Q. I'm trying to find information on the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, and the Connecticut Compromise

I'm having trouble finding my way around the library.

Answer

Hello,

For historical topics like this, books are better sources than journal articles.

There are several electronic books that may help you with this, in the "ebrary" collection.  On the Online Library page, open the Find Books page and click on the "ebrary" link.

Once in the ebrary collection, do a search on "virginia plan" (use the quotation marks so you are searching for the phrase) and you should get a list of several books that discuss the Constitutional Convention.

For instance the paragraph below, from: Patrick, John J. (Editor). Founding the Republic : A Documentary History.
Westport, CT, USA: Greenwood Press, 1995. p 148.
Copyright © 1995. Greenwood Press. All rights reserved.

During eleven days before the Federal Convention began, James Madison and others of the Virginia delegation met daily to develop their Virginia Plan (Document 36), which Edmund Randolph presented to the Convention on May 29. James Madison, however, was the principal source of the Virginia Plan’s fifteen resolutions, which proposed a new national government with power to bypass the states and act directly on the people to collect taxes and enforce laws. The next day (May 30), the Convention agreed ‘‘that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary.’’ 2 Thus, the delegates moved from the Continental Congress’s instructions about ‘‘revising the Articles of Confederation’’ to the construction of an entirely new frame of government. Supporters of the Virginia Plan argued that the delegates could legitimately go beyond mere revision of the Articles because the Convention had been instructed by the Continental Congress ‘‘to render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.’’

There are also some books in our EBSCO eBook collection (link also found on the Find Books page)  that might be of help.  A search there on "Virginia plan" included this book, and browsing through it, I saw the paragraphs below about the Connectict Compromise:

Vile, J. R. (2005). The Constitutional Convention of 1787 : A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of America's Founding. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

CONNECTICUT COMPROMISE

The issue of representation in Congress proved to be one of the most divisive issues at the U.S. Constitutional Convention. In contrast to the Articles of Confederation, in which states were equally represented in a unicameral Congress, the Virginia Plan, which was the first to be introduced at the Constitutional Convention, proposed a bicameral Congress in which states would be represented according to population in both houses. It is not entirely clear whether this hope would have been carried out in practice since under the original Virginia Plan, members of the House were to elect members of the Senate from nominees suggested by the state legislatures, and the number of senators contemplated appears to have been so small that it is not clear that each state would have had representation there.

In any event, debate over representation largely pitted the most populous states (usually designated as the large states), who favored representation in both houses of Congress on the basis of population, against members of the less populous or small states, who favored either continuing the system of equal representation under the Articles of Confederation or providing that such a method would at least be used for the Senate. Large state advocates generally argued for the justice of using democratic principles of representation. Small state advocates argued both for preserving their existing prerogatives under the Articles of Confederation and for allowing states to protect themselves as states.

Hope these tips are enough to get you started.

Best regards,

C. Ralston

 

  • Last Updated Jul 26, 2017
  • Views 13
  • Answered By Carl Ralston

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