In the Constitutional Convention, delegates had to vote 60 times before the Electoral College system passed (the other possibilities on the table were legislative decision and popular vote). Its proponents felt it smarter, since they objected to national campaigning, to have the people elect experts who were very knowledgeable about the candidates, and then have those experts elect the president.
Since the Constitution's ratification in 1788, there have been 500 propositions to eliminate the Electoral College system. To this day, it remains.
For better or worse, the United States still runs according to the trail-blazing, four-page document created in 1787. Some believe it should run exactly as that document says; others see the Constitution as more of a guiding framework. But very few think it should be thrown out altogether, and considering how long ago the document was drafted and the social and political changes that have come about since the 18th century, that's about as dramatic an endorsement of a government structure as one can hope for.
For more information on the U.S. Constitution and related topics, look over the links below.
- American Dream Quiz
- How the American Dream Works
- How the U.S. President Works
- How the U.S. Vice President Works
- How the Secretary of State Works
- How Presidential Memoirs Work
- How Presidential Pardons Work
- How Senate Confirmations Work
- How Supreme Court Appointments Work
- How the U.S. Postal Service Works
- How the Census Works
- How a Filibuster Works
- Does democracy work?
- Can a good government embrace both capitalism and socialism?
More Great Links
- 10 Fast Facts on the Constitution. National Constitution Center. (Sept. 7, 2011) http://constitutioncenter.org/ncc_progs_10_Fast_Facts_on_the_Constitution.aspx
- The Electoral College. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_history.php
- Fascinating Facts about the U.S. Constitution. Constitution Facts. (Sept. 7, 2011) http://www.constitutionfacts.com/?section=constitution&page=fascinatingFacts.cfm
- Is the United States a democracy? This Nation. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://thisnation.com/question/011.html
- Lloyd, Gordon. "Introduction to the Constitutional Convention." Teaching American History. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://teachingamericanhistory.org/convention/intro.html
- The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1790. State of Rhode Island General Assembly. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/rhodeislandhistory/chapt3.html
- Teaching With Documents: The Ratification of the Constitution. National Archives. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/ratification.html
- The United States Constitution isn't perfect – grammatically speaking. Did you know? The Complete Idiot's Guide. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://idiotsguides.com/static/didyouknow/unitedstateshistory/04_12_11_constitution_grammar.html
- The U.S. Constitution: "I Smelt a Rat." Historical Scene Investigation. The College of William & Mary. (Sept. 9, 2011) http://web.wm.edu/hsi/cases/constitution/constitution_student.html
Emory historian Joseph Crespino teaches a course that examines right-wing ideology in the U.S. HowStuffWorks sat in on one of the lectures.