The electoral college was an unwanted child from the beginning. Born in Philadelphia in mid-August 1787, when most delegates to the Constitutional Convention were eager to escape the heat and humidity and go home, it was the fruit of a compromise between the two warring factions at the convention: those who wished to revise the Articles of Confederation and retain sovereignty in the states, and those who wished to replace the articles by shifting sovereignty to a fully empowered national government. In effect, should the United States remain a confederation or become a nation-sized republic?

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