HIS 303 Week 5 DQ 2 Expansion of Executive Power.
Classical republican philosophy warned against the expansion of executive power, and throughout U.S. history, critics have assailed presidents—from Washington, to Jackson, to Lincoln, and beyond—for allegedly abusing their power in tyrannical ways. These fears arguably peaked during the Cold War, when foreign policy, a matter often delegated to the executive, expanded exponentially in importance. By the 1970s, some Americans feared that their country was being run by, in the words of historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., an “imperial presidency” (i.e., a presidency which held itself above the rule of law). Review the Constitution’s provisions regarding executive powers, particularly with regard to foreign affairs, along with the checks which the Constitution places on those powers.
How did the power of the executive expand during the second half of the twentieth century? How did Congress and the judiciary respond to this expansion of executive power? In what ways did they resist in, and in what instances did they acquiesce to it? Has a new “imperial presidency” emerged in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001?
When responding to these questions, refer to material from one of the following videos:
a. Constant combatants: The president and congress – A Fred Friendly seminar
c. Contemporary life v. the Constitution