia Plan).

When the Connecticut Compromise (or "Great Compromise") was constructed, the New Jersey Plan's legislative body was used as the model for the United States Senate.[3]

Under the New Jersey Plan, the organization of the legislature was similar to that of the modern day United Nations and other similar institutions. This position reflected the belief that the states were independent entities, and, as they entered the United States of America freely and individually, so they remained. The New Jersey plan also gave power to regulate trade and to raise money by taxing all foreign goods.

Ultimately, the New Jersey Plan was rejected as a basis for a new constitution. The Virginia Plan was used, but some ideas from the New Jersey plan were added. In the Senate each state would be represented equally while the House of Representatives votes would be distributed according to population.

The New Jersey Plan

References

  1. ^ "The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 reported by James Madison : on June 15". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/615.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  2. ^ William Paterson Biography in Soldier Statesmen of the Constitution, a publication of the United States Army Center of Military History. Accessed October 23, 2007. "He was the co-author of the New Jersey (or Paterson) Plan that asserted the rights of the small states by proposing a national legislature that, ignoring differences in size and population, gave equal voice to all the states. The proposal countered the Virginia Plan introduced by Edmund Randolph, which granted special recognition to differences in population and,therefore, favored the large states."
  3. ^ Constitutional Convention of 1787, Princeton University. Accessed October 23, 2007. "The Connecticut Compromise, which broke the deadlock, proposed a lower house, elected in proportion to population, and an upper house, in which each state, regardless of size, would have equal representation."



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