What are some examples in history in which the electoral college benefited the people of the country?
I am writing a paper about the entire electoral college system I can find plenty of cons with historical examples but no pros.
The Electoral College benefited the people in the first years of America. The point of the Electoral College was to allow educated professionals who are concerned with government vote and make a wise decision for presidency. But today, it really is only beneficial to the states themselves, especially the small ones. I live in Hawaii, and if it was not for the Electoral College, our votes probably would not even be considered. It gives power to the states, and allows them to be noticed. Also by having the Electoral College is forces the candidates to travel to as many states as possible so that they can reach out to voters. If we did not have the Electoral College, candidates most likely would only visit the most populated cities.
The reason you are having trouble finding the "pros" of the Electoral College is that the system itself isn't really intended to provide a benefit to the nation as a whole. A primary purpose of the electoral college is to balance the interests of those states with large populations against those with small populations. As a result, voters in certain states are greatly benefited by the electoral college while others are disadvantaged.
Because of the way the electoral college was created, with each state getting one electoral vote per representative in the House and an additional two votes to represent the two votes each state has in the Senate, states with smaller populations are weighted more heavily than those with large populations. So, if you are voter in Wyoming, your individual vote counts far more (under the electoral college) than the vote of someone who votes in Texas.
Another case where voters might be benefited by the electoral college is if they live in a state where the election will be closely contested. Looking at 2008, for example, voters in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Florida got far more "face time" with the candidates than they might have if we used the popular vote to choose the president.
You might also find the recent New York Times piece titled "How Much is Your Vote Worth" helpful!