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James Madison Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

James Madison and the Virginia Plan

As we discover the elements of “Constitutional Authority” there is one name that stands out from all the rest, James Madison. Madison was born in Virginia and rose to political fame after graduating from College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) served 8 years in the Virginia state legislature, sponsored the first 10 amendments to the Bill of Rights, he was also the lead engineer of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Although small in stature, standing 5’4 he was considered the most creative political thinker of his generation. “Delegate William Pierce of Georgia wrote that,” in the management of every great question, Madison always comes ...view middle of the document...

The plan as Madison saw it, needed to replace the existing Articles of the Confederation, with a new centralized “national” government. “Resolved, that the Articles of the Confederation ought to be so corrected and enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution, namely, common Defence, security of  Liberty, and general welfare”. The basic fundamentals of the Virginia Plan that Madison drafted set the overall agenda of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia from May- September, 1787. Madison along with Virginia Governor Edmund Randolph proposed: two branches of National Legislature-later to be called the House and Senate after Oliver Ellsworth and Roger Sherman established a compromise; The House of Representative seats are based on a population- weighted representation and chosen by the people. The Senate seats were to be chosen by the states, with two votes per state.
Still another proposal set forth by Madison to establish a constitutional authority, was the three powers of government-Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. Dating back to the Glorious Revolution, Americans did not establish a clear resolution how to govern itself or what plan it would use to succeed. Not until James Madison explained his three powers of government. First, Madison wanted to “design an executive office that would provide effective and coherent leadership but that could never become a tyranny.” According to Article II of the constitution, "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." There was also concern, about the President having too much power, in the design presidential powers would be dependent upon congress for the overall decisions. Judicial Branch is the court system which is responsible for interpreting the laws which are passed by the Legislative branch and enforced by the Executive authority. The Legislative branch would be made upon of congress and all states representing it, delegates from the House of Representatives and the senate will oversee the executive and judicial branch. Even with the three powers there were still questions the constitutional framers; how would America maintain their sovereignty and how would it establish limiting powers.
Madison answered these questions with...

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