The United States Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia by the Constitution Convention delegates. There were three plans that the delegates were presented with: the New Jersey plan, Hamilton’s plan and the Virginia plan.
What was accepted by the delegates in the end is what came to be termed as the huge “Compromise” treaty which was taken from the Virginia and New Jersey plans. It was realized by the delegates that compromise treaty would be indispensable if a new Constitution was to be drafted for the nation. In August of 1787, the first constitutional draft was accepted by the convention (Forner 257). There were variations in the three plans presented before the Constitutional Convention. The New Jersey plan differed greatly from that of Virginia. Some of the differences were referenced to branches, legislature and other powers. In respect to branches, the New Jersey embraced three branches which were, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The plan by the Virginia proponents also embraced the three arms of the government that were the executive, legislature and the judicial branch.
It was the legislature branch that preserved the most power as it was the one which could select individuals to serve in the judiciary and executive branches (Forner 257). In terms of legislature, in this case with reference to the New Jersey plan, there was to be a single house, that was, unicameral, where each state would receive equal representation and all the states had the same amount of power. In the Virginia plan, there were two houses, bicameral, with the representatives’ house being elected by the population, while the state legislatures was mandated with the role of electing the senate. There was proportional representation to both. New Jersey plan came up with an elaborate way to share roles and responsibilities between the state government and the national government, with the former being given the mandate of taxing the inhabitants, among other trade related duties. The national government, on the other hand, was accorded with the duty to monitor trade among various states. The Virginia plan would be beneficial to the larger state by offering proportional congressional representation to the state’s population.
This would facilitate more representation gain for the more densely populated state, hence get more congressional power. The New Jersey plan avoided swallowing of the smaller states of New England by the larger states providing equal representation (Forner 258). Alexander Hamilton and his strong critique Jefferson Thomas completely destructed and hated each other.
Their ideas were both different and analogous, but they consistently debated with each other. Thomas Jefferson was an anti-federalist and an Agrarian highly favoring the people. He emphasized liberty, social welfare, and democracy. Alexander Hamilton was a Federalist advocating for a nation with a strong centralized government in power. On the top of this, he remained convinced that it was only a central government that would manage to provide the much needed economic impetus to improve the affairs of the people. He would favor Virginia plan with his opposition favoring the New Jersey plan (Forner 259). Despite being under a new constitution that safeguarded human dignity, the constitutional choice to abolish slavery and human trafficking was futile and the slave trade was not banned.
In conclusion, as a citizen with the two plans in mind, I would prefer the Virginia one which accordingly seems to be concerned with humanity, well-being and growth.
Forner, Erick. Give me Liberty: An America History, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001. Print.