The 12th Amendment Explained: American Government Review

hey guys welcome to hip Hughes history

we're going to bang up some twelfth

amendment for you guys and fix some of

the boo-boos that the founding fathers

made in the original Constitution what

are you talking about mr. juice they

were perfect maybe not perfect perfect

all right here we go guys we're not

going to read this constitutional

amendment like we do some of the others

it's pretty wordy we're just going to

kind of right down the lane explain it

to you this is meant to fix the problems

of the electoral college yeah guys

there's problems with article 2 section

1 Clause 3 the electoral college the

process for electing the president and

these problems arise both in 1796 and in

1800s so why don't we take a look at

those two elections and then we'll kind

of briefly explain what the twelfth

amendment is going to do to fix those

problems and then we're going to go have

a fantastic day of learning and growing

as young people alike all right so let's

start with 1796 the way that the

constitutional process works before the

12th amendment is basically that each

electors votes for two people the two

people he thinks bestest would be the

bestest president today we know that

they vote for president and vice

president but basically the way the

system works back then is after they

would count all the electoral votes the

guy that had 1st place would be the

president and the guy and second place

would be vice-president so basically

this amount of electoral scheming going

on between the electors to make sure

that the guy in second place is of the

same party to be the vice president for

the president so in 1796 you have John

Adams the Federalists who is uh now

running to replace the retiring George

Washington and he chooses Tom Pinkney to

be his vice president and other

Federalists they like blood brothers and

then you have Thomas Jefferson and his

vice president I think it's Aaron Burr

they're the Democratic Republicans so

what was supposed to occur was only like

a like one guy I think one elector is

supposed to throw his vote away so every

other Federalists votes you know I'm

John Adams

pick me and then one of them is supposed

to vote their vote away like give it to

Jefferson or something so the guy in

second place would be a Federalist

Thomas Pinckney and the problem is they

don't communicate very well and a number

of them do that so what occurs you get

Thomas Jefferson in second place so for

four years and it's the only time in

American history that this has really

happened you have two opposing parties

that don't want to work together that

are the president and the vice president

of the United States and I think that

this is freaking people out maybe not

but you know back then because Thomas

Jefferson is a cool cat but in the

future if you have this recurring

situation where the vice president has a

you know a benefit if the president

drops dead namely he'll become a

president you know yeah like a house of

cards situation you have like a Kevin

Spacey scheming thing going on there so

that's the first problem the President

and the Vice President are running on

the same ticket so let's look at 18

all right 1800 is the problem of the

Thai because if everybody does their

duty if everybody votes the way that

they're supposed to vote then you'd end

up with a tie because whoever the

president would be the vice president

their second choice would have the same

number of votes so somebody's got to

throw their vote away otherwise it

doesn't work

so in 1800 you have Thomas Jefferson and

Aaron Burr running against John Adams

and this time it's you know heavily

favored to be the Democratic Republicans

somebody's got to throw their boat away

somebody's not going to vote for Aaron

Burr right wrong they all vote Jefferson

burr so you end up in a tie and it gets

thrown it to the House of Reps the

problem that gets further compounded

because it's not the new Congress that

elects the president and then it would

be no problem because the number kind of

Republicans had a banner year in 1800

it's the old Federalists Congress and

those sons that you know what's they

don't want to give Jefferson the

presidency so they go through what 5 10

15 20 30 35 36 rounds trying to choose

the president at the end of the day it's

Alexander Hamilton who's the hero of the

situation who convinces his federal

Federalists that it's a best that they

make sure that Jefferson gets the

presidency let bygones be bygones he

knows that Aaron Burr is it more

dangerous choice than Thomas Jefferson

but now we have to fix these problems

all right we're going to fix them

because I got something called off the


so the 12th amendment at the end of the

day it's really long guys the end of the

day it's going to have two distinct

ballots for the presidency and the vice

presidency so when the electors are

casting their votes they don't have to

worry about tides room comes in second

all this nonsense will be the ticket

that wins and we don't have to worry

about all this nonsense you do still

have this favorite son clause though and

what this clause is it's also in the

original Constitution that if you're an

elector from Texas you're not allowed to

choose a president and vice president

that are both from Texas this was

supposed to stop like the favorite son

syndrome that every state would just

elect people from their state the only

time this has ever been of any concern

was in 2000 there were I believe some

suits that came up in the court system

after Bush and Cheney won because

technically Cheney was living in Texas

for five or six years before the

election so technically according to the

twelfth amendment the people in Texas

the electors from Texas should not have

been able to vote for Bush and Cheney

but the courts ruled that he changed his

license the last couple weeks before the

election but that's in that amendment so

having the president the vice president

also is going to stop that problem of

ties on or anything occurring like it

happened in 1800 and now basically what

occurs is like the Electoral College

after we have the election it goes to a

joint session of Congress where the vice

president acting as president of the

Senate is the official counter of the

electoral college and then if nobody

gets the majority of votes this is still

the same it gets thrown into the House

of Reps for the presidency I'm rather

than having five from the list which is

in the original Constitution on the

twelfth amendment says that there will

be three from the list this becomes

important in 1824 in 1824 I don't want

to go on a tangent on YouTube but it's

pretty cool story in 1824 you have four

big Democratic Republicans running you

have Andrew Jackson you have John Quincy

Adams you have William Crawford and you

have Henry Clay and these four guys

nobody gets the elect

College win so the top three which are

going to be Jackson Adams and Crawford

they go to the House of Reps Crawford's

really sick so he doesn't count anymore

so the Congress the House of Reps has to

choose between John Quincy Adams who

kind of lost the election the popular

vote and this new kid on the block

Andrew Jackson well it happens to be

that Henry Clay who's the fourth guy

who's not in the Situation Room anymore

he supposedly strikes what's called the

corrupt bargain with John Quincy Adams

Henry Clay was the Speaker of the House

he had enormous influence in the House

of Reps and he gathers his forces in

1824 they all wind up behind John Quincy

Adams and John Quincy Adams steals the

election from Andrew Jackson and then

when John Quincy Adams has to choose a

Secretary of State I wonder who's you

going to choose Henry Clay what do you

deal with corrupt bargain like house of

cards like Kevin Spacey

um but at the end of the day that's

basically it guys that's the twelfth

amendment for you no more president and

vice presidents of opposing parties

we're going to have one ticket and we're

going to elect those bad boys together

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