Who Wrote the Virginia Plan?


Quick Answer

James Madison wrote the initial draft of the Virginia Plan, which was then presented to the 1787 Constitutional Congress by Virginia governor Edmund Randolph. The plan proposed three bodies of the federal government with clearly defined separate powers, including a bicameral legislative branch.

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Full Answer

The Virginia Plan called for two legislative bodies, with representatives from each state in proportion to population. The upper house representatives would serve seven-year terms and be elected by the state legislatures, while the lower house members would serve three-year terms and be voted in by the people of each state. This plan was met with some resistance by the proposed New Jersey plan, calling for equal legislative representation from each state, and ultimately modified with the Connecticut Compromise to form the current federal legislature, comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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