National Executive Debated
"America [has] certainly - upon this occasion - drawn forth her first characters; there are upon this convention many Gentlemen of the most respectable abilities; and, so far as I can discover, of the purest intentions."
-George Mason to his son, George Mason, Jr.
The Convention, meeting in the Committee of the Whole, agreed to give the executive branch the power to carry the national laws into effect. The delegates then debated the selection procedure and term of office for the national executive as well as its composition.
The proposals for term of office varied from three to seven years, with some men favoring re-election and others opposed to it. After much discussion, the term of seven years came to a vote. Five states voted for it, four against and one divided. The Committee of the Whole chairman Nathaniel Gorham decided that this constituted an affirmative vote and the motion for a seven year term carried. This precedent for an affirmative vote assumed great significance in July when the same breakdown decided the critical issue of representation in Congress.