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Word Count: 809
In May 1787 fifty-five delegates from eleven of the thirteen American states assembled in Philadelphia Their goal was to revise the current government created by the Articles of Confederation which had been in effect since 1781 The Articles had created a weak alliance among the states The national government had no way to levy taxes or regulate commerce The delegates who were in attendance at the Philadelphia convention had come in general agreement that there were defects in the Articles of Confederation that should be remedied But instead of convening and deciding to list and remedy the defects of the Articles the delegates at the convention took another course of action Soon after George Washington was elected to be the presiding officer of the meeting the Virginia delegation relying heavily on the draftsmanship of James Madison presented a new plan for an entirely new national government This plan became the main topic of debate at the convention for the next several weeks When the delegates decided to make the Virginia Plan the focus of their agenda they had essentially changed the task for which they had been sent to Philadelphia The defects of the Articles took a backseat to the more pressing issue of how to design a true national government The Virginia Plan called for a strong union of the states into a centralized national government Under the plan the national government would be divided into three governing branches the legislative the executive and the judicial The legislative branch would consist of two houses The first house would be directly chosen by the people and the second house would be chosen by the first house from candidates nominated by state legislatures The executive and the national judiciary would be chosen by the national legislature The executive along with some members of the judiciary would be selected to serve on a council of revision which would have the power to veto acts
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