•How has presidential power grown over time?
•How have Presidents’ own views affected the power of the office?
Article II, the Constitution’s Executive Article, begins this way:
“The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” With these few words, the Framers established the presidency.
Why Presidential Power Has Grown
•Over the course of American history, the champions of a stronger presidency have almost always prevailed.
•The nation’s increasingly complex social and economic life has also influenced the growth of presidential power.
•By passing laws and expanding the role of the Federal Government, Congress has increased presidential power as well. •The ability to use the mass media, as every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has, aids in gathering and holding public attention.
The Presidential View
The nature of the presidency depends on how each President views the office and exercises its powers.
•Some Presidents, such as Teddy Roosevelt, have taken a broad view of the powers they inherited.
•Other Presidents, like William Howard Taft, have felt that they cannot exercise any power not specifically granted to them.
Review Questions:The power of the presidency has been cause for debate MAINLY because
a. the presidency is the most powerful office in the world.
b. the Constitution provided a loose definition of executive power.
c. the presidency is an office that operates in full view of the public.
d. leaders wanted to prevent the President from becoming a tyrant.
Which of the following has NOT worked to strengthen the powers of the presidency?
a. the influence of strong Presidents
b. the demands of the American people for strong leadership
c. the constitutional system of checks and balances
d. the need for decisive action during national emergencies
The debate over the powers of the presidency is essentially a debate
a. about Article III of the Constitution.
b. between supporters of a strong presidency and supporters of a weak presidency.
c. about the system of checks and balances.
d. about the electoral college system.
Answers: B / C / B