A Commentary on James Madison’s Vices of the Political System of the United States: The Constitution Reader Challenge

James Madison outlined a new plan for a Constitution in Vices of the Political System of the United States.

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James Madison, as stated before, is credited with being the “father of the Constitution.” It is rightly so when one takes a look at his Vices of the Political System of the United States, which later was adopted as the Virginia Plan.

Leading up to the Constitutional Convention, James Madison outlined some issues he felt should be addressed. This essay of his was more than just a revision of the Articles of Confederation. It was to be a plan for a new government.

Front side of the Virginia Plan
As written by James Madison, The Virginia Plan
Originally titled Vices of the Political System of the United States

It should be noted that James Madison fully understood the short-comings of the Articles of Confederation. So much in that he wished to address them one by one in this outline. It is referred to as an outline because that is how he wrote it out. On the left side of the paper was written the general topic, while on the right he expressed his thoughts in full detail.

These thoughts helped bring forth what we know our government to be today. It gave a whole new structure to government. It laid out the three different branches being: Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. It separated those powers, and limited their scope of operation.

It also dealt with the states being equally represented. Another issue facing the states was how they worked together, or the lack thereof. It helped unify their cause and protection, not only of the states, but of the people.

And that is where things differ from how things operate in Washington today. At that time, the people had a say. That’s not to say that the people of today don’t have a say. But, they were heard and represented more fully because the elected were from and of the people.

Washington today is so disconnected with the people, that they often forget these basic traditions. Maybe if they understood the history of this nation, where it came from, and what went in to making it so great they might change their ways of doing business.

With special thanks to Constituting America and Heritage College, we will be taking part in their project: The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. It is a 90 day challenge to learn and dive deeper into understanding the Constitution.

In case you missed it, catch up with previous commentaries HERE. We hope you are enjoying this journey to dig deeper into what inspired those who wrote the Constitution. If you are, TWEET IT!

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