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The Electoral College

The Electoral College published on

Authored by FEC Office of Election Administration

In order to appreciate the reasons for the Electoral College, it is essential to understand its historical context and the problem that the Founding Fathers were trying to solve. They faced the dif?cult question of how to elect a president in a nation that:

was composed of thirteen large and small States jealous of their own rights and powers and suspicious of any central national government

contained only 4,000,000 people spread up and down a thousand miles of Atlantic seaboard barely connected by transportation or communication (so that national campaigns were impractical even if they had been thought desirable)

believed, under the in?uence of such British political thinkers as Henry St John Bolingbroke, that political parties were mischievous if not downright evil, and

felt that gentlemen should not campaign for public of?ce (The saying was “The of?ce should seek the man, the man should not seek the of?ce.”).

How, then, to choose a president without political parties, without national campaigns, and without upsetting the carefully designed balance between the presidency and the Congress on one hand and between the States and the federal government on the other?

Publication Date:
Mar 04 2015
1508718016 / 9781508718017
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Process / General


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