Session 5: The Constitutional Convention, pt1 - The Alternative Plans
Of what significance were the rules adopted by the Convention? In what respects did the Virginia Plan represent a new constitution rather than a mere revision of the Articles? What were delegates’ initial reactions and questions concerning the Virginia Plan? What parts of the Plan were rejected or amended? What did the delegates mean when they spoke of a national government as opposed to a federal government? What different principles animate the New Jersey and Virginia Plans and the Hamilton Proposal? Why were they even introduced? What are the arguments for representation of the states, as opposed to the people, in the federal government? Consider the discussions of the executive power, bicameralism, and the role of the judiciary in the context of “republican principles.” What do “republican principles” say about the sources of power, the powers, and the structure of the federal government? Is Madison’s extended republic argument a departure from republican principles?
- Lloyd and Lloyd, The Essential Bill of Rights, James Madison, “Vices of the Political System of the United States,” 246-253
- James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787: May 29,31, June 6, 11,13,15, and 18