Twelfth Amendment | United States Constitution | senshido.info
proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Eighth Congress on December 12, , in lieu of the original third paragraph of the first section of the. Passed by Congress: 9 December Ratified: 15 June The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and. Twelfth Amendment. The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an .
There were four crucial aspects of that mechanism. The second was that the electors did not differentiate between the two persons as potential presidents or vice presidents. Electors should simply vote for the two persons they viewed as most qualified to become president. The person gaining the most votes if a majority would become president. The runner-up presumably the second-most-qualified person would become vice president. The Constitution also provided that the House would choose in case of a tie vote between two candidates each of whom had received a majority of votes.
All of these features were on display in The election of was one of the most important in American history and, arguably, even in world history, for it represented the first time that an incumbent leader was defeated in an election. His Vice President was Thomas Jefferson. The Federalist Party electors figured out that it was important not to cast both of their votes for Adams and Pinckney, for that would create a tie and, if both got a majority of the vote, throw the election into the House; the Democratic-Republican electors were not so sagacious.
The tie vote exposed deep problems in the system. And what if a state had an even number of representatives who split evening on their choice? Given that there were 16 states in the Union innine delegations had to agree on their choice.
Only on the 36th ballot did Bayard agree to vote for Jefferson and to break the deadlock by which time at least two Jeffersonian governors, from Pennsylvania and Virginia, were threatening to call out their state militias and order them to march on the new national capitol in Washington, D.
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia
Jefferson was peacefully inaugurated on March 4, and the all-important precedent was set for peaceful transfer of power. Yet the original electoral college system was exposed as problematic, and there was widespread agreement that something had to be done. That was rejected in and did not become a serious possibility in the early 19th century nor, of course, has it been adopted since then. Still, it had become clear that political parties had become a feature of American politics and that the electoral college system should be modified to reflect this.
How was this accomplished? The answer is quite simple: The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by the Eighth Congress on December 9, and submitted to the states three days later.
There being seventeen states in the Union at that time, thirteen had to ratify it. Secretary of State James Madison declared that the Amendment had been added to the Constitution on September 25,at which time fourteen of the seventeen states had ratified it. Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts had rejected it though Massachusetts in fact ratified it in !
The election of and all subsequent elections were carried out under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment. George Washington's decision not to seek a third term and the emergence of partisan political activity exposed problems with the original procedure.
In the electionJohn Adamsthe Federalist Party presidential candidate, received a majority of the electoral votes. However, the Federalist electors scattered their second votes, resulting in the Democratic-Republican Party presidential candidate, Thomas Jeffersonreceiving the second highest number of electoral votes and thus being elected Vice President.
It soon became apparent that having a Vice President and a President unwilling to work together effectively was going to be a more significant problem than was originally realized.
- Twelfth Amendment
- Background of the Twelfth Amendment
The most significant problem was that with the French Revolutionary Wars raging in Europe, it was immediately apparent that President Adams was going to pursue a pro-British foreign policy, much to the disgust of the strongly pro-French Vice President Jefferson.
Both major parties decided to attempt an extra-constitutional remedy to the situation, specifically, by having the President and Vice President elected on a party ticket. This solution significantly enhanced the likelihood of having political allies serving as President and Vice President but raised a different flaw in the arrangements.
Smith of South Carolina responded to the result by presenting a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives for an amendment to the Constitution requiring each elector to cast one vote for President and another for Vice President. The election exposed a defect in the original formula in that if each member of the Electoral College followed party tickets, there could be a tie between the two candidates from the most popular ticket.
Both parties planned to prevent this by having one of their electors abstain from voting for the vice presidential candidate to ensure a clear result. Jefferson managed to secure a majority of pledged electors, but the margin in was so slim that there was little room for error if the Democratic-Republicans were to avoid repeating the Federalists' miscues of Given the technical limitations of 18th-century communications, Democratic-Republicans electors in all states were left to assume that an elector in another state was the one responsible for casting the one abstention necessary to ensure the election of unofficial Vice Presidential nominee Aaron Burr to that office.
All Democratic-Republicans electors in each state were so reluctant to be seen that the one responsible for causing outgoing President Adams to be re-elected as Vice President that every Democratic-Republican elector cast a vote for both Jefferson and Burr, resulting in a tie. The Federalist-controlled state delegations in the House of Representatives decided to give their votes to Aaron Burr for President. Their aim was to prevent Jefferson, who in addition to being pro-French was influential and rich in new visions, from becoming President at any cost.
With help from Alexander Hamilton, the gridlock was finally broken on the thirty-sixth vote and Jefferson was elected President on February 17, By doing this, the Democratic-Republicans could dash the Federalists' hopes of having any impact on the Presidential election of Adoption[ edit ] Journey to Congress[ edit ] In Marchweeks after the election of was resolved, two amendments were proposed in the New York state legislature that would form the skeleton of the Twelfth Amendment.
Governor John Jay submitted an amendment to the state legislature that would require a district election of electors in each state.
Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Assemblyman Jedediah Peck submitted an amendment to adopt designations for the votes for President and Vice President. The two amendments were not considered until early because the state legislature took a break for the summer and winter. Shortly thereafter, Clinton won a vacant seat in the U.
Senate, where he was instrumental in bringing the designation amendment to Congress. The process continued in New York on February 15 when Representative Benjamin Walker of New York proposed the designation and district election amendments to the House.
Debate on the amendments began in May. The Republicans wanted to decide on the amendment quickly, but the Federalists argued that the ideas needed more time than the current session allowed. Dana of Connecticut wanted to examine the necessity of a Vice President. The 8th Congress would allow the Democratic-Republicans a better chance of meeting the two-thirds vote requirement for submitting a proposed Constitutional amendment.
Congressional debate[ edit ] On its first day, the 8th Congress considered the designation amendment. The first formulation of the amendment had the five highest electoral vote earners on the ballot in the House if no one candidate had a majority of the electoral votes. Republican John Clopton of Virginia, the largest state in the Union, argued that having five names on the list for a contingency election took the power from the people, so he proposed that there be only two names on the list.
On October 20, the House appointed a seventeen-member committee one Representative from each state to fine-tune the amendment.
Shortly after the committee was formed, Federalist Benjamin Huger attempted to add a provision regarding district elections to the proposed amendment, but the committee ignored him. Small Federalist states disliked the change from five to three because it made it far less likely that a small-state candidate would make it to a contingency election. Huger and New York Federalist Gaylord Griswold argued that the Constitution was a compromise between large and small states and the method chosen by the Framers is supposed to check the influence of the larger states.
Huger even asserted that the Constitution itself was not a union of people, but a union of large and small states in order to justify the original framework for electing the President. Designation, argued Griswold and Huger, would violate the spirit of the Constitution by taking away a check on the power of the large states. Smith asked the inflammatory question of whether the proposed amendment was to help Jefferson get reelected.