The Election of the Executive

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Discussions in the Constitutional Convention

The Virginia plan* proposed a separate executive branch for the new form of government, but the delegates needed to decide on how to elect the executive (or executives).

*the Virginia plan

To help the student of the Constitution better understand and appreciate the unique method of election that was chosen for the President and Vice-President, we have traced the debate in the Constitutional Convention concerning how to fill this new position. We have made available a paraphrase of the debate for each day that the subject was discussed with popup footnotes containing the actual words of the Framers according to Madison’s Convention notes. To review the discussion for a particular day that this issue was debated, click the button corresponding to that date.

– The Virginia plan presented

– Direct election only for House of Representatives

– The debate begins

– One Seven-Year Term

– President to be elected by State Executives

– Review of Randolph plan to date

– President to be elected by national legislature