If we are to establish a national government, that government ought to flow from the people at large… [and] the executive consist of a single person.

James Wilson, Father of the American Presidency, in America’s Constitutional Convention in 1787


America’s founding fathers deliberately rejected almost all of the British parliamentary system’s key principles. Two in particular – indirectly elected chief executive, and the executive council – were totally unacceptable to the framers of America’s Constitution.

When Wilson described his vision for America’s executive authority, a hush fell in the Convention. It was a starkly different form of government. However, after months of deliberation it was this vision that helped the framers invent the presidential system.