Writing Assignment #1
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...