An American President before Roosevelt 

An American President before Roosevelt oversaw the executive branch of the United States government. Each American President acts as head of the United States federal government. Every President of the United States is over all agencies of the executive branch of the government. The President is also commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Stained glass window scenes of George Washington.Stained glass window scenes of George Washington at his Mount Vernon home. He was the first President of the United States.

What is the history leading to the creation of the President of the United States? As an American history teacher this is important for your students to understand. To make this historical background more interesting for your students, you can teach them how to use their personal mobile phones to explore Article II of the United States Constitution. This topic is geared to your high school United States history students.

Instead of having your students open their textbooks and read an assigned number of pages, you can text them an excerpt to read using their mobile phones. Here is an excerpt example you can text to your class about the creation of the office of President of the United States.

Creation of the office of an American president before Roosevelt

 In 1787, the fledgling Congress of the United States called together a constitutional convention that met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Thirty-four-year-old Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia, presented a resolution known as the Virginia Plan to the members of Congress. James Madison was the author of the resolution. The plan became the backbone of the new United States government. These departments are known today as the executive, judicial and legislative branches. 

The legislature was to have two branches. The lower house was to be elected by the people. The upper house by members of the lower house.

The seventh resolution of the Plan called for a national executive to be elected by the national legislature, eligible a second time. According to the Virginia Plan, “besides a general authority to execute the national laws, ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in the Congress by the Confederation.” It was the first time in the convention that the office of the American President before Roosevelt was mentioned.

A twenty-nine-year-old planter from South Carolina, Charles Pinckney, submitted a proposal about the Chief of State. He was instrumental in the creation of the office of an American President before Roosevelt. In his own words, “that the executive power be vested in a President of the United States of America which shall be his style; and his title shall be ‘His Excellency.’ This launched the debate regarding the establishment of the Presidential office. 

On June 15, 1787 after a short debate, the delegates adopted the Virginia Plan by a seven-to-four vote. One state was divided over the issue. On July 16 the great compromise was adopted. The main feature was that in the upper house each state should have an equal number of seats. The lower house representation should be apportioned on the basis of population. 

The next day – July 17 – the problem of the executive was introduced for further discussion. The delegates only discussed this issue for three days. When the proposal for popular election was put to a vote, the poll showed that nine states were against popular election. Pennsylvania was the only state for it. However, when the question of a choice by the national legislature was presented, every state voted in the affirmative.

On July 19, the proposal of Oliver Ellsworth was accepted. His proposal was, that the Chief Magistrate should “be chosen by electors appointed by the Legislatures of the States…” The delegates were not clear in their purpose. They had no customs, no tradition, no laws to build upon. They had to create customs, laws and establish a tradition of their own. The next day the convention agreed upon the number of electors.

The tenure of the Presidential office was hotly debated. The question was not settled until the very end. It was eventually agreed that the Chief Magistrate should be chosen through independent electors “equal to the whole number of Senators and members of the House of Representatives,” and not by the legislature. Independent electors were a guarantee for the future. 

It had been decided that the term of office of the American President before Roosevelt would be four years. The matter of eligibility for a second, third or fourth term was left to the people. On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates signed the Constitution. The debates were now over. The office of the Presidency had been created.

 For more information about this, please see the section “The Creation of the Office” in the book The Glorious Burden by Stefan Lorant.

Testing student understanding of the reading

As a history teacher, you should have a way to receive feedback from your students that they have a clear understanding of what they have read using their mobile phones. You can do this in several different ways. You can discuss the reading with them in class. Then you can put together a fill in the blank, multiple-choice quiz or other assessment of your choice that you text to your students to complete. After they complete this, they will then text back their answers to you. You can print out and grade this assignment. After recording the quiz results, you will have feedback from your class about their understanding of what they read using their mobile phones.

American President before Roosevelt fill in the blank

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC.Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC.

Here is an example of a fill in the blank. You provide them the unordered list of words and they will fill in the blanks by texting the answers using their mobile phones.

Pick one of the following words to fill in the blanks.

Congress

Philadelphia

Randolph

Virginia Plan

Madison

Executive

Judicial

Legislative

National executive


In 1787, the fledgling __________ of the United States called together a constitutional convention that met in ______________, Pennsylvania. 

Thirty-four-year-old Edmund _______________, Governor of Virginia, presented a resolution known as the ________________ to the members of ____________. James ______________ was the author of the resolution. The plan became the backbone of the new United States government. These departments are known today as the ___________, _________________ and _______________ branches. 

The legislature was to have two branches. The lower house was to be elected by the people. The upper house by members of the lower house.

The seventh resolution of the Plan called for a _____________________ to be elected by the national legislature, eligible a second time. According to the Virginia Plan, “besides a general authority to execute the national laws, ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in the Congress by the Confederation. It was the first time in the convention that the office of the American President before Roosevelt was mentioned.

American President before Roosevelt multiple choice

Please text the letter of the correct answer.

1. Who was the author of the Virginia Plan


a. George Washington

b. Benjamin Franklin

c. Edmund Randolph

d. Thomas Jefferson

2. In what city was the constitutional convention held?


a. Washington, DC

b. Trenton, New Jersey

c. New York, New York

d. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3. How many years can the President of the United States serve during a term?


a. Five

b. Four

c. Ten

d. One

 While you are grading the quizzes, you can have your students use their mobile phones to watch videos about Article II of the Constitution at this website…

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