Years of thought, several volumes of text, and dozens of articles such as this one have been dedicated to the American vice presidency.’ In fact, most of the literature on this topic was produced in the last half century. While each work has had its own particular focus and purpose, collectively there have been several dominant themes: individual Vice Presidents and their contributions (or lack thereof) to the office; constitutional amendments and their effects on the vice presidency; the state of the vice presidency at a certain point in history; and the evolution of the vice presidency over time. Almost every work contains at least a brief discussion of the position’s origins, but most simply repeat as a truism the conventional wisdom that the ultimate design of the vice presidency was borrowed from the state constitutions of the 1770s and 1780s, particularly the New York Constitution. While this is an accurate description of the original design of the Federal Constitution, drafted in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention and subsequently ratified in 1788, it is nonetheless incomplete. Even those scholars who have delved below the surface on this matter have failed to fully document the manifold comparisons and differences between the early state constitutions and the ultimate design of the vice presidency.

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