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George Washington's Copy of the Virginia Plan

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Copy of the original plan for a New Government as given into Convention by the State of Virginia


1 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 & general welfare."

2 Resolved therefore, that the rights of suffrage in the National legislature ought to be proportioned to the quotas of contribution, or to the number of free Inhabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases.

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 every [ ] for the term of [ ].

To be the age of [ ] years at least.

To receive a liberal stipend, by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public Service.

To be ineligable 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 for the space of [ ] years after its expiration.

To be incapable of reelection for the space of [ ] years after the expiration of their term of service:- and

To be subject to recall.

5 Resolved that the members of the second branch of the National legislature ought to be elected by those of the first;

Out of a proper number of persons nominated by the individual legislatures.

To be of the age of [ ] years at least.

To hold their offices for a sufficient to insure their independency.

To receive a liberal stipend, by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public Service; and

To be ineligable 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 [ ] years 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 powers invested in Congress by the Confederation; & moreover

To legislate in all cases, to which the seperate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interupted 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 and

To call forth the [sence] of the Union against any member of the Union, failing to fulfil its duty under the Articles thereof.

7. Resolved, that a National executive be instituted; to be chosen by the National legislature for the term of [ ] years

To receive punctually, at Stated times a fixed compensation for the Services rendered, in which no increase or diminution shall be made so as to affect the Magistracy existing at the time of the increase or diminution-and

To be ineligable a second time; And that besides a general authority to execute the National laws, it ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in Congress by the Confederation.

8. Resolved that the Executive and a convenient number of the National Judiciary ought to compose a council of revision; with authority to examine every Act of the National legislature, before it shall operate, and every act of a particular legislature, before a negative thereon shall be final, and that the dissent of the said Council shall amt. to a rejection, unless the Act of the National legislature be again passed, or that of a particular Legislature be again negatived by [ ] of the numbers of each branch.

9. Resolved that a National Judiciary be established

To consist of one or more supreme tribunals, and of inferior tribunals.

To be chosen by the National Legislature;

To hold their Offices during good behaviour &

To receive punctually at stated times a 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 jurisdiction of the inferior tribunals shall be to hear and determine in the first instance, and of the supreme tribunal to hear and determine in the dernier resort, all piracies and felonies on the high Seas

Captures from an enemy.

Cases in which foreigners, or Citizens of other states applying to such jurisdictions may be interested, or which respect the Collection of the National revenue.

Impeachments of any National Officer-and Questions, which involve the National peace or 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 government and the territory of each State (except in the instance of a voluntary junction of territory) ought to be guarranteed by the United States to each other.

12. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the continuance of Congress and their Authorities & privileges, until a given day; after the reform of the Articles of Union shall be adopted, and for the completion of all their engagements.

13. Resolved, that provision ought to be made for the amendment of the articles of Union, whensoever it shall seem necessary, and that the assent of the National legislature ought not to be required thereto.

14. Resolved, that the Legislative, Executive, and 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 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.