What were the similarities and differences between the Virginia and New Jersey Plans?

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Mark B. Share
Jan 4, 2016

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They both dealt with representation in Congress.

Explanation:

Both the New Jersey and Virginia Plans dealt with how the states should be represented in Congress. The Virginia Plan favored states with a large population, which back then, meant states like Virginia and Massachusetts. The Virginia Plan said that states should be represented according to their population. The greater the population of a state, the more representatives they would have.

The New Jersey Plan favored the small states, such as New Jersey and Rhode Island. This plan called for every state to receive the same number of representatives, regardless of population.

The Constitutional Convention ended up adopting both plans through what was called the Great Compromise. The New Jersey Plan would be used in the upper house, or Senate. Every state would receive two representatives--no more, no less.

The Virginia Plan was used in the lower house, or House of Representatives. There, every state receives representatives based on the state's population. These representatives can be adjusted as states gain or lose population.

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