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be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years resident within the United States.
Cl. 6. In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President; and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
Cl. 7. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Cl. 8. Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:-“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”.
81. Nature of the Executive.—One of the great defects of the Government under the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation was the lack of executive power. Having just freed themselves from the power of "a Prince whose character was marked by every act which may define a Tyrant,” the States were very cautious in creating the executive. History furnished other examples where the executive power had brought ruin upon the state, or had “sunk under the oppressive burden of its own imbecility.” The Constitutional Convention therefore carefully considered whether there should be any executive department, whether it should consist of one or more than one person, and what should be the term of office. The necessity of an executive was quite apparent; but some favored a triple-headed
executive-one person from each of the three sections of the Union, New England, the Middle States, and the South. The term of office had first been fixed at seven years, without eligibility for reëlection.
To secure energy and responsibility in the office and safety to the people, the executive was made single and the term reduced to four years, not prohibiting reëlection. Nine Presidents have been honored with a second term; and an effort was made to nominate one-President Grantfor a third term. So far we have escaped the dangers of tyranny, though there is great power lodged in the executive. Some Presidents were pronounced tyrants by political opponents at the time, but history gives no such name to any of them.
82. Presidential Electors.—The Presidential electors are the persons who directly elect the President and Vice-President. Each State chooses as many presidential electors as it has Senators and Representatives in Congress. The whole number constitutes the Electoral College. The presidential electors of each State are frequently called the Electoral College of that State. The Electoral College of the United States consists of 483 members. Members of Congress and persons holding positions of profit or trust under the United States are prohibited from serving as presidential electors.
83. Nomination and Election of Presidential Electors. Each political party in a State nominates a ticket of Presidential electors, usually at a State convention. A voter, as a rule, votes for all the candidates on his party's ticket, and, as a consequence, the presidential electors chosen in a State are generally of the same political party.
Occasionally voters will "scratch" an electoral ticket and thereby elect a divided Electoral College in a State. In 1892 the electoral vote of five States was divided: in California and Ohio, because the vote for Cleveland and Harrison electors was close; in Michigan, because by act of the Legislature each Congressional district voted separately for an elector; in Oregon, because one of the four candidates for electors on the Populist ticket was also on the Democratic ticket, the result being three Republicans and one Populist elected; in North Dakota, because one of the two Populist electors who were elected cast his vote for Cleveland, thus causing the electoral vote of the State to be equally divided between Cleveland, Harrison, and Weaver.
Presidential electors at first were quite generally elected by the State legislatures. South Carolina followed this practice until the Civil War.
84. The Election of President and Vice-President. The election of President and Vice-President, or rather of the presidential electors, is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, in the year when a President is to be chosen. Usually it is known by the next morning which political party has elected a majority of presidential electors; but the last act in the election of a President and Vice-President takes place more than three months after Election Day. The presidential electors meet on the second Monday in January following their election, usually at the Capitol of their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State as themselves. Three lists of the persons voted for for each office are made, each list
showing the number of votes each candidate has received. The electors sign, certify, and seal these lists, and deposit one with the judge of the districi court of the United States for the district in which the electors meet. The other two are sent to the President of the United States Senate, one by mail, and one by special messenger.
85. Counting the Electoral Votes. On the second Wednesday in February following both houses of . Congress meet in joint convention, when the President of the Senate opens the sealed lists, and the votes are counted. The persons receiving a majority of all the votes cast for President and Vice-President respectively are declared elected. If no person receives a majority of all the electoral votes cast for President the choice of that officer devolves upon the House of Representatives, the selection being made from the three candidates receiving the highest number of electoral votes. Each State has but one vote, and a majority of the Representatives from each State casts the vote of that State. When a vote for President is taken in the House of Representatives there must be present one or more members from at least two-thirds of all the States, and a majority of all the votes is necessary to a choice. At least one vote is taken every day, but if no choice is made before March 4th, the day on which the presidential term begins, the Vice-President serves as President. Only two Presidents have been chosen by the House of Representatives, Thomas Jefferson, for his first term, and John Quincy Adams.
The Vice-President is chosen at the same time and in the same manner as the President, except that when
the electors fail to elect that duty devolves upon the Senate. The choice must then be made from the two candidates having the highest number of votes cast by the Electoral College. Richard M. Johnson, elected in 1837, has been the only Vice-President chosen by the Senate.
86. Minority Presidents. In ten elections the successful candidate for President failed to get a majority of the popular vote, that is, a majority of all the votes cast for presidential electors. The ones so elected are known as minority Presidents.
87. Nominations for President and Vice-President. It was intended by the Constitution that the Electoral College should choose for President and Vice-President the men whom they considered best fitted for these offices; but since the time of John Adams the electors have been pledged to vote for candidates already nominated. The nominations were at first made in caucuses held by the Congressmen of the various political parties; then by State legislatures and local conventions; finally, in Jackson's first administration, the Anti-masons, in 1831, nominated candidates in a National Convention. The following year the National Republicans and the Jackson Democrats also held a National Convention, and since 1840 this method has been employed by all parties. Thus the longest clause in the Constitution has largely become a dead letter.
88. Qualification of Birth.—That the term "naturalborn” would apply to a man born abroad, of American parents, as were General Meade, ex-Speaker Crisp, and Mayor McClellan, of New York, all of whom have had the honor of being mentioned for the Presidency, is a matter