The Development of the American Presidency

The Development of the American Presidency

by Richard J. Ellis

ISBN-10: 0415878810

ISBN-13: 9780415878814

Pub. Date: 02/09/2012

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Our understanding of the politics of the presidency is greatly enhanced by viewing it through a developmental lens, analyzing how historical turns have shaped the modern institution. The Development of the American Presidency pays great attention to that historical weight but is organized topically and conceptually with the constitutional origins and

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Our understanding of the politics of the presidency is greatly enhanced by viewing it through a developmental lens, analyzing how historical turns have shaped the modern institution. The Development of the American Presidency pays great attention to that historical weight but is organized topically and conceptually with the constitutional origins and political development of the presidency its central focus. Through comprehensive and in-depth coverage, this text looks at how the presidency has evolved in relation to the public, to Congress, to the Executive branch, and to the law, showing at every step how different aspects of the presidency have followed distinct trajectories of change. All the while, Ellis illustrates the institutional relationships and tensions through stories about particular individuals and specific political conflicts.

Ellis's own classroom pedagogy of promoting active learning and critical thinking is well reflected in these pages. Each chapter begins with a narrative account of some illustrative puzzle that brings to life a central concept. A wealth of photos, figures, and tables allow for the visual presentations of concepts. A companion website not only acts as a further resources base—directing students to primary documents, newspapers, and data sources—but also presents interactive timelines, practice quizzes, and key terms to help students master the book's lessons.

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Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

1. Envisioning the Presidency
1.1 The Revolutionary Experience
1.2 The Framers’ Doubts and Disagreements
1.3 Four Visions of the Presidency
1. 4 Theories of Political Development


2. Selecting the President
2.1 Introductory Puzzle: How Was Jefferson Almost Beaten by His Vice Own President?
2.2 The Framers’ Presidential Selection Plan
2.3 Founding Elections
2.4 Playing a New Party Game
2.5 The Contemporary Nomination Process
2.6 The Contemporary Debate over the Electoral College
2.7 Obstacles to Reform in a State-Based Electoral System

3. The Public Presidency
3.1 Introductory Puzzle: Why did Lincoln Play Second Fiddle at Gettysburg?
3.2 The Gauntlet of Conflicting Public Expectations
3.3 The Old Patrician Ways
3.4 The New Partisan Ways
3.5 Going Public at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
3.6 Penning the President’s Words: The Rise of the Speechwriter
3.7 Faith in Words: The Effects of Presidential Rhetoric in the Television Age


4. The Legislative Presidency
4.1 Introductory Puzzle: Lessons from Obama’s Joe Wilson Moment
4.2 The Constitutional Brakes
4.3 "From Motives of Respect": George Washington’s Relations with Congress
4.4 Alexander Hamilton: Walpole to Washington’s George II
4.5 The Hidden Hand Leadership of Thomas Jefferson
4.6 Congress Resurgent
4.7 The Veto: Whig Theory and Democratic Practice
4.8 Abraham Lincoln: Whig in the White House?
4.9 Clay’s Revenge: The Era of Legislative Supremacy
4.10 The New School of Executive Leadership
4.11 Woodrow Wilson: The President as Prime Minister
4.12 More Wilsonian than Whig: From Harding to Hoover
4.13 FDR: Legislator in Chief
4.14 In the Shadow of FDR

5. The War-Making Presidency
5.1 Introductory Puzzle: Why Didn’t Truman Call a War a War?
5.2 Opening the Debate over Prerogatives and Power
5.3 Original Understandings
5.4 Debating Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation: Helvidius v Pacificus
5.5 Fighting Indians and Pirates in the Early Republic
5.6 The Congressional "Propensity to War"
5.7 The First Presidential War: Polk’s War with Mexico|
5.8 Fighting the Civil War
5.9 Becoming a World Power
5.10 Entering World War II
5. 11 The Cold War and the Origins of the National Security State
5.12 The Vietnam War: Origins and Aftermath
5.13 Congressional Checks on Presidential War Powers
5.14 The War on Terror: The Presidency in Perpetual War


6. Organizing the Presidency
6.1 Introductory Puzzle: Why does a "Kid" get to tell Bill Clinton’s Cabinet what to do?
6.2 The Founders Organize the Presidency
6.3 "An Almost Insupportable Burden": The Origins of Presidential Staff
6.4 Organizing the Lincoln White House
6.5 Salvation by Staff: The Cautionary Tale of Ulysses Grant
6.6 Settling for Second Best: Private Secretaries in the Gilded Age
6.7 Managing Government and Budgets in the Nineteenth Century
6.8 "No Responsibility Exists": The Progressive Quest for Administrative Reform
6.9 FDR and the Making of the Managerial Presidency
6.10 Richard Nixon and the Origins of the Administrative Presidency
6.11 The Administrative Presidency after Nixon

7. The Removal Power and the Unitary Executive
7.1 Introductory Puzzle: The Curious Case of the IBC Commissioner
7.2 "The Great Debate of 1789"
7.3 Removals in the Early Republic
7.4 The Jacksonian Defense of Rotation in Office
7.5 Jackson’s Removal of William Duane
7.6 Hypocrites All: "The Tumultuous Scramble for Place"
7.7 Andrew Johnson and Tenure of Office Act of 1867
7.8 Party Patronage and Civil Service Reform
7.9 Enter the Courts
7.10 The Political Origins of the Unitary Executive: The Reagan Years
7.11 The Unitary Executive in the Presidency of George W. Bush
7.12 The Unitary Executive Reconsidered


8. The President and the Judiciary
8.1 Introductory Puzzle: How Earl Warren Became the Last Liberal Chief Justice
8.2 Founding Arguments
8.3 Court Packing in the Federalist Era
8.4 Jefferson’s Assault on the "Gibraltar of the Judiciary"
8.5 "Driving Us into Consolidation": On the Road to McCulloch
8.6 Andrew Jackson Confronts the Court
8.7 Making the Court Safe for Slavery
8.8 Ridding the Court of Southerners
8.9 The Rise of Judicial Supremacy
8.10 Franklin Roosevelt v. the Supreme Court
8.11 A "Reinvigorated, Liberal-minded Judiciary"
8.12 Tilting Right
8.13 Partisan Polarization in the Contemporary Confirmation Process
8.14 The Future of Judicial Supremacy

9. Law and Executive Power
9.1 Introductory Puzzle: What was Nixon Thinking?
9.2 Law and the Constitution
9.3 "So Far Above the Law": Executive Power from Locke to Lincoln
9.4 Judging Executive Power
9.5 All the President’s Lawyers


10. Evaluating Presidents
10.1 The Presidential Ratings Game
10.2 The Deal of the Cards
10.3 The Play of the Hand
10.4 Where have all the Great (or even Good) Presidents Gone?

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