The New Jersey Plan proposed that the legislature be composed of only one house and that each state had equal representation in that house. William Paterson of New Jersey proposed the plan, which called for one representative from each state. This type of legislature was similar to that under the Articles of Confederation.
The New Jersey Plan was an alternative to the Virginia Plan. Under the Virginia Plan, the two houses in the legislature had representation based on state population. New Jersey and other smaller states felt the plan was unfair because the larger states got more representatives in Congress. The convention, unable to decide between the two plans, came up with a compromise designed by Roger Sherman. In agreement with the Virginia Plan, the compromise gave Congress two houses. One of the houses, the Senate, was to be comprised of two senators from each state, giving each state the equal representation the New Jersey Plan proposed. The other house, the House of Representatives, gave states representatives according to their population, as the Virginia Plan proposed. The compromise met with the approval of the smaller states and the larger states. The plan, which the convention passed, was later referred to as the Great Compromise.