The Evolution of the Power of the Presidency
The views of the presidency by the first sixteen presidents varied widely but all of their actions set precedents for their successors to use, expand, or even curtail the power of the office. Some believed in the Whig theory of strict adherence to the constitution, while others believed the president was the steward of the people with a loose interpretation of it. The power of the office expanded through the years, however it only expanded as far as the public and congress allowed.
George Washington was the first President of the United States of America and realizing this he acted carefully and deliberately, aware of the need to build an executive structure that could accommodate future presidents. Washington's position as the first president of the United States allowed him to set many precedents that are still followed by executives today. Washington believed his power came from article II of the U.S. Constitution. He was very protective of executive powers and did not involve the executive branch in legislative matters. He established the initial implied powers of the president by creating the national bank, excise tax, and assumption of state debts from the Revolutionary War. The creation of those bureaucracies set the precedent that allowed presidents after him to establish and empower new bureaucratic agencies to execute the duties of the executive office.
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and viewed the office of the president to be strictly constructed by the constitution. He, like Washington, believed his power as president derived directly from the constitution and the affection of the people. Although he had a Whig theory he made the Louis...
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...y of the treasury furnish two million dollars for military use without the required congressional approval. This precedent allows future presidents to take actions strictly forbidden by the executive branch in times of national emergency without congressional approval.
The most important expansion of the power of the presidency happened during the Jackson administration. When Jackson used the veto power of the president to influence legislation as a matter of policy and not constitutionality he arguably altered the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches. This shift in power resulted in presidents being able to dictate with the threat of a veto the way congress writes laws. This set a precedent for future presidents to push legislation such as "The New Deal", "The Fair Deal", and "a Great Society" all of which are presidential proposals.
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Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States of America, and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was governor of the state of Virginia between the years of 1779 and 1781. He was a founding father who believed in individual and estates rights. Many people admire him for having been a person who firmly believed in the ideals of democracy, equality and freedom. However, at the same time, he kept slaves, and made other contradictory decisions and this made other people to question his beliefs. Jefferson both, made good decisions for the country, but also made some bad decisions that were harmful to the US.
Examining the conceptualizations and theories of Neustadt and Skowronek’s in comparative perspective, this essay makes the principal argument that both of these theories only represent partial explanations of how success and efficiency is achieved in the context of the Presidency. With Neustadt focusing saliently on the President’s micro-level elite interactions and with Skowronek adopting a far more populist and public opinion-based framework, both only serve to explain some atomistic facets of the Presidency. As such, neither is truly collectively exhaustive, or mutually exclusive of the other, in accounting for the facets of the Presidency in either a modern day or historical analytical framework. Rather, they can best be viewed as complementary theories germane to explaining different facets of the Presidency, and the different strengths and weaknesses of specific Administrations throughout history.
As the President of the United States, a president have powers that other members of the government do not. Presidential power can be defined in numerous ways. Political scientists Richard Neustadt and William Howell give different views on what is presidential power. These polarized views of presidential powers can be used to compare and contrast the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Thomas Jefferson was an agrarian soul who favored popular rule. He placed his trust in the land and the people who farmed it and desired that America would remain a nation of farmers. He emphasized liberty, democracy, and social welfare and believed that the main purpose of government was to assure freedom of its individual citizens. He had a fear of tyranny and distrusted centralized power, especially from an aristocracy or a moneyed class. Thomas Jefferson favored the spread of power ranging from the federal level to state and local levels. Jefferson stated, ?I have never observed men?s honesty to increase with their riches.';
I will start with explaining Neustadt’s arguments about presidential power in his book. Then further my answer to the extent in which compare other political scholars, Skowronek, Howell and Edwards in response to Neustadt’s points of view about American presidency.
Thomas Jefferson's strict interpretation not only stretched on political views, but religious views as well. Creating the Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom, Jefferson gave states the right to make those decisions, and the federal government had no say in religion (1). Politically, Jefferson was of strict interpretation, yet he did through-out his presidential terms made loose interpretations of the Constitution. This was mainly shown in the purchase of Louisana. At first, Jefferson wanted only New Orleans to keep the mouth of the Mississippi out of French possesion. If that would fail, he was even willing to make an alliance with Britain. When hearing that the United States had bought all of the Louisana Territory, Jefferson soon began to fret over whether it was unconstitutional (a loose interpretation). When Jefferson first took office, he appointed a new Treasury Secretary Gallatin, and kept most of the Federalist policies laid down by Alexander Hamilton in place. All the ideas the Democratic-Republicans were against, Thomas Jefferson kept all of them except for the excise tariff. Against war, Jefferson decided to size down the army during his administration. But the pasha of Tripoli declared an outrageous amout of money by the United States, and with the United States saying no, cutdown the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consolate (4). Jefferson was forced to go against his views, and build up the army against the North African Barbary States in the First Barbary War (4). And last, but not least, Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1807 not only changed from strict to loose interpretations, but changed New Englanders minds as well (1)(5).
Thomas Jefferson has been a household name and has been greatly known by everyone in the United States since the late 1700’s. Not only was he present and play a crucial role in the American Revolution, but he also wrote the Declaration of independence and was also the third President of the United States. During his time as president his views and beliefs really countered the views of famous federalists of that time. (George Washington and John Adams) Jefferson had very passionate beliefs that favored the rights of the people and really gave the people and the states a lot more power than the Federalist Party believed they should have. “Jefferson’s political platform called for shrinking the infant
...t from exercising authority in these cases. These inherent powers have been used both at home and overseas. The most common use of emergency powers is when a state of emergency is issued. But there have been other cases when they were needed. One of the most famous and earliest uses of emergency powers was when Abraham Lincoln used them to suspend the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War in order to unite a divided country. One thing a declaration of emergency can do is provide federal aid to an area or country in need. Examples of this include such tragic disasters as Hurricane Katrina not to mention the most recent Hurricane Irene which devastated the east coast. In conclusion, Congress has helped develop the Presidency through many means whether it was allowing the president to exercise authority during an emergency or giving the President certain powers.
From the inception of the Constitution, there has always been a power struggle between the President and Congress. In the beginning, Madison and the Jeffersonians were placed in a gridlock with Hamilton and his school of political philosophy. Andrew Jackson fought to extend the powers of the President, then Congress spent 50 years fighting to repeal the powers of the Executive. Abraham Lincoln refined Jacksonian presidential politics, then Congress impeached his successor, Andrew Johnson, for fear of another quasi -- tyrannical President. Even today, a Congress, whose majority is of the same party as the President, fights 24 hours a day to check the power of President George W. Bush. But why, and how? Inherent Power Struggles Within the Constitution: Article I, Section I -- "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives" VS. Article II, Section I -- "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America" Article II, Section II -- "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States" - The Founders' ambiguous and contradicting language sets the stage for a power struggle between the Executive and the Legislative branches - Being that the Founders were political masterminds, they realized that unique circumstances would demand some deviations from the restraints that the Constitution places on both the Executive and the Legislature - Founders anticipated that during times of crisis', the nation would need ...
The Constitution lays out power sharing amongst the President and Congress. However the Constitution is not always clearly defined which leaves questions to how the laws should be interpreted and decisions implemented. There are three major models of presidenti...
The American Presidency is undoubtedly one of the most widely recognized popular icons throughout the world. Although to most foreigners or those who have never resided in the United States or know little of its history, the executive branch of government may seem to be as dull and unyielding as the rest of the American politics, for those few rare individuals who have taken the time to examine and closely scrutinize this office of the American political system and its recent history, quite the opposite will be said. Unlike Congressional or local elections where typically a number of individuals of the same ideological background must be elected in order for a particular issue to be addressed by the government, when it comes to the presidency, one person, although checked by various other divisions of the same government, has the power and responsibility to literally, as history has proven, change the world. The American people, "like all people everywhere, want to have our (political) cake and eat it too. We want a lot of leadership, but we are notoriously lousy followers" (Genovese). In other words the expectations the public has of the executive office are ever-changing since we demand that our leaders keep up with the evolving world around us and them. Throughout the past seventy eventful years alone, the American people's views, perceptions and demands of the Executive Office of American government have evolved simultaneously with the political and social events of that same time period.
He did this by increasing the power of the presidency, “by taking the position that the president could exercise any right not specifically denied him by the Constitution.” Theodore Roosevelt saw the president’s role to defend the citizens by regulating businesses and breaking up trusts that had gained too much power, defend the very resources of the country by establishing 50 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, and placing more than 230 acres of American soil under federal protection, and lastly increased the role of president in foreign policy by heavily engaging in foreign affairs. Before Theodore Roosevelt Congress was the most powerful branch of the government but with the help of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency it helped establish an influential and reliable executive branch.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the American people elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whether the people were voting for Roosevelt or against President Herbert Hoover, the outcome of the 1932 Presidential Election would dramatically change the American presidency. The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt represents a fundamental and permanent change to the American presidency, the Roosevelt administration symbolizes the creation of the modern presidency. As opposed to the pre-modern presidency, the modern presidency is considerably more powerful and prominent in both domestic and international spheres.