The Growth of Presidential Power in the U.S.

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21 Questions

What was the main role of the U.S. president during the 1800s?

Chief clerk carrying out the will of Congress

What is the president's greatest formal power according to the Constitution?

Take Care Clause

What is the difference between a reprieve and a pardon?

A pardon is a release from punishment, whereas a reprieve is a postponement of punishment

What grants broad powers to Congress, similar to the 'Take Care' Clause for the president?

Elastic Clause

Which U.S. president is known for establishing precedents such as the use of the 'Mr. President' title and setting a two-term limit?

George Washington

Who issued the first veto in the history of U.S. presidency?

George Washington

Which president was the first to be elected by 'the people' and used the veto power extensively?

Andrew Jackson

During which president's tenure did the National Bank of the United States face a famous veto?

Andrew Jackson

Which U.S. president expanded presidential power through decisions made during the Civil War, including the Emancipation Proclamation and the use of martial law?

Abraham Lincoln

Who became one of the most powerful presidents due to the crisis of the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln

Which U.S. president set a precedent for assertive presidential power with actions during the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln

Who became a 'bully pulpit' president and used the presidency as a platform to speak out on issues, garnering media attention?

Theodore Roosevelt

Which president's actions during the Great Depression and World War II transformed the presidency, expanding the executive power?

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Who issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln

Which president ordered a navy blockade, suspended habeas corpus, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln

Who is known for engaging with the public through 'fireside chats' during their presidency?

Franklin D. Roosevelt

'FDR' is an abbreviation commonly used to refer to which U.S. president?

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Who intends to uphold the Constitution and execute laws in their inaugural speech in 1861?

Abraham Lincoln

Who spends money, raises an army, and shuts down secessionist newspapers without Congress' approval?

Abraham Lincoln

Who uses the presidency as a platform to speak out on issues and garners media attention?

Theodore Roosevelt

Who engages with the public through 'fireside chats' during their presidency?

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Study Notes

  • George Washington (1789-1797): First U.S. president, aware of every action shaping the office for future generations; established precedents such as the use of "Mr. President" title, setting a two-term limit, and modeling the executive branch

  • Washington's great dignity lent power to the presidency; he issued the first veto, put down the Whiskey Rebellion, and established the cabinet, appointed department heads, judges, and signed the first laws

  • Andrew Jackson (1829-1837): First president elected by "the people," saw himself as their champion against Congress; used the veto power extensively, often due to policy disagreements; vetoed 12 bills in total, more than all previous presidents combined; most famous veto involved the National Bank of the United States

  • Lincoln (1861-1865): Became one of the most powerful presidents due to the Civil War crisis; seven southern states had seceded before he took office; Lincoln expanded presidential power through his decisions during the Civil War, including the Emancipation Proclamation and the use of martial law.

  • Abraham Lincoln's inaugural speech in 1861: argues for the unity of the Union, no state can lawfully secede, and intends to uphold the Constitution and execute laws

  • Lincoln takes executive actions without Congress' approval: spends money, raises an army, orders a navy blockade, declares martial law, shuts down secessionist newspapers, suspends habeas corpus, and issues the Emancipation Proclamation

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) becomes a "bully pulpit" president: uses the presidency as a platform to speak out on issues, garners media attention, and believes in acting as a "steward of the public welfare"

  • Roosevelt creates new government agencies: ensures food and drug safety, promotes conservation, and pursues an active foreign policy

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) transforms the presidency: comes into office during the Great Depression, passes major reforms during his first 100 days, expands the role of the president in shaping laws, and engages with the public through "fireside chats"

  • Lincoln's actions during the Civil War set a precedent for assertive presidential power

  • Theodore Roosevelt's energetic leadership inspires FDR's presidency and expands the role of the president as the modern presidency

  • FDR's New Deal reforms during the Great Depression and World War II further expand the executive power, shifting the president's role from chief clerk to a more active, engaging leader.

Explore the evolution of presidential authority in the United States from a limited role in the 1800s to being perceived as one of the most powerful national leaders today. Learn about the expansion of presidential powers granted under the Constitution and the historical context that shaped this transformation.

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