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The Viginia Plan

Group Members and Roles

  • True: Writer
  • Brent: Debater
  • Kassra: Speaker/Debater
  • Danielle: Photographer/Graphic Artist/Journalist
  • Maya: Note taker and photographer
  • Wyatt: Videographer/Radio Broadcaster

Group Slogan


"The voice of the People, a voice of a Nation."

What Your Group Wants -- Plan for New Constitution Constitutional_convention_group_slogan_and_image_p3_virginia.jpg


The Virginia Plan proposes a separation of powers that will prevent a repeat of the misfortune of our government under the Articles of Confederation. It promotes national unity by stipulating that each state is not separate and sovereign but part of the United States of America. The popularly elected House’s selection of Senators ensures that neither mobocracy nor aristocratic tyranny can take root. However, the Virginia Plan’s greatest genius is the truly equal representation that it provides. Every eligible citizen of the United States will have the same voice in his government, whether he is from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York or even New Jersey.

Bullet Points of Your Plan

• If you live in any state save Delaware, the Virginia Plan is the only one that provides you fair representation.
• The Virginia Plan will bolster our national image by instituting a newer, stronger central government.
• The Virginia Plan’s bicameral legislature will prevent it from becoming tyrannical.
• The Virginia Plan is the only plan that holds true to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

Orator: Text of Your Speech




My esteemed countrymen, as a newly established sovereign nation, we have due responsibility to manage our affairs befittingly. We founded our society on such democratic principles as were illuminated in our Declaration of Independence: “That all men are created equal, . . . [and] that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” These echoes of John Locke’s social contract suggest that the people are in fact the government, their interests superseding those of provincial, state, or federal interests. That as well as their God-given natural rights in the eyes of the law, the citizens of this country deserve an equal voice in their nation’s fledgling democracy. The judicial system views all of us equally; the legislative branch must follow suit.
Gentlemen, the problem we face today is one of grievous importance. The Articles of Confederation, which we have come here to revise, must be not be merely amended of its faults but completely dissolved and a constitution made anew. It has proven itself to be a malignant force upon our country. Its spineless central government has permitted a mobocracy to take root in the virgin soil of our nation. Its acquiescence of important governmental responsibilities to the states has allowed them to run thirteen different countries within our one. Its requirement of unanimous approval for amendments to the document has failed to expedite important political changes necessary for the improvement of the Union. This whimsical indenture has maimed the worldview of the United States of America.

We can only conclude that reform is paramount to the health of our nation. What we need, gentlemen, is a stronger central government, greater federal responsibility, and fair and equal representation. What we need, gentlemen, is the Virginia Plan.

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The Virginia Plan is the solution to the onerous encumbrance that the Articles of Confederation has proven itself to be. Upon implementation of our proposal, the three branches of government that the great philosopher Montesquieu pioneered will be sewn into the fabric of our nation. Each branch will check the other, thus, none could gain an advantage. A potent bicameral legislature would direct trade between states, veto unconstitutional laws, and regulate the national guard. Its upper house, the Senate, will be elected by legislatures; the lower house, the House of Representatives, directly by the people. The antithesis to the New Jersey plan, the bicameral legislature of the Virginia plan allows both the states and the people a voice in the government, a clear advantage over the unfair and unchecked unicameral legislature of the New Jersey plan. We cannot permit misinformed preconceptions of state by state differences to cloud our judgment. State lines are nothing more than superficial boundaries that serve to divide us more than unite us. We mustn’t let every minute plot of land that we deem a state have an abominable monopoly over the good citizens of the United States of America. It is not the state that benefits from proportional representation; it is its constituents. The New Jersey plan, supporting an unequal and unfair representation of the people, would be comparable to having a quarter and a nickel, with no distinction between the two. The quarter, having more value, should clearly be worth more in reality. Those from New Jersey have no grasp on reality.

All men are created equal. One of the self-evident truths. All men are created equal, not all states. One fact that the New Jersey plan continually ignores is that it is an iniquitous and shameless subversion of the founding principles of this nation for five thousand people to have the same voice as one thousand. The Virginia Plan proposes true equality for all people, not just those few who live in small states. The people are what it ultimately amounts to: the people of this great nation. Those who picked up their guns in response to the British malefactors. Those who have remained vigilant and hard-pressed towards this distant democratic dream we are aspiring to. Those whom are dependent on the success of justice here today. And now, with a great victory behind us, you want to strip them of their voice, trample their rights as a citizen, and thoroughly disregard their status as an affiliate of this great nation? No sirs, I think not. I will not stand by apathetically and watch the New Jersey plan demoralize the country I hold so dear. My opponent will speak to you about equality. Yes, equality, but equality for whom? For the hard working farmer in Virginia, breaking his back over his toil, all the while knowing that he is rather one fifth of a man from New Jersey? No, it is time for us to reform, gentlemen; and to consider the idea that the voice of our people is truly the voice of our nation.



Debater: Possible Objections to Plan and Your Replies

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Objections to Virginia Plan
O:Which makes states rights unequal representation-wise?
-R:Which one encompasses the ENTIRE UNITED States? One based upon population? or one based on a minute portion of it? Which proposed an equal vote amongst small populations as does large? Is this fair?
O:Why is it that we must sacrifice our state rights for population rights?
-R:This is a democracy... Its the voice of a people. Not the voice of an elite '''acting''' for the people.
O:What are the strengths to having legislation based around population that cannot be resolved with equal representation from a single state?
-R:Its not about the strength of a populace but rather a more democratic union. By the people and For the people. Why should a MAJORITY of the American Society be put at bay for the entire STATE of New Jersey to be satisfied?

Journalist: Write-Up of Convention Activity


It was fairly sunny, but foggy day on October 6, 2009, but little did Mr. Geib know that later that day during third period, he would be an eye witness to a Constitutional Convention he would never forget.
The Virginia Plan started the Convention off strong explaining their ultimate goals that would lead them to a sure victory. Meanwhile, Bill (who tried too hard to sound from NJ), sat patiently shaking his head disagreeing with every word that was spat out from the Virginia Plan side. Riley (Mr. Geib’s TA) along with Mr. Geib himself, filmed contently during the whole debate laughing and enjoying each argument Kassra (VA Plan rep.) and Bill(NJ Plan rep.) had. Bill apparently couldn’t and didn’t get anything Kassra was bringing into the debate, so Kassra had to stoop down to a “New Joisey” level for him. Kassra brought up a very good point which made a lot of “cents” to everyone, except for Bill that is. Kassra began to calmly explain further by what he meant, until Mr. Geib gave him specific orders to “get angry”. Furious, Kassra explodes in a matter of two seconds yelling and pounding the desk to help Bill understand that “States like VA that are worth a quarter (population wise) and states like NJ which is worth a nickel, aren’t the same thing” and that “no one tryied to buy a 25 cent soda with a nickel, because it just doesn’t work that way”. Then, Bill lashed back with a smart remark of “You are saying my mutha is a nickel and yours is a quarta, I’ve seen your mutha, and she ain’t no quarter”. It was the remarks like these that kept the Convention alive, while the Great Compromise sat with a very acquiesce attitude continually trying to calm everyone down. As funny as the Dixiecrats were with their cotton balls and banjo, they were rejected rather harshly by everyone at the Convention especially the Crispus Attucks group. A rather large arugment at the Convention was about slavery, and the argument seemed without a doubt insuperable, even with the majority agreeing to abolish it. Until the final discusion, the Great Compromise continued to silence themselves, the Dixiecrats played their banjos and spoke on slavery with the Crispus Attucks group, and last, the New Jersey and Virginia Plans left with a concluding bang.

~ Danielle Saleh

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Comments from Rival Plans

Wow, I don't know how we'll be able to compete with this. --All the other plans
It's on. Signed, The New Jersey Plan
No, it's off. Cuz you already lost. Before we started.<br>
Sincerely,
'''VIRGINIA!!!!!!'''
LIESSS!!!! No love whatsoever, New Jersey Plan
Oh, it's over, and guess what? We dominated.
Luuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrve, Virginia

Photos

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