Annabelle, Jackson, Daisy, Bethany, Stephen, Liam, Molly, and Maddie.

Group Members and Roles

  • Annabelle - Speech giver
  • Liam - Master Debater
  • Stephen - TV Ad
  • Molly - Writer
  • Maddie - Graphics
  • Jackson - Journalist
  • Daisy - Radio
  • Bethany - Photographer

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Group Slogan

Representin' for the big dogs, The majority is our priority.

Plan for Constitution -- What our group wants

  • Our ideal constitution would form a three branch system of government to maintain a strong, central power over all the states.
  • Regarding the legislative branch, we want a two house, or bicameral, system with representation being population-weighted, so that the large states which hold the majority receive the fair voice that they deserve.
  • We don't want to silence the small states, however we want to recognize that some hold only a minority opinion, and for the nation to function as one which is united, we must adhere to the majority's necessities.
  • The strong, centralized government will keep the states unified, and increasing the strength of the laws which the government will administer and enforce will keep the country afloat and on its way to being a successful power.

Bullet Points of Your Plan

  • A three branch political system, with checks and balance to keep the power equal and maintain order in the governing bodies which will in turn keep order of its people.
  • A two house, bicameral, legislative branch with the upper house being run by representatives from their state, voted on by the people.
  • The number of representatives per state will be in direct correlation to the populations of their states, giving fair representation to each state and accounting for those states who hold greater majorities of the American people than others.
  • The upper house will then appoint the members of both the lower house, as well as the judicial branch to further aid in legislation and jurisdiction of the laws which the constitution will mandate for all the country's people to adhere to.
  • Among these branches of government, there will be an executive power, or president, who will hold power to oversee and interject of governing actions while holding the general good of the people in mind.
Orator: Text of Your Speech

Fellow Americans, we have gathered here today on account of the newly founded nation that we may proudly call our own. We have fought with unyielding determination, as a country of unity and brotherhood, and courageously defeated the cause of our oppression, the British monarchy. When America declared independence, it was not just an acknowledgment of revolution, but a promise. A promise to uphold the people of the United States, and to preserve their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So then, my colleagues, why exactly are we assembled here, with anxiety pumping through our veins? Because, in our attempt to synchronize our new nation through the Articles of Confederation, we have instead plunged headfirst into doubt and detachment. Each state runs on their own currency, which has left us in no position to pay off our colossal debts to Europe. The government has been stripped of its power to levy taxes, leaving it unable to provide our armed forces with necessary supplies. We can no longer beg disapproving states to agree with each other in order to pass a law. We can no longer depend on a weak Congress. We can no longer rely on the system that the Articles of Confederation offers. This document has proven itself to be defective and insufficient for our country, and must be renovated, if not rewritten.

Thankfully, I have come today on behalf of Virginia to present a solution to our problems: The Virginia Plan. This plan suggests a three-branch system, so eloquently designed by the noble philosopher Montesquieu, in which each branch would counterbalance each other out. These branches will form a system of checks and balances, so that no one branch may gain dominance or advantage over another. The legislature would be bicameral, that is to say, comprised of two houses: The House of Representatives, to be elected by the people, and the Senate, to be elected by state legislatures. Both houses should be represented proportionally by the population of each state. Now, some of the smaller states may obviously disagree with this proposition, but this way, the smaller population will not rule over the majority. Because that, my good men, is communism, a political system that would surely result in corruption of both the government and the people, and would send us spiraling into both social and economical crises. As it has been agreed upon and stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal.” Needless to say, it is only fair that each vote should be weighed equally. The New Jersey Plan proposes unchecked legislature. We, as American states, must remain united, not divided by transparent state lines. One voice does not speak at the same caliber as ten voices may speak. How could an honest man of Virginia live, knowing that his voice is only worth a fifth of that of a New Jerseyman's? We did not claim this nation only to be undermined. We did not declare independence, only to have our voices be reduced to whispers.

With the Virginia Plan, you will no longer be taxed without representation. Government will be stable. Our nation will never again be smothered by a tyrannical monarchy. Let not our heroic country fall back into the controlling arms of Britain. We have won America with justice and with honor, and now we need a plan that can run our nation on both. Victory is in our bloodstream, and with the Virginia Plan, we will never fall through the cracks.We will remain victorious, as a healthy, young nation. Power will be balanced among us, which will give us power over the twisted system of hierarchy that the British are oppressed with. We know that we can be great; now, we must prove it. The only way to earn this reputation is to form a government that can successfully resemble the diligence, innovation, and self-righteousness that its nation’s people have so valiantly shown. This form of government, my fellow Americans, is that which the people of Virginia have already established, and that which the United States of America must now implement.


Debater: Possible Objections to Plan and Your Replies

O: Since all we have known previously is a monarch or a divine king shouldn’t all the power be given to the president?

R: No, we are creating a type of government that hasn’t been sought since the Roman Republic Empire. We are creating democracy. We are creating a type of government that is completely different and more efficient than the one we succeeded from, England. Three branches of government is what the Virginia Plan calls for, a system of checks and balances where each branch keeps each other balanced and complete, not letting one branch take too much control.

O: The Virginia Plan isn’t fair because it doesn’t give the equal representation that the New Jersey Plan provides.

R: Even if you have fewer representatives in the house it does not mean it is not proportional to the size of your state. Although minorities rights should be protected, majority should rule and states with a larger population is the majority; for a new nation and government to function we must recognize the majority’s needs. The Virginia Plan lends itself to larger states, we know this, but the New Jersey Plan favors smaller states and is basically regurgitating the old, stagnant style of government that was presented in the Articles of Confederation.

O: The Virginia Plans is more likely to turn into an autocratic government than the unicameral government proposed by the New Jersey Plan.
R: It has the capacity to formally represent diverse communities and specific regional attributes: class, ethnic, etc. It hinders the passage of flawed legislation for example; one chamber can act as a check upon the other, and have the power to keep one another in check. With two legislative bodies, there is enhanced oversight of the executive branch; again the idea of checks and balances keeps the Virginia Plan far from becoming an autocratic government. In a one house legislative system, although bills and laws may be passed faster, the checks and balances needed in a democracy is not there, especially being only one body is responsible for legislation.

Why Our Plan is Good:

Essentially, our plan is exactly what our Union was founded on, what our brave countrymen and women fought so hard and worked so long for: fair representation. By assuring that the number of people in a state correlates with that state's power, we are vindicating all that we sacrificed in the battle for freedom. Are we not the people who fought against England's preposterous notions of control? We are a country far larger than England, and therefore should not have been put under their oppressive yoke; it is not a stretch that without the Virginia Plan, a state as small as Rhode Island could supercede the will of the rest of the entire country. This would be an affront to every value we hold dear as Americans.
For all that we have fought for, for all that we as free men and women stand for, I urge you to vote for the Virginia Plan.

Print Journalist: Write Up of Convention Activity

The Constitutional Convention started off extremely well, with James Madison rising to the stand with his brilliant advocation of the Virginia Plan. Citing the bicameral legislature, ingenious 3-branch system, and the fair representation implicit in the plan, Madison received cheers and applause for his admirable endorsement. Thanks to Madison and the Virginia Plan, it seemed at first as if the Convention would go smoothly.

However, when New Jersey's James Patterson delivered his lengthy diatribe in support of the Small-States Plan, things definitely took a turn for the worse. Defensive from the get-go, Patterson did little more than reiterate valid complaints against his Plan.

To the background music of well-deserved boos, this reporter mused that the Convention might not turn out to be as simple as Madison's succinct eloquence originally made it seem.

Speakers advocating the Great Compromise, Crispus Attucks Coalition, and Dixiecrat Bloc (respectively, Benjamin Franklin, George Mason, and Charles Pinckney) also spoke.

Though Franklin was ostensibly in favor of a compromise, he seemed to unconsciously side with the Virginia plan, saying that he was “not opposed...in the slightest” to the 3-branch system, and that the New Jersey plan was “unfair” to large states.

After the speeches, a heated debate ensued, much of which was dominated- curiously enough- by bickering between the Crispus Attucks Coalition and the Dixiecrat Bloc.

Trying to get a word in edgewise, Benjamin Franklin (again, in advocation of the Virginia Plan) noted that he “hardly even knew people existed in [Rhode Island]!”

Though other excellent points were brought up (such as George Washington's assertion that “1 person, 1 vote equals democracy) in the end the Convention voted with the Great Compromise. And even though the Virginia Plan would have undoubtedly been more beneficial to these United States, the stubborn members of the New Jersey Plan saw to its failure.

However, the Virginian's rallying cry of “The majority is our priority!” at the end of the debate proved that it will take more than people from New Jersey to remove democratic zeal from the nation.


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