Grand Convention at Philadelphia, May to September, 1787, Quill Project 2021 Edition.
Committee consisting of all delegates to the Convention.
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Committee convened, first two resolutions of Virginia Plan considered. The form of a national government and how to determine representation debated.
[Virginia Plan as Amended by Committee of the Whole House]
1. Resolved that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & general welfare.
3. Resolved that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary.
2. Resolved that the right of suffrage in the first branch of the national Legislature ought not to be according to the rule established in the articles of confederation; but according to some equitable ratio of representation, in proportion to the whole number of white and other free Citizens and inhabitants of every age, sex and condition, including those bound to servitude for a term of years, and three fifths of all other persons not comprehended in the foregoing description, except Indians, not paying taxes in each State.
Resolved that the right of suffrage in the second branch of the national Legislature ought to be according to the rule established for the first.
3. Resolved that the national Legislature ought to consist of two branches.
4. Resolved that the members of the first branch of the national legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several States.
5. Resolved that the members of the second branch of the national Legislature ought to be chosen by the individual Legislatures every three years for the term of three years; to receive fixed stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service, to be paid out of the public Treasury; to be ineligible to any office established by a particular State, or under the authority of the United States, except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the first branch, during the term of service, and under the national Government for the space of one year after its expiration.
5. Resolved that the members of the second branch of the national Legislature ought to be chosen by the individual Legislatures, to be of the age of thirty years at least; to hold their offices for a term sufficient to ensure their independency, namely seven years; to receive fixed stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service, to be paid out of the public Treasury; and to be ineligible to any office established by a particular State, or under the authority of the United States, except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the second branch, during the term of service, and for the space of one year after the expiration thereof.
6. Resolved that each branch ought to possess the right of originating Acts; that the National Legislature ought to be empowered to enjoy the Legislative Rights vested in Congress by the Confederation & moreover to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation; to negative all laws passed by the several States, contravening in the opinion of the National Legislature the articles of Union or any treaties subsisting under the authority of the Union.
7. Resolved that a national executive be instituted to consist of a single person, to be chosen by the national legislature for the term of seven years, with power to carry into execution the national laws, to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for; to be ineligible a second time; and to be removable on impeachment and conviction of malpractice or neglect of duty.
8. Resolved that the national Executive shall have a right to negative any legislative act, which shall not be afterwards passed unless by two third parts of each branch of the national legislature.
9. Resolved that a national judiciary be established to consist of One supreme tribunal, the Judges of which to be appointed by the second branch of the national Legislature, to hold their offices during good behaviour; and to receive punctually at stated times fixed compensation for their services, in which no increase or diminution shall be made so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such increase or diminution. That the National Legislature be empowered to institute inferior tribunals. That the jurisdiction of the national Judiciary shall extend to cases which respect the collection of the national revenue, impeachments of any national officers, and questions which involve the national peace and harmony.
10. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the admission of States lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of Government & Territory or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the National legislature less than the whole.
11. Resolved that a republican constitution, and it’s existing laws ought to be guaranteed to each State by the United States.
12. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the continuance of a Congress and their authorities and privileges, until a given day, after the reform of the articles of union shall be adopted, and for the completion of all their engagements.
14. Resolved that the Legislative Executive & Judiciary powers within the several States ought to be bound by oath to support the articles of Union.
15. Resolved that the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation, by the Convention ought at a proper time, or times, after the approbation of Congress to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of Representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures to be expressly chosen by the people, to consider & decide thereon.
13. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the amendment of the Articles of Union whensoever it shall seem necessary