Does Democracy Really Exist in the elections of the USA? An interesting video

Jax Historian

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Jul 2012
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The professor didn't mention the popular vote.
He does seem to be wrong about the Southerner losing every time, but there was one election at least where the 3/5 ratio gave it to the Virginian, when otherwise it would have gone to the Federalist.

For example: In 1800 Jefferson got 73 electoral votes, and Adams 65.
If the slaves hadn't been counted as 3/5s, Jefferson would have gotten 60 electoral votes, and Adams 63.

Since the popular vote doesn't change regardless if slaves are counted or not (they obviously don't vote), we can deduce that Jefferson won by a big margin in the south, and Adams by a much smaller margin in the north.
That is irrelevant. Jefferson won the popular vote, so neither the electoral college or 3/5 clause changed the final outcome. So arguing it that they benefited the southern candidates over popular elections is wrong.
 

Jax Historian

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Jul 2012
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My point was essentially that all of the delegates were advocating to a significant extent for their state's interests, rather than exclusively for the betterment of the future USA.
Yes, I know that is your point. What I am waiting for you is show evidence that it is true.

Slave states almost certainly wanted slave populations counted at 100% for EC calculations, northern states probably wanted it at 0%, but a 3/5s compromise was eventually reached.
Please prove this instead of just saying it.

The fact that a 60% compromise number was reached shows that both sides were bargaining for the best possible deal for their state.
The 60% compromise number on what? The agreement to have the E.C. or the 3/5 clause?

Nothing you have said shows that the founders created the E.C. to give advantages to their individual states on presidential elections (and presidential elections are the only reason for the E.C.)

Do you know of an academic historian who specializes in the politics of the early republic who agrees with you?
 

Jax Historian

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Jul 2012
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And let me offer an opinion on of why the Electoral College was created by a renowned academic authority on the Early Republic.

The historian is Gordon S. Wood. He is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, and the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992). His book The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (1969) won a 1970 Bancroft Prize. In 2010 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.

The book of his I will be paraphrasing is the third volume of the Oxford History of the United States -- Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009) -- a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Using the debates from the Constitutional Convention, on p. 209-210, Wood says that the primary motivation for creating the E.C. was the concern of the founders that, in the days before mass media and political parties that would propose tickets that would create national celebrities, that U.S. citizens would be unaware of who national candidates who were not from their state or region were. So they decided to create the college where the people could elect E.C. voters who knew national political figures.

So that seems to be what was discussed at the Constitutional Convention. And that has nothing to do with the Constitution's framers forming the E.C. to be beneficial for their particular state.

So if you can present an argument by an academic historian who is actually reading some type of primary sources and says that the framers created the E.C. to benefit their own states, then we'll see what we can do from there.

But Amir's nonsense isn't going to fly. He seems to think presidential voting was strictly divided between slave states and free states, when in fact many northerners voted for the Virginians in all of the first nine presidential elections.

Amir is right that there was far more white voters in the North than in the South, but Madison won the 1808 popular election with 66% of the popular vote. Jefferson won the 1804 popular election with 72.8%. It seems Amir doesn't understand the politics of the early republic at all. The South had no need for the electoral college to win presidential elections. What the South needed the 3/5 clause for was voting advantage in the House when passing or blocking laws.
 

Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
That is irrelevant. Jefferson won the popular vote, so neither the electoral college or 3/5 clause changed the final outcome.
Well yes it did of course, the guy who wins the popular vote doesn't always win, just ask Mr Gore. :eek:

Had the southern states not gotten extra EC votes for their non-voting slaves, then Adams would have won the electoral college. (Despite losing popular vote)
 

Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
So if you can present an argument by an academic historian who is actually reading some type of primary sources and says that the framers created the E.C. to benefit their own states, then we'll see what we can do from there
We won't be going anywhere from there, as I never made the claim. :zany:

I don't provide sources for claims I never made.
.
Well then I won't feel obligated to do so either. :suspicious:

I didn't claim that the EC was created because they wanted to further the interests of their individual state.

Here's my original comment, that you objected to.

Lord Fairfax said:
The delegates were each trying to preserve the influence and voting of their "state", not thinking about citizen's voting rights in some future hypothetical America.
It was in answer to Royal744 regarding why the EC delegate counts were made something other than simply based directly on the number of voters per state -I was NOT commenting about why the EC was designed in the first place.
The point i made was that the delegates were aware of how the new mechanisms would affect their home states/regions, and it played out in the negotiations, it wasn't simply a group of men trying to design a new system of government, without regard to their state allegiances.
 
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Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Ft
Originally Posted by Lord Fairfax
My point was essentially that all of the delegates were advocating to a significant extent for their state's interests, rather than exclusively for the betterment of the future USA

Slave states almost certainly wanted slave populations counted at 100% for EC calculations, northern states probably wanted it at 0%, but a 3/5s compromise was eventually reached
.

Yes, I know that is your point. What I am waiting for you is show evidence that it is true.

Please prove this instead of just saying it
Sure, here you go.

Here's an excerpt from the Smithsonian article:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/electoral-college-has-been-divisive-day-one-180961171/

The bulk of the new nation’s citizenry resided in cities like Philadelphia and Boston in the North, leaving the South sparsely populated by farmers, plantation owners, other landholders, and, of course, enslaved laborers. This disparity in the population distribution became a core element of the legislative branch, and in turn, the Electoral College.

Southerners wanted slaves to count the same as anyone else, and some northerners thought slaves shouldn’t be counted at all because they were treated as property rather than as people,” says author Michael Klarman, a professor at Harvard Law School


At the time, a full 40 percent of the South’s population was enslaved, and the compromise famously reached by the founding fathers determined that each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person when it came to dividing the nation into equal congressional districts. The Electoral College, in turn, provided....
According to Professor Klarman, southerners wanted slave population counted at 100%, thereby maximising their Congressional (and EC) voting power.

Northern states wanted slaves counted at 0% (i.e. - slaves would be ignored in the calculations )

Eventually a 3/5 (60%) compromise number was reached.
 
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Jax Historian

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Jul 2012
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Let's skip all the nonsense about what you supposedly didn't say. You just said this...

The point i made was that the delegates were aware of how the new mechanisms would affect their home states/regions, and it played out in the negotiations, it wasn't simply a group of men trying to design a new system of government, without regard to their state allegiances.
This is what I am asking you to show evidence for. I want you to provide evidence that the framers created the E.C. was done with regard to their state allegiances.

If the Karman article you posted is supposed to be evidence of that, he shows no evidence that the framers formed the E.C. to do what he says. Just because it provided the possibility that it could change election results (which it never did in the slave owners favor), does not show that was their intention in creating it. Like Amir, he is making an unsubstantiated claim (at least in what you quoted. If he shows it elsewhere in his article, please post that).

Wood uses the convention debates as evidence as to the framers intentions for creating the E.C. and it had nothing to do with "regard to their state allegiances." It was only done to create the best presidential election system given their beliefs about what the voters could know.

So where is your evidence that counters Wood's claim about why the framers created the E.C.?
 

Lord Fairfax

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Jan 2015
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Changing trains at Terrapin Station...
Wood uses the convention debates as evidence as to the framers intentions for creating the E.C. and it had nothing to do with "regard to their state allegiances." It was only done to create the best presidential election system given their beliefs about what the voters could know.
That's not exactly what Wood said. :think:
From your own reference:

Using the debates from the Constitutional Convention, on p. 209-210, Wood says that the primary motivation for creating the E.C. was the concern of the founders that, in the days before mass media and political parties that would propose tickets that would create national celebrities, that U.S. citizens would be unaware of who national candidates who were not from their state or region were
He specifically said "primary motive" - ergo there were some other motive(s) involved.
If he had wanted to say the "only" motive, i assume that he would have said precisely that.
Does he specify what these other motives are?

So where is your evidence that counters Wood's claim about why the framers created the E.C.?
I think I already addressed this, I made no comment about why the EC was formed, and i have no reason to dispute Wood's research that the primary reason for creating the EC was as stated.

Let's skip all the nonsense about what you supposedly didn't say.
Well it isn't nonsense, I said what I said, and posted a reference that confirms it.

You just said this...

This is what I am asking you to show evidence for. I want you to provide evidence that the framers created the E.C. was done with regard to their state allegiances.
Sorry, but your query is a little grammaticly garbled. :think:
If you're asking me to provide evidence that the EC was created primarily due to state allegiances, I've already clarified that I never claimed that.
Again, I have no reason to doubt Wood's assertion as to the primary reason.

If the Karman article you posted is supposed to be evidence of that, he shows no evidence that the framers formed the E.C. to do what he says. Just because it provided the possibility that it could change election results (which it never did in the slave owners favor), does not show that was their intention in creating it. Like Amir, he is making an unsubstantiated claim (at least in what you quoted. If he shows it elsewhere in his article, please post that).
He isn't claiming that it was formed for that reason, he's commenting on specifically why the calculation of slaves was set at 3/5's, it was done as a compromise between the differing interests of the southern and northern states.
 

Jax Historian

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Jul 2012
4,379
Here
That's not exactly what Wood said. :think:
From your own reference:


He specifically said "primary motive" - ergo there were some other motive(s) involved.
If he had wanted to say the "only" motive, i assume that he would have said precisely that.
Does he specify what these other motives are?
Actually, I added the word 'primary' and should not have. The only reason Wood gives for creating the E.C. is the issue that citizen's wouldn't know about national candidates who were not from their localities. He suggests no other factor. Sorry for the error.

I think I already addressed this, I made no comment about why the EC was formed...
I was confused because you posted the Amir article and he said specifically that the E.C. was created to give advantage to the slave states in presidential elections. I thought you posted what he said because you were agreement with him. So if you say you are not agreeing with Amir, we can let this pass.

If you're asking me to provide evidence that the EC was created primarily due to state allegiances, I've already clarified that I never claimed that.
No, I am asking you if you are saying that creating the E.C. had anything to do with state allegiances. If so, explain, with evidence, exactly how. If not, then we're both in agreement with Wood's description.

He isn't claiming that it was formed for that reason, he's commenting on specifically why the calculation of slaves was set at 3/5's, it was done as a compromise between the differing interests of the southern and northern states.
OK, so it is just about the 3/5 clause, so it wasn't about whether creating the E.C. had anything to do with state allegiances.

As far as I can see, so far there is no evidence that creating the E.C. had anything to do with state allegiances. The only evidence we have to why it was created is from Wood's reading of the convention discussions and he speaks nothing of state allegiances regarding creating the E.C.
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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Las Vegas, NV USA
Jax Historian:
"Actually, I added the word 'primary' and should not have. The only reason Wood gives for creating the E.C. is the issue that citizen's wouldn't know about national candidates who were not from their localities. He suggests no other factor. Sorry for the error."

I don't think anyone was thinking of citizens voting for president at that time (1787). The states were to have as many electoral votes as their total representation in Congress, meaning no state could have fewer than three votes. The Constitution does not specify how the electors were to be chosen in each state. At best citizens would vote for electors who were not bound to a candidate. However, the state legislatures could also choose electors directly. By the 1800 election, it was clear electors would be associated with candidates, but they were never bound by federal law. Even today, only some states require an elector to vote for who he/she claimed to represent but this may not be enforceable.
 
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