The Constitution Virginia and New Jerseys Plans

In the late 1780s, prominent political leaders in the United States came to realize that the government created under the Articles of Confederation was ineffective and impractical and could not serve a nation in managing relationships among states nor handle foreign nations. The fear of creating a government that was too powerful was the basis for foundation of the Articles of Confederation. It created a weak national government that allowed for most of the power to be under the control of the state legislatures. Under the Articles, Congress had no means to prevent war or security against foreign invasion. The federal government could not check the quarrels between states or regulate interstate trade, collect taxes, enforce laws. These weaknesses of the confederation distressed political leaders; in response, they requested a assemblage in order to revise the Articles and revive the ailing nation. In May of 1787, representatives from each state gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to find the means of turning the United States government into an efficient and powerful business that conducted affairs in practical ways. The delegates meeting at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 were given expressed consent to alter and revise the Articles of Confederation. With the exception of those from New Jersey and Virginia, the delegates intended to revise the Articles. One of 55 delegates, William Paterson and his colleagues Roger Sherman, Ellsworth, and Dickinson offered a list of suggestions for revising the Articles of Confederation in his New Jersey Plan. Paterson was a delegate from New Jersey who favored the weak national government that the Articles created. Patterson asserted the rights of the small states against the large states and wished to expand upon the Articles making a more practical and efficient government. The New Jersey Plan suggested the Congress maintain its unica…

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