Americapedia

Virginia Plan

The Virginia Plan was written by James Madison and presented by Edmund Randolph on the fourth day of the Constitutional Convention. The Virginia Plan demonstrates Montesquieu’s influence on Madison, as it called for separation of powers among three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. It created a bicameral legislature with both houses based on proportionate representation. Much of the Virginia Plan was adopted by the Convention and written into the Constitution.

Smaller states, however, objected to the proportional representation and responded with the New Jersey Plan, which called for all states to have equal representation in Congress, similar to the Articles of Confederation.

The Connecticut Compromise blended the Virginia and New Jersey Plans as a model for representation in the two houses of Congress: equal representation in the Senate and proportionate in the House.