In 1787, delegates of each state called a convention to address the growing issues associated with the Articles of Confederation, the first form of government enacted by the former colonies following the Declaration of Independence. Instead of amending the Articles (which needed an unlikely unanimous vote to change), the move toward scrapping the entire framework culminated in the drafting of the United States Constitution.
Although in general agreement of the need for a completely new system, the debates concerning the writing of the constitution are important to understanding the foundation of American political identity and as a result, The Federalist , written by two chief framers of the constitution and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay—have played a prominent role for historians. Written and published in the midst of the debates concerning the makeup of the “new” government, The Federalist Papers (as they are more commonly known) consist of 85 separate essays that layout the arguments for what would become the intellectual foundation of the U. S. Constitution.
Of the many controversial systems enacted under the U.S. Constitution, perhaps no other has been under as much recent scrutiny than that of the procedure to elect the
President of the United States: the Electoral College. Although the popular vote has matched the “winner” of presidential elections all but four times in American history, the recent elections of George W. Bush (2000) and Donald J. Trump (2016), where the electoral “winner” did not receive the majority of the popular vote, have placed new focus, and thus political debate on the entire system.
For this writing assignment you are to read Hamilton’s Federalist essay (#68) concerning the election of the “Chief Magistrate” and write a short response answering the questions written below.
● In paragraph form and free of grammatical errors , answer the following questions:
○ Why does Hamilton argue the Electoral College system is “at least excellent?”
○ Who are to be the Electors? How many?
○ Who cannot/should not be an Elector? Why?
○ What does the Electoral College do? What are the benefits?
○ What does Hamilton suggest could/would happen without the Electoral College?
○ (this should be 2nd paragraph)What are your thoughts on both A)
Hamilton’s argument: is it persuasive? Why or why not? B) the current
state of the system: Is it important to keep? Should it change? Why or why not?
● Your written response should be no shorter than 250 words and no longer than 400 words (1-1.5 pages in length)
● Please double space and use 12-point font
● At the top of the page, please include: Your name, the date, the section of
your class (05 for this class), and the total word count
● Please keep quotations to a minimum!! This is a short writing assignment,
and long/excessive quotes will take up entirely too much space. (Yes, I am
aware of how students “pad” writing assignments to reach word/page
minimums…don’t be that student!)
● ***** There are two things I am looking for in these short writing
○ 1. Your OWN analysis. I do not want what someone else “thinks,”
whether it be Wikipedia, Spark Notes, or your Uncle Steve.
○ 2. This is an opportunity for you to work on your writing skills, so
please put forth your best effort in limiting: spelling errors, sentence fragments, and unnecessary word usage.
Scoring Rubric (20-point scale):
● Grammar (up to 5 points)
● Following Assignment Instructions (up to 5 points)
● Written Analysis (up to 10 points)
Do not plagiarize