Essay Example on The New Jersey Plan that called for a stronger national government








In 1787 55 delegates including George Washington Benjamin Franklin Alexander Hamilton and James Madison gathered in Philadelphia at the constitutional convention The Articles of Confederation had proven to have many weaknesses as division among the states and local rebellions now threatened all that had been achieved in the Revolution It was here that they would devise a plan to create a stronger national government and alleviate the concerns of states rights They met at Independence Hall then known as the Pennsylvania State House and swore an oath of secrecy Behind closed doors and covered windows they began the task of creating our Constitution The challenges they faced were emphasized by conflicting opinions strong egos and many demands Balancing states rights with the power of the national government created difficulty in reaching a solution In May of 1787 Virginia delegates submitted the Virginia Plan Designed to protect the larger states this plan offered the proportioned representation of states in a bicameral legislature with the national government having veto power over state laws This would mean that the larger states would have more representatives than the smaller ones

This plan was unacceptable to delegates of the smaller states In June of 1787 William Paterson submitted the New Jersey Plan that called for a stronger national government This plan would give the government the power to tax and to regulate commerce between the states Congress would be a single chamber and each state would have one representative vote After weeks of debate the delegates came to what is known as the Great Compromise a bicameral Congress with equal representation of the states in the Senate and the proportional representation of the people in the House of Representatives This compromise satisfied two goals of the framers of the Constitution equal representation of the states and a system of checks and balances This branch of the government the Legislative branch consists of two chambers the House of Representatives and the Senate is made up of two representatives of each state whose term is six years Senators must be 30 years or older be a United States citizen for at least 9 years and must live in the state they are chosen for when they are elected The House of Representatives is made up of elected members divided among the 50 states in proportion to their total population and serve a 2-year term Members are required to be at least 25 years old be a United States citizen for at least 7 years and reside in the state they represent Each body has its own exclusive powers

The Senate has the sole power to approve treaties The House has the power to choose the president in an electoral deadlock and to initiate impeachment of officials while the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments The two chambers check each other in the system of passing a bill After a bill passes through the majority in the House it goes to the Senate to be debated and voted on If the simple majority passes the bill a conference committee made up of House and Senate members review and work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill The President then has 10 days to sign or veto the bill The framers of the Constitution divided the Senate into a system of three classes for purposes of elections Senators serve six year terms and elections are held every two years in rotation between the classes In essence the members of one class or one third of the Senate faces election every two years This system was designed in hopes of creating stability within the Senate and allow it to operate as a continuing body with little influence by the trends in public opinion The House is representative of the people and by having to return to run for election every other year the framers felt that this allowed representatives to be more in touch with their constituents In some ways the House would equate to that of an Emergency Medical Technician who is frequently in the thick of it and for a short period of time He is assessing the needs and complications of the patient He has a short amount of time to stabilize and ready the patient for the doctor s table at which time he will return to the community to start the process again The Senate is that doctor Hes considered more prestigious and has completed many more hours of service than the EMT He will take more time to completely evaluate the patient send him through a series of tests make changes to his treatment plan and at some point either that patient is released or he's dead As the framers of the Constitution designed this system of Congress the idea was to create a foolproof structure of checks and balances in relation to legislation This protects the rights of the people and the states they reside in As equal partners in the process legislation requires the consent of both chambers to be enacted

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