Essay on President Lyndon B. Johnson

Essay on President Lyndon B. Johnson

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Throughout history, there have typically been shifts from harmony to conflict between the three branches of American government. The framers of the Constitution created the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in order to form a system of checks and balances to prevent a single area of the government from becoming too powerful. This system of checks and balances has been accompanied by vast amounts of discord throughout its existence. The shifts in interbranch relations can be seen through Congressional deference prior to and during the beginning of the Vietnam War, Congressional resurgence after the Vietnam War, and a shift back to Congressional deference following the attacks of 9/11.
During the beginning of the Vietnam War, the President and Congress typically agreed upon foreign policies. Congress gave permission to President Lyndon B. Johnson to deploy additional troops to Vietnam with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This congressional deference did not last very long. It should be noted that after World War II, presidents have often defied the Constitutional requirement to receive Congress’ authorization to send troops to war (Hook 150-151). Presidents frequently received advice from their advisors to deploy troops without the consent of Congress. Thomas E. Cronin, the author of “A Resurgent Congress and the Imperial Presidency,” mentions “Legal advisers to Presidents Johnson and Nixon…recognized the need for quick executive response to rapidly developing international situations. This apparently encouraged Johnson and Nixon to become exceedingly inventive in circumventing the congressional war-making power” (212). Congress was aware of presidents, such as Richard Nixon, who were operating behind thei...


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...oper approval for this type of detention (Hook 117-118). The attacks of 9/11 prove how rapidly interbranch relationships can shift following major events.
The three branches of government are definitely not a new concept. The concept has existed since the founding of America. The conflicts that come with the separation of government are not new either. The President, Congress, and the Courts will continue to disagree on topics as long as the three separate branches of government exist. Conflicts, such as those between Congress and Ronald Reagan’s administration after the Iran-contra incident, as well as George Bush’s struggle with the Supreme Court regarding Guantanamo Bay, will continue to occur as long as the government is separated into branches. The goal is for the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to have as much harmony as possible in the future.

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