Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch, 5th Ed.
Publication Year: 2012
This comprehensive guide is the definitive source for researchers seeking an understanding of those who have occupied the White House and on the institution of the U.S. presidency. Readers turn to Guide to the Presidency for its wealth of facts and analytical chapters that explain the structure, powers, and operations of the office and the president’s relationship with Congress and the Supreme Court. The work is divided into eight distinct subject areas covering every aspect of the U.S. presidency.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Chapter 1: Constitutional Beginnings
- Chapter 2: History of the Presidency
- Chapter 3: History of the Vice Presidency
- Chapter 4: Rating the Presidents
- Chapter 5: The Electoral Process and Taking Office
- Chapter 6: Chronology of Presidential Elections
- Chapter 7: Selection by Succession
- Chapter 8: Removal of the President and the Vice President
- Chapter 9: Unilateral Powers of the Presidency
- Chapter 10: Head of State
- Chapter 11: Chief Administrator
- Chapter 12: Legislative Leader
- Chapter 13: Chief Diplomat
- Chapter 14: Commander in Chief
- Chapter 15: Chief Economist
- Chapter 16: Presidential Appearances
- Chapter 17: The President and Political Parties
- Chapter 18: The President and the News Media
- Chapter 19: The Presidency and Popular Culture
- Chapter 20: Public Support and Opinion
- Chapter 21: The President and Interest Groups
- Chapter 22: Executive Office of the President: White House Office
- Chapter 23: Office of the Vice President
- Chapter 24: Executive Office of the President: Beyond the White House Office
- Chapter 25: The Cabinet and Executive Departments
- Chapter 26: Presidential Commissions
- Chapter 27: Housing of the Executive Branch
- Chapter 28: Executive Branch Pay and Perquisites
- Chapter 29: The President and Congress
- Chapter 30: The President and the Supreme Court
- Chapter 31: The President and the Bureaucracy
- Chapter 32: Daily Life of the President
- Chapter 33: The First Lady, the First Family, and the President's Friends
- Chapter 34: Former Presidents
- Chapter 35: Biographies of the Presidents
- Chapter 36: Biographies of the Vice Presidents
- Chapter 37: Biographies of the First Ladies
Copyright by Sage Publications, Inc.
Almost from the moment of its invention at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the presidency has been both a person and an office. At any given moment, the powers and duties of the presidency are entrusted fully to the person who is the president. To a great degree, the presidency has been shaped and defined by the forty-four individuals who, as of this writing, have held the office. Historical periods often are described in terms of the presidents who dominated them: the “Age of Jackson,” the “Lincoln years,” the “New Deal era” of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the “Reagan Revolution.”
But the presidency is more than the persons who have served as president. It is also an office, an enduring and evolving institution that is deeply embedded in the much-larger executive branch, consisting of departments such as the State Department and Treasury Department and independent agencies of various kinds such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Federal Trade Commission. And both the presidency and the executive branch are part of an interactive network of other institutions: Congress, the Supreme Court, the news media (and, more recently, social media), interest groups, political parties, the public, and the nations of the world.Plan of the Book
By design and execution, Guide to the Presidency and Executive Branch reflects the importance of the individual lives of the presidents. The two volumes of the book are laced with descriptions of every president's accomplishments and failures, virtues and foibles. Even a quick glance at the table of contents and the index will attest to the detailed information the Guide provides on each president. Part VIII consists of illustrated biographies of every president, from George Washington to Barack Obama (Chapter 35); the vice presidents, from John Adams to Joseph Biden (Chapter 36); and the first ladies, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama (Chapter 37). Part VII delves into the daily life of the president (Chapter 32), the role of the first lady, the first family, and the president's friends (Chapter 33), and the developing role of former presidents (Chapter 34).
The institutional character of the presidency as an office is manifested in several ways.
- The presidency is a constitutional office. It has been shaped by its design at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and by later constitutional amendments, Supreme Court decisions, and customs and precedents. Chapter 1 offers an extensive description of the constitutional beginnings of the presidency, and the six chapters that constitute Part III thoroughly examine the various powers of the office, most of them constitutional in origin. Constitutional aspects of the presidency also are noted throughout the book. Part II, for example, examines the processes of presidential selection, succession, and removal, along with the unilateral powers of the presidency.
- The presidency is a historical office. During its more than two centuries of existence, the presidency has evolved in response to changing social, economic, and political conditions—domestically and internationally. Chapter 2, which plots chronologically the development of the presidency, is one of only several places in the Guide where the history of the office is described. Chapter 6, for example, consists of an election-by-election history of presidential contests.
- The presidency is the nation's supreme elective office. Part II offers full treatment of presidential selection and removal—not just the history, rules, strategies, and processes of presidential nominations and elections, but also the methods provided by the Constitution for presidential selection under special circumstances, such as the death, resignation, or disability of the president.
- The presidency is a highly public and political office. Indeed, it is as public and political after an election as it is during a campaign as evidenced by the ongoing importance of presidential appearances (Chapter 16). Presidential leadership depends heavily on the support or acquiescence of those groups outside government whose relations with the presidency are also described in Part IV—the political parties (Chapter 17), the mass media (Chapter 18), popular culture the public (Chapter 20), and interest groups (Chapter 21). In addition, Chapter 19 treats the place of the presidency in popular culture.
- The presidency is the chief office of the executive branch. This branch comprises the White House staff, the cabinet, and the numerous departments and agencies of the federal bureaucracy. Its major players and major components are described extensively in Part V.
- The presidency is part of a multibranch system of government. Throughout the Guide, attention is paid to the separation of powers and the checks and balances that characterize the American constitutional system. The interactions of the presidency with Congress (Chapter 29), the Supreme Court (Chapter 30), and the bureaucracy (Chapter 31) are specifically the subject of Part VI.
The Guide also covers the vice presidency—its origins and history (Chapter 3), the processes of vice presidential selection (Chapter 5) and removal (Chapter 8), and the Office of the Vice President (Chapter 23).
Thus the Guide to the Presidency and Executive Branch explains in two volumes the origins, evolution, and contemporary workings of the most important office of the American political system and the large and varied branch of which the president is chief executive. The book has been written and edited to make this material readily accessible. The thirty-seven chapters of the Guide, in eight parts, are each devoted to a particular subject, but these topics are not discrete because few aspects of the presidency are unrelated to others. The subject of one chapter, therefore, may be mentioned in several different contexts throughout the book. The president's relationship with the public, for example, is the focus of Part IV, but this relationship is also discussed in Part I (in Chapter 2, on the history of the office) and in Part II (in Chapter 5, on the electoral process). Easily visible cross-references in each chapter guide the reader to other relevant discussions as well as to documents, tables, and figures in the appendixes. This overlap provides complete treatment of a topic in one place but also allows readers to discover and pursue related subjects.
Continuing the tradition of CQ Press's other major reference works—Guide to Congress, Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Guide to U.S. Elections—the material in Guide to the Presidency is descriptive, factual, unbiased, and easy to understand. Writing in a highly readable style, the authors have distilled for the average reader the widely accepted expertise of scholars who study the presidency. For readers who want to delve further into the scholarly literature, the notes and selected bibliographies at the end of each chapter show the way.
The reference materials section in the Guide supplements the text with documents, tables, and charts. Included are excerpts from more than forty documents highly significant to the presidency, with explanatory headnotes. The tables list, among other things, electoral votes for all presidential elections and cabinet members from the administration of George Washington through that of Barack Obama.
The photographs and other images deserve special mention. The Guide is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of pictures chosen to instruct as well as to add visual interest. Some were selected to familiarize students with the classic pictures from the presidency—such as the shot of an exuberant Truman displaying a “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline. Others capture unique moments—such as a young Bill Clinton meeting John F. Kennedy. Other illustrations highlight little-known facts of presidential history—such as the cartoon from the 1840 election showing the origin of the expression “OK.” Boxed material throughout the chapters emphasizes important, interesting, and current events.Changes in the Fifth Edition
Readers familiar with the award-winning earlier editions of the Guide to the Presidency will find that this edition is, if anything, even better. It has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the final years of the George W. Bush administration, Barack Obama's election in 2008 and the first three years of his presidency, recent budgetary and economic crises, emerging political trends such as the increasing ideological polarization between the Republican and Democratic parties, recent Supreme Court appointments and decisions, changes in the executive branch, and the new challenges emerging from the global arena. Reflecting the Guide's broad coverage of both the president and the broader executive branch, we decided to expand the title of the fifth edition to better represent the content.
This edition also has been updated to incorporate new academic research on the presidency and executive branch published during the 2000s. The new scholarship infuses every chapter, thanks to the participation of an all-star team of presidential and executive scholars. We are grateful to James Pfiffner of George Mason University for his thoughtful review of the fourth edition and for all of the suggestions he made for revisions. Some contributors have been with the project since the first edition in 1989 including Harold Bass, Craig Bledsoe, Sidney Milkis, Stephen Robertson, and Robert Spitzer. We are also lucky to have a number of contributors who have returned for several editions. Others have joined the roster of contributors to this edition, including Emily Charnock, Jasmine Farrier, Bruce Nesmith, Adam Warber, Thomas Langston, and Justin Vaughn.Acknowledgments
Preparation of the Fifth edition at CQ Press was overseen with grace and skill by acquisitions editor Doug Goldenberg-Hart and development editor Andrew Boney under the direction of January Layman-Wood, Reference Development Supervisor. Special thanks also go to CQ Press's editorial interns, Josh Benjamin, Leighanna Driftmier, and Matt Rist, whose research was invaluable during the development process. Production editor Belinda Josey handled production at the CQ offices, while senior project editor Laureen Gleason managed production at SAGE. Freelance editor Jon Preimesberger was the principal copy editor. Indexing of this edition was carried out by Michael Ferreira. All performed their roles with excellence and good grace.
The efforts of many people have brought this project through successive editions, but the work of a few deserve individual mention. David R. Tarr, former executive editor of CQ Press, kept alive the idea of the Guide during its conceptual stages, then provided thoughtful direction and support in the second edition and returned as sponsoring editor for the third edition. Freelance copy editor Sabra Bissette Ledent was instrumental in the original and second editions and served as the lead editor for the third edition, with responsibility for much of the content. Nola Healy Lynch, former developmental editor at CQ Press, wrote the working outline of the first edition in the 1980s, and presidential scholar Thomas E. Cronin reviewed the initial plan of the book. Margaret Seawell, formerly a senior editor at CQ Press, was the principal editor of the first edition. Much of her seminal work on original manuscripts remains intact. The work of these editors was ably carried forward by CQ Press acquisitions editor Shana Wagger, who served as both developmental and supervisory editor of the second edition.
Finally, I and the other writers and staff owe a great deal to our friends and especially our families, who stood by while we worked on the Guide. Their support and good cheer count for much.
Contributors to the Fifth Edition
Note: Contributors to previous editions of the Guide are listed on the chapter opening pages of their respective chapters.
Michael Nelson, Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and Senior Fellow, Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia: Chapter 1, Constitutional Beginnings; Chapter 3, History of the Vice Presidency; Chapter 4, Rating the Presidents; Chapter 5, The Electoral Process and Taking Office; Chapter 7, Selection by Succession; Chapter 8, Removal of the President and the Vice President; Chapter 23, Office of the Vice President; Chapter 34, Former Presidents; Chapter 35, Biographies of the Presidents; Chapter 36, Biographies of the Vice Presidents; Chapter 37, Biographies of the First Ladies; headnotes to most Documents and Texts.
Harold F. Bass Jr., Professor of Political Science, Ouachita Baptist University: Chapter 16, Presidential Appearances; Chapter 17, The President and Political Parties.
W. Craig Bledsoe, Professor of Political Science and Provost, Lipscomb University: Chapter 26, Presidential Commissions.
Meena Bose, Director, Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies, Hofstra University: Chapter 13, Chief Diplomat; Chapter 14, Commander in Chief.
Emily J. Charnock, Fellow, Miller Center of Public Affairs, The University of Virginia: Chapter 2, History of the Presidency.
David A. Crockett, Professor of Political Science, Trinity University: Chapter 20, Public Support and Opinion.
Jasmine Farrier, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Louisville: Chapter 12, Legislative Leader.
Deborah Kalb, Independent Scholar, Washington, D.C.: Chapter 27, Housing of the Executive Branch; Chapter 28, Executive Branch Pay and Perquisites; Chapter 32, Daily Life of the President; Chapter 33, The First Lady, The First Family, and the President's Friends.
Matthew R. Kerbel, Professor of Political Science, Villanova University: Chapter 18, The President and the News Media.
Thomas S. Langston, Professor of Political Science, Tulane University: Chapter 10, Head of State; Chapter 19, The Presidency and Popular Culture.
Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller Professor in the Department of Politics and Director for Democracy and Governance Studies at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, The University of Virginia: Chapter 2, History of the Presidency.
Bruce Nesmith, Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor in the Department of Political Science, Coe College: Chapter 15, Chief Economist.
Stephen L. Robertson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Middle Tennessee State University: Chapter 22, Executive Office of the President: White House Office.
Andrew C. Rudalevige, Associate Professor of Political Science; Walter E. Beach Chair in Political Science, Dickinson College: Chapter 9, Unilateral Powers of the Presidency.
Robert J. Spitzer, Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and Chair, State University of New York—Cortland: Chapter 29, The President and Congress.
Daniel J. Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Professor of Social Science and Senior Faculty Fellow at the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, University of Oregon: Chapter 21, The President and Interest Groups.
Justin S. Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Boise State University: Chapter 11, Chief Administrator.
John R. Vile, Dean of the University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University: Chapter 30, The President and the Supreme Court.
Adam L. Warber, Associate Professor of Political Science, Clemson University: Chapter 25, The Cabinet and Executive Departments; Chapter 31, The President and the Bureaucracy.
Shirley Anne Warshaw, Professor of Political Science, Gettysburg College: Chapter 24, Executive Office of the President: Beyond the White House Office.
AppendixDocuments and Texts
The documentary history of the presidency is long and extensive. It begins before the actual creation of the office at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with documents from the American Revolution that helped to prepare the way for the presidency. It includes official messages and orders by individual presidents, presidential speeches, Supreme Court decisions, congressional resolutions, and other official and unofficial documents.
In compiling this section, an effort has been made to include the most important presidential documents (a sort of “Top 40” from the history of the office), with an emphasis on the twentieth-century presidency. But no pretense is made to comprehensiveness; for reasons of space, many important documents had to be omitted. In addition, most of the documents in this Appendix have been edited to retain only the most important material. Omissions are indicated by ellipses (…).
A more complete and less heavily edited compilation of presidential documents may be found in Michael Nelson, ed., The Evolving Presidency: Landmark Documents, 1787–2010, also published by CQ Press.
—Michael NelsonDeclaration of Independence
On June 11, 1776, the responsibility to “prepare a declaration” of independence was assigned by the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to five members: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Impressed by his talents as a writer, the committee asked Jefferson to compose a draft. After modifying Jefferson's draft the committee turned it over to Congress on June 28. On July 2 Congress voted to declare independence; on the evening of July 4, it approved the Declaration of Independence.
The declaration is best remembered for its ringing preamble, which affirms the “self-evident” truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” But, at the time, the more important part of the Declaration was what followed the preamble: the list of “a long train of abuses and usurpations” against the American colonists by the British government. The charges detailed the abuses that made it “necessary for one people [the Americans] to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another [the British].” Although many of the more than two dozen specific alleged abuses were acts of Parliament, all were attributed to King George III. The indictment—and the declaration as a whole—thus contributed to the idea that a strong executive was a threat to the fundamental liberties of the people.
In Congress, July 4, 1776,The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Government long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely parallel in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
- New Hampshire:
- Massachusetts Bay:
- Rhode Island:
- New York:
- North Carolina:
- South Carolina:
- New Jersey:
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.
Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock.Articles of Confederation
On June 11, 1776, the same day that it created a five-member committee to prepare the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed a thirteen-member committee (one from each state) to draft a “plan of confederation.” The two decisions were closely connected: a new and independent nation needed a government of some sort. The committee recommended the Articles of Confederation to Congress on July 12; Congress adopted the plan on November 15, 1777; and unanimous ratification by the states finally came on March 1, 1781.
Written at a time when hostility against a strong central government (the British) and executive power (the king and his royal governors in each colony) was at its height, the Articles, not surprisingly, provided for a weak central government with no executive at all. Congress—a unicameral body in which each state was represented equally—was the sole organ of the new national government. It had no power to levy taxes or to enforce any laws that it passed. Even the powers that it did have—such as to raise an army and navy, regulate coinage and borrow money, and adjudicate disputes among the states—were hard to exercise, because any proposed law required a two-thirds majority for passage. (To amend the Articles required unanimity.)
The Articles of Confederation provided a barely adequate framework for fighting and winning the Revolutionary War: the presence of a common enemy fostered a certain amount of unity among the states. But when the British were defeated in 1783, the national government found it increasingly difficult to unite the country to confront the new challenges of peace.
To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting. Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in the Words following, viz. “Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of Newhampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhodeisland and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.”
Article I. The Stile of this confederacy shall be “The United States of America.”
Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
Article III. The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
Article IV. The better to secure the perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state, to any other state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state, on the property of the united states, or either of them.
If any Person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any state, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of the united states, he shall upon demand of the Governor or executive power, of the state from which he fled be delivered up and removed to the state having jurisdiction of his offence.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.
Article V. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the united states, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each state, to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the Year.
No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more than seven Members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the united states, for which he, or another for his benefit receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the states, and while they act as members of the committee of the states.
In determining questions in the united states, in Congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any Court, or place out of Congress, and the members of congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
Article VI. No state without the Consent of the united states in congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agreement, or alliance or treaty with any King prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the united states, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the united states in congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the united states in congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with any king, prince, or State, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.
No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace, by any state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the united states in congress assembled, for the defence of such state, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any state, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgment of the united states, in congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such State; but every state shall always keep up a well regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage.
No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the united states in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay, till the united states in congress assembled can be consulted: nor shall any state grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the united states in congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or State, and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the united states in congress assembled, unless such state be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the united states in congress assembled shall determine otherwise.
Article VII. When land forces are raised by any state for the common defence, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legislature of each state respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which first made the appointment.
Article VIII. All charges of war, and all other expences that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the united states in congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several states within the time agreed upon by the united states in congress assembled.
Article IX. The united states in congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article—of sending and receiving ambassadors—entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective states shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever—of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what capture on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the united states shall be divided or appropriated—of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace—appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas; and establishing courts; for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures; provided that no member of congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.
The united states, in congress assembled, shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more states concerning boundary, jurisdiction, or any other cause whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative or executive authority or lawful agent of any state in controversy with another shall present a petition to congress, stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of congress to the legislative or executive authority of the other state in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, congress shall name three persons out of each of the united states, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as congress shall direct, shall in the presence of congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, without shewing reasons, which congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the congress shall proceed to nominate three persons out of each state, and the secretary of congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear to defend their claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgment, which shall in like manner be final and decisive, the judgment or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to congress, and lodged among the acts of congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the State where the cause shall be tried, “well and truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his judgment, without favour, affection or hope of reward:” provided also that no State shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the united states.
All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants of two or more states, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the states which [Page 1845]passed such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall on the petition of either party to the congress of the united states, be finally determined as near as may be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different states.
The united states, in congress assembled, shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states—fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the united states—regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states; provided that the legislative right of any state within its own limits be not infringed or violated—establishing and regulating post-offices from one state to another, throughout all the united states, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same, as may be requisite to defray the expences of the said office—appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the united States, excepting regimental officers—appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the united states; making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.
The united States, in congress assembled, shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of congress, to be denominated “A Committee of the States,” and to consist of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the united states under their direction—to appoint one of their number to preside; provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of Money to be raised for the service of the united states, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expences; to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the united states, transmitting every half year to the respective states an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted,—to build and equip a navy—to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make requisitions from each state for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such state; which requisition shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each state shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and clothe, arm, and equip them, in a soldier like manner, at the expence of the united states; and the officers and men so clothed; armed and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states, in congress assembled: but if the united states, in congress assembled, shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any state should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other state should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such state, unless the legislature of such state shall judge that such extra number cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, clothe, arm and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared. And the officers and men so clothed, armed and equipped, shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the united states in congress assembled.
The united states, in congress assembled, shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expences necessary for the defence and welfare of the united states, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the united states, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine states assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the united states in congress assembled.
The congress of the united states shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the united states, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six Months, and shall publish the Journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each state on any question shall be entered on the Journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a state, or any of them, at his or their request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said Journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several states.
Article X. The committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of congress, such of the powers of congress as the united states in congress assembled, by the consent of nine states, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of nine states, in the congress of the united states assembled, is requisite.
Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the measures of the united states, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this union: but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine states.
Article XII. All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed, and debts contracted by, or under the authority of congress, before the assembling of the united States, in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the united States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said united states, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
Article XIII. Every state shall abide by the determinations of the united states, in congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a congress of the united states, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state.
And Whereas it has pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union. Know Ye, that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and [Page 1846]entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things contained therein. And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the united states in congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them. And that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent, and that the union shall be perpetual. In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, the ninth Day of July, in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and Seventy eight, and in the third year of the independence of America.The Virginia Plan of Union
James Madison of Virginia not only helped to orchestrate the calling of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, he arrived in Philadelphia several days before it began and drafted a proposed plan of government to lay before the delegates. Madison, who was only thirty-six years old and lacked a strong national reputation, persuaded the governor of his state, Edmund Randolph, to introduce the plan on May 29, the convention's first day of business.
The Virginia Plan proposed a radical departure from the Articles of Confederation—a strong, three-branch national government whose powers would make it superior to the states. The legislature would have two houses, not one, and would be apportioned according to population, not state equality. In addition, the new government would have an executive and a judicial branch. The executive would be chosen by the legislature, but was otherwise undefined in the plan.
The Virginia Plan was endorsed in principle by the delegates to the convention, and it provided a working agenda for their deliberations.
1. Resolved that the Articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected and enlarged as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, “common defence, security of liberty and general welfare.”
2. Resolved therefore that the rights of suffrage in the National Legislature ought to be proportioned to the Quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inhabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases.
3. Resolved that the National Legislature ought to consist of two branches.
4. Resolved that the members of the first branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several States every for the term of to be of the age of years at least, to receive liberal stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service, to be ineligible to any office established by a particular State, or under the authority of the United States, except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the first branch, during the term of service, and for the space of after its expiration; to be incapable of reelection for the space of after the expiration of their term of service, and to be subject to recall.
5. Resolved that the members of the second branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by those of the first, out of a proper number of persons nominated by the individual Legislatures, to be of the age of years at least; to hold their offices for a term sufficient to ensure their independency; to receive liberal stipends, by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to public service; and to be ineligible to any office established by a particular State, or under the authority of the United States, except those peculiarly belonging to the functions of the second branch, during the term of service, and for the space of after the expiration thereof.
6. Resolved that each branch ought to possess the right of originating Acts; that the National Legislature ought to be impowered to enjoy the Legislative Rights vested in Congress by the Confederation and moreover to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation; to negative all laws passed by the several States, contravening in the opinion of the National Legislature the articles of Union; and to call forth the force of the Union against any member of the Union failing in its duty under the articles thereof.
7. Resolved that a National Executive be instituted; to be chosen by the National Legislature for the term of years; to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for the services rendered, in which no increase or diminution shall be made so as to affect the Magistracy, existing at the time of the increase or diminution, and to be ineligible a second time; and that besides a general authority to execute the National laws, it ought to enjoy the Executive rights vested in Congress by the Confederation.
8. Resolved that the Executive and a convenient number of the National Judiciary, ought to compose a Council or revision with authority to examine every act of the National Legislature before it shall operate, and every act of a particular Legislature before a Negative thereon shall be final; and that the dissent of the said Council shall amount to a rejection, unless the Act of the National Legislature be passed again, or that of a particular Legislature be again negatived by of the members of each branch.
9. Resolved that a National Judiciary be established to consist of one or more supreme tribunals, and of inferior tribunals to be chosen by the National Legislature, to hold their offices during good behavior; and to receive punctually at stated times fixed compensation for their services, in which no increase or diminution shall be made so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such increase or diminution. That the jurisdiction of the inferior tribunals shall be to hear and determine in the first instance, and of the supreme tribunal to hear and determine in the dernier resort, all piracies and felonies on the high seas, captures from an enemy; cases in which foreigners or citizens of other States applying to such jurisdictions may be interested, or which respect the collection of the National revenue; impeachments of any National officers, and questions which may involve the national peace and harmony.
10. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the admission of States lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of Government and Territory or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the National legislature less than the whole.
11. Resolved that a Republican Government and the territory of each State, except in the instance of a voluntary junction of Government and territory, ought to be guaranteed by the United States to each State.
12. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the continuance of Congress and their authorities and privileges, until a given day after the reform of the articles of Union shall be adopted, and for the completion of all their engagements.
13. Resolved that provision ought to be made for the amendment of the Articles of Union whensoever it shall seem necessary, and that the assent of the National Legislature ought not to be required thereto.
14. Resolved that the Legislative Executive and Judiciary powers within the several States ought to be bound by oath to support the articles of Union.
15. Resolved that the amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation, by the Convention ought at a proper time, or times, after the approbation of Congress to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of Representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures to be expressly chosen by the people, to consider and decide thereon.Constitution of the United States
The United States Constitution was written at a convention that Congress called on February 21, 1787, for the purpose of recommending amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Every state but Rhode Island sent delegates to Philadelphia, where the convention met that summer. The delegates decided to write an entirely new constitution, completing their labors on September 17. Nine states (the number the Constitution itself stipulated as sufficient) ratified by June 21, 1788.
The presidency is the most original feature of the Constitution. Described mainly in Article II, it was created as a strong, unitary office. The president was to be elected by an electoral college to a four-year term and was empowered, among other things, to recommend and veto congressional acts, appoint judges and executive officials, command the army and navy, negotiate treaties, and issue pardons. Congress could impeach and remove a president for committing acts of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The Constitution also created the vice presidency and charged the vice president to be president of the Senate and standby successor to the president.
Numerous constitutional amendments have dealt with the presidency. For example, the Twenty-second Amendment (1951) imposes a two-term limit on the president, and the Twenty-fifth Amendment (1967) provides for a vacancy in the vice presidency and situations of presidential disability.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Article I
Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
[Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be [Page 1848]determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.]1 The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,]1 for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; [and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.]1
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall [be on the first Monday in December],1 unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take [Page 1849]Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken. 1
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.Article II
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
[The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of [Page 1850]the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.]1
The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office,1 the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.Article III
Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;1—between Citizens of different States;—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.Article IV
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
[No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.]1
Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided [that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and]1 that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.Article VI
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.Article VII
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. IN WITNESS whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
George Washington, President and deputy from Virginia.
[The language of the original Constitution, not including the Amendments, was adopted by a convention of the states on September 17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the states on the following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.
Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.
The Constitution subsequently was ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.]Amendments
Amendment I (First ten amendments ratified December 15, 1791.)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Amendment XI (Ratified February 7, 1795)
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
Amendment XII (Ratified June 15, 1804)
The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;—The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.—]1 The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
Amendment XIII (Ratified December 6, 1865)
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been [Page 1853]duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XIV (Ratified July 9, 1868)
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,1 and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Amendment XV (Ratified February 3, 1870)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XVI (Ratified February 3, 1913)
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Amendment XVII (Ratified April 8, 1913)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Amendment XVIII (Ratified January 16, 1919)
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.]1
Amendment XIX (Ratified August 18, 1920)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XX (Ratified January 23, 1933)
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3.1 If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be [Page 1854]selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.
Amendment XXI (Ratified December 5, 1933)
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXII (Ratified February 27, 1951)
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXIII (Ratified March 29, 1961)
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXIV (Ratified January 23, 1964)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXV (Ratified February 10, 1967)
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Amendment XXVI (Ratified July 1, 1971)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XXVII (Ratified May 7‚ 1992)
No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect‚ until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
Source: U.S. Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary, The Constitution of the United States of America, as Amended, 100th Cong., 1st sess., 1987, H Doc 100–94.
The part in brackets was changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.The part in brackets was changed by the first paragraph of the Seventeenth Amendment.The part in brackets was changed by the second paragraph of the Seventeenth Amendment.The part in brackets was changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment.The Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes.The material in brackets was superseded by the Twelfth Amendment.This provision was affected by the Twenty-fifth Amendment.These clauses were affected by the Eleventh Amendment.This paragraph was superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.Obsolete.The part in brackets was superseded by section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment.See the Nineteenth and Twenty-sixth Amendments.This amendment was repealed by section 1 of the Twenty-first Amendment.See the Twenty-fifth Amendment.The Federalist, No. 70
During the months that the proposed Constitution was being considered for ratification by the states, a number of newspaper articles were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym “Publius” to explain and defend the Constitution. The papers later were gathered together in a book called The Federalist (or The Federalist Papers).
Federalist Nos. 69–77, written by Hamilton, deal with the presidency. His most memorable defense of the office may be found in No. 70. In it, he squarely addresses the argument that a one-person executive is a threat to liberty. Instead, Hamilton writes, only a properly designed unitary executive can provide those qualities of “energy” that a republican government needs.
There is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation; since they can never admit its truth, without at the same time admitting the condemnation of their own principles. Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and highhanded combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy. Every man the least conversant in Roman history knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man, under the formidable title of dictator, as well against the intrigues of ambitious individuals who aspired to the tyranny, and the seditions of whole classes of the community whose conduct threatened the existence of all government, as against the invasions of external enemies who menaced the conquest and destruction of Rome.
There can be no need, however, to multiply arguments or examples on this head. A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.
Taking it for granted, therefore, that all men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic executive, it will only remain to inquire, what are the ingredients which constitute this energy? How far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense? And how far does this combination characterize the plan which has been reported by the convention?
The ingredients which constitute energy in the executive are unity; duration; an adequate provision for its support; and competent powers.
The ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense are a due dependence on the people, and a due responsibility.
Those politicians and statesmen who have been the most celebrated for the soundness of their principles and for the justness of their views have declared in favor of a single executive and a numerous legislature. They have, with great propriety, considered energy as the most necessary qualification of the former, and have regarded this as most applicable to power in a single hand; while they have, with equal propriety, considered the latter as best adapted to deliberation and wisdom, and best calculated to conciliate the confidence of the people and to secure their privileges and interests.
That unity is conducive to energy will not be disputed. Decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number; and in proportion as the number is increased, these qualities will be diminished.
This unity may be destroyed in two ways: either by vesting the power in two or more magistrates of equal dignity and authority, or by vesting it ostensibly in one man, subject in whole or in part to the control and cooperation of others, in the capacity of counselors to him. Of the first, the two consuls of Rome may serve as an example; of the last, we shall find examples in the constitutions of several of the States. New York and New Jersey, if I recollect right, are the only States which have intrusted the executive authority wholly to single men. Both these methods of destroying the unity of the executive have their partisans; but the votaries of an executive council are the most numerous. They are both liable, if not equal, to similar objections, and may in most lights be examined in conjunction.
The experience of other nations will afford little instruction on this head. As far, however, as it teaches anything, it teaches us not to be enamored of plurality in the executive….
Whenever two or more persons are engaged in any common enterprise or pursuit, there is always danger of difference of opinion. If it be a public trust or office in which they are clothed with equal dignity and authority, there is peculiar danger of personal emulation and even animosity. From either, and especially from all these causes, the most bitter dissensions are apt to spring. Whenever these happen, they lessen the respectability, waken the authority, and distract the plans and operations of those whom they divide. If they should unfortunately assail the supreme executive magistracy of a country, consisting of a plurality of persons, they might impede or frustrate the most important measures of the government in the most critical emergencies of the state. And what is still worse, they might split the community into the most violent and irreconcilable factions, adhering differently to the different individuals who composed the magistracy….
Upon the principles of a free government, inconveniences from the source just mentioned must necessarily be submitted to in the formation of the legislature; but it is unnecessary, and therefore unwise, to introduce them into the constitution of the executive. It is here too that they may be most pernicious. In the legislature, promptitude of decision is oftener an evil than a benefit. The differences of opinion, and the jarring of parties in that department of the government, though they may sometimes obstruct salutary plans, yet often promote deliberation and circumspection, and serve to check excesses in the majority. When a resolution too is once taken, the opposition must be at an end. That resolution is a law, and resistance to it punishable. But no favorable circumstances palliate or atone for the disadvantages of dissension in the executive department. Here they are pure and unmixed. There is no point at which they cease to operate. They serve to embarrass and weaken the execution of the plan or measure to which they relate, from the first step to the final conclusion of it. They constantly counteract those qualities in the executive which are the most necessary ingredients in its composition—vigor and expedition, and this without any counterbalancing good. In the conduct of war, in which the energy of the executive is the bulwark of the national security, everything would be to be apprehended from its plurality.
It must be confessed that these observations apply with principal weight to the first case supposed—that is, to a plurality of magistrates of equal dignity and authority, a scheme, the advocates for which are not likely to form a numerous sect; but they apply, though not with equal yet with considerable weight to the project of a council, whose concurrence is made constitutionally necessary to the operations of the ostensible executive. An artful cabal in that council would be able to distract and to enervate the whole system of administration. If no such cabal should exist, the mere diversity of views and opinions would alone be sufficient to tincture the exercise of the executive authority with a spirit of habitual feebleness and dilatoriness.
But one of the weightiest objections to a plurality in the executive, and which lies as much against the last as the first plan is that it tends to conceal faults and destroy responsibility…. It often becomes impossible, admidst mutual accusations, to determine on whom the blame or the punishment of a pernicious measure, or series of pernicious measures, ought really to fall….
A little consideration will satisfy us that the species of security sought for in the multiplication of the executive is unattainable. Numbers must be so great as to render combination difficult, or they are rather a source of danger than of security. The united credit and influence of several individuals must be more formidable to liberty than the credit and influence of either of them separately. When power, therefore, is placed in the hands of so small a number of men as to admit of their interests and views being easily combined in a common enterprise, by an artful leader, it becomes more liable to abuse, and more dangerous when abused, than if it be lodged in the hands of one man, who, from the very circumstance of his being alone, will be more narrowly watched and more readily suspected, and who cannot unite so great a mass of influence as when he is associated with others….
I will only add that, prior to the appearance of the Constitution, I rarely met with an intelligent man from any of the States who did not admit, as the result of experience, that the UNITY of the executive of this State was one of the best of the distinguishing features of our Constitution.Washington's Farewell Address
George Washington had hoped to retire from public life at the end of his first term as president—he even asked James Madison to draft a farewell address in 1792—but was prevailed upon to serve another term. In 1796 Washington resolved to retire after his second term expired in 1797. Weaving together Madison's draft, a new draft by Alexander Hamilton, and his own words and ideas, Washington wrote (the address was never spoken to an audience) a long address directly to his “friends and fellow citizens” (not Congress) and released it to the Daily American Advertiser, a Philadelphia newspaper, where it was published on September 19. Newspapers around the country reprinted what soon became known as the “Farewell Address,” setting off a national wave of tributes and expressions of thanks. By disseminating word of his decision to retire three months before the presidential election, Washington also forestalled any effort to reelect him.
The Farewell Address reviews Washington's career of public service, then looks ahead to the long-term future of the new nation. Washington was especially concerned about threats to national unity. He dwelled at length on two such threats—the rise of political parties and the inclination among Americans to choose sides in disputes between England and France.
Friends, and Fellow-Citizens:
The period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer the Executive Government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be [Page 1857]employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made….
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire.—I constantly hoped, that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives, which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement, from which I had been reluctantly drawn.—The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical nature of our affairs with foreign Nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.—
I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety; and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
The impressions, with which I first undertook the arduous trust, were explained on the proper occasion.—In the discharge of this trust, I will only say, that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government, the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable.—Not unconscious, in the outset, of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome.—Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it….
Here, perhaps, I ought to stop.—But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments; which are the results of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a People.—These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsels.—Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.—
The Unity of Government which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you.—It is justly so;—for it is a main Pillar in the Edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquility at home; your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize.—But as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes, and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth;—as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness;—that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immoveable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts….
…Let me now …warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally.
This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind.—It exists under different shapes in all Governments, more or less stifled, controuled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy….
It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public administration.—It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.—It opens the doors to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the Government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the Administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the Spirit of Liberty.—This within certain limits is probably true—and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favour, upon the spirit of party.—But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.—From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose,—and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it.—A fire not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warning, it should consume….
Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.—Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?—It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.—Who can doubt that in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages, which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.—Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated.—The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.—Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.—Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed and bloody contests.—The Nation promoted by ill-will and resentment sometimes impels to War the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy.—The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject;—at other times, it makes the animosity of the Nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives.—The peace often, sometimes perhaps the Liberty, of Nations has been the victim….
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little Political connection as possible.—So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith.—Here let us stop….
In offering to you, my Countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression, I could wish,—that they will controul the usual current of the passions, or prevent our Nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of Nations.—But if I may even flatter myself, that they may be productive of some partial benefit; some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism, this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.—
How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public Records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to You, and to the World.—To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them….
…With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavour to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my Administration, I am unconscious of intentional error—I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.—Whatever they may be I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.—I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations;—I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good Laws under a free Government,—the ever favourite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labours, and dangers.Jefferson's First Inaugural Address
Despite George Washington's warnings about the dangers of party strife, his retirement from the presidency in 1797 loosed spirits of angry partisanship in the land. The Federalist Party, which won the election of 1796, passed laws (notably the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798) to stifle public criticism and undermine the opposition Democratic-Republican Party; the Democratic-Republicans quickly passed resolutions in Kentucky and Virginia to deny the federal government's right to impose its laws on resisting states.
In an 1800 rematch of the 1796 presidential election, Thomas Jefferson, the Democratic-Republican candidate, ran against the Federalist president John Adams. This time Jefferson won. The very fact of his inaugural address on March 4, 1801, was significant—it was the first inauguration in the new capital city of Washington, D.C., and it marked the first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another in the new nation. But the address also was significant because of what Jefferson said. Resisting the temptation to proclaim a partisan triumph, the new president insisted that “every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”
Friends and Fellow-Citizens….
During the contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as [Page 1859]bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full time of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter—with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is not appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the Habeas Corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.
I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it. Without pretensions to that high confidence you reposed in our first and greatest revolutionary character, whose preeminent services had entitled him to the first place in his country's love and destined for him the fairest page in the volume of faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs. I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. The approbation implied by your suffrage is a great consolation to me for the past, and my future solicitude will be to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.
Relying, then, on the patronage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choice it is in your power to make. And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.The Monroe Doctrine
President James Monroe is best known for the doctrine that bears his name. It was proclaimed in response to two foreign policy disputes in which the United States was involved during the early 1820s. The first was a Russian claim of land along the Pacific coast, from the Bering Straits south to some unspecified location. The other arose from rumored European plans to recolonize the newly independent nations of previously Spanish South America.
After frequent consultations with the cabinet and with former presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison during the fall of 1823, Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams resolved to declare the “new world” of the Americas off-limits to new attempts at colonization by the “old world” of Europe.
The Monroe Doctrine had almost no immediate effect: as it turned out, Europe was not planning to recolonize South America anyway; as for the Russians, they continued their efforts in the Pacific northwest. In later years, however, presidents invoked the doctrine on several occasions to assert special U.S. influence in South America.
This document is without doubt the most famous public statement ever delivered by James Monroe. It is quite possibly the most renowned doctrine ever promulgated by an American statesman—anywhere, at any time. Contrary to popular opinion, however, it was not delivered as a separate, isolated statement of American policy; rather, it was contained in Monroe's Seventh Annual Message to Congress (1823). In essence, the Doctrine consists of two basic points: that the two American continents are no longer to be considered subjects for future European colonization, and that any attempt by European powers to extend their influence into the Western Hemisphere would be considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives….
At the proposal of the Russian Imperial Government, made through the minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the minister of the United States at St. Petersburg to arrange by amicable negotiation the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent. A similar proposal had been made by His Imperial Majesty to the Government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded to. The Government of the United States has been desirous by this friendly proceeding of manifesting the great value which they have invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor and their solicitude to cultivate the best understanding with his Government. In the discussions to which this interest has given rise and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers….
It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the condition of the people of those countries, and that it appeared to be conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be remarked that the result has been so far very different from what was then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which we have so much intercourse and from which we derive our origin, we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly in favor of the liberty and happiness of their fellowmen on that side of the Atlantic. In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy to do so. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defense. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; and to the defense of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered and shall not interfere. But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States. In the war between those new Governments and Spain we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change shall occur which, in the judgment of the competent authorities of this Government, shall make a corresponding change on the part of the United States indispensable to their security.
The late events in Spain and Portugal shew that Europe is still unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on any principle satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by force in the internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be carried, on the same principle, is a question in which all independent powers whose governments differ from theirs are interested, even those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States. Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none. But in regard to those continents circumstances are eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of either [Page 1861]continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor can anyone believe that our southern brethren, if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition in any form with indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of Spain and those new Governments, and their distance from each other, it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the hope that other powers will pursue the same course….Jackson's Bank Bill Veto
Andrew Jackson's veto of a bill passed by Congress to renew the Bank of the United States’ charter was politically important at the time and of enduring importance as a bold assertion of presidential power.
Politically, the bank was a bastion of everything Jackson opposed—the East, the commercial elite, and the National Republican Party (soon to be known as the Whigs). Indeed, bank president Nicholas Biddle, encouraged by Henry Clay, the National Republican candidate for president in 1832, asked Congress to renew the bank's charter four years before the old charter was scheduled to expire in 1836 because Clay thought (erroneously) that a veto by Jackson would be a good issue in the election.
Jackson's veto message reflected an expansive view of the powers of the presidency. Previously, presidents had felt constrained to veto bills only on constitutional grounds, and an earlier version of the bank bill had been judged constitutional by the Supreme Court. But Jackson, in the first part of his message, attacked the bank renewal as bad public policy, setting a precedent for future presidents casting future vetoes. He went on to assert that the president and Congress have as much right to interpret the Constitution as the Court.
To the Senate:
The bill “to modify and continue” the act entitled “An act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States” was presented to me on the 4th July instant. Having considered it with that solemn regard to the principles of the Constitution which the day was calculated to inspire, and come to the conclusion that it ought not to become a law, I herewith return it to the Senate, in which it originated, with my objections….
The present [bank]…enjoys an exclusive privilege of banking under the authority of the general government, a monopoly of its favor and support, and, as a necessary consequence, almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange. The powers, privileges, and favors bestowed upon it in the original charter, by increasing the value of the stock far above its par value, operated as a gratuity of many millions to the stockholders….
The act before me proposes another gratuity to the holders of the same stock….
Every monopoly and all exclusive privileges are granted at the expense of the public, which ought to receive a fair equivalent. The many millions which this act proposes to bestow on the stockholders of the existing bank must come directly or indirectly out of the earnings of the American people….
It is maintained by the advocates of the bank that its constitutionality in all its features ought to be considered as settled by precedent and by the decision of the Supreme Court. To this conclusion I cannot assent. Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority and should not be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power except where the acquiescence of the people and the states can be considered as well settled. So far from this being the case on this subject, an argument against the bank might be based on precedent. One Congress in 1791 decided in favor of a bank; another in 1811 decided against it. One Congress in 1815 decided against a bank; another in 1816 decided in its favor. Prior to the present Congress, therefore, the precedents drawn from that source were equal. If we resort to the states, the expressions of legislative, judicial, and executive opinions against the bank have been probably to those in its favor as 4 to 1….
If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of this government. The Congress, the executive, and the court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision. The opinion of the judges has no more authority over Congress than the opinion of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the President is independent of both. The authority of the Supreme Court must not, therefore, be permitted to control the Congress or the executive when acting in their legislative capacities, but to have only such influence as the force of their reasoning may deserve….
The government is the only “proper” judge where its agents should reside and keep their offices, because it best knows where their presence will be “necessary.” It cannot, therefore, be “necessary” or “proper” to authorize the bank to locate branches where it pleases to perform the public service, without consulting the government and contrary to its will. The principle laid down by the Supreme Court concedes that Congress cannot establish a bank for purposes of private speculation and gain, but only as a means of executing the delegated powers of the general government. By the same principle a branch bank cannot constitutionally be established for other than public purposes. The power which this act gives to establish two branches in any state, without the injunction or request of the government and for other than public purposes, is not “necessary” to the due “execution” of the powers delegated to the Congress….
The principle is conceded that the states cannot rightfully tax the operations of the general government. They can not tax the money of the government deposited in the state banks nor [Page 1862]the agency of those banks remitting it; but will any man maintain that their mere selection to perform this public service for the general government would exempt the state banks and their ordinary business from state taxation? Had the United States, instead of establishing a bank at Philadelphia, employed a private banker to keep and transmit their funds, would it have deprived Pennsylvania of the right to tax his bank and his usual banking operations? …
It can not be “necessary” to the character of the bank as a fiscal agent of the government that its private business should be exempted from that taxation to which all the state banks are liable, nor can I conceive it “proper” that the substantive and most essential powers reserved by the states shall be thus attacked and annihilated as a means of executing the powers delegated to the general government. It may be safely assumed that none of those sages who had an agency in forming or adopting our Constitution ever imagined that any portion of the taxing power of the states not prohibited to them nor delegated to Congress was to be swept away and annihilated as a means of executing certain powers delegated to Congress.
If our power over means is so absolute that the Supreme Court will not call in question the constitutionality of an act of Congress the subject of which “is not prohibited, and is really calculated to effect any of the objects entrusted to the government,” although, as in the case before me, it takes away powers expressly granted to Congress and rights scrupulously reserved to the states, it becomes us to proceed in our legislation with the utmost caution. Though not directly, our own powers and the rights of the states may be indirectly legislated away in the use of means to execute substantive powers.
We may not enact that Congress shall not have the power of exclusive legislation over the District of Columbia, but we may pledge the faith of the United States that as a means of executing other powers it shall not be exercised for twenty years or forever. We may not pass an act prohibiting the states to tax the banking business carried on within their limits, but we may, as a means of executing our powers over other objects, place that business in the hands of our agents and then declare it exempt from state taxation in their hands. Thus may our own powers and the rights of the states, which we cannot directly curtail or invade, be frittered away and extinguished in the use of means employed by us to execute other powers. That a bank of the United States, competent to all the duties which may be required by the government, might be so organized as not to infringe on our own delegated powers or the reserved rights of the states I do not entertain a doubt….
Under such circumstances the bank comes forward and asks a renewal of its charter for a term of fifteen years upon conditions which not only operate as a gratuity to the stockholders of many millions of dollars but will sanction any abuses and legalize any encroachments….
The bank is professedly established as an agent of the executive branch of the government, and its constitutionality is maintained on that ground. Neither upon the propriety of present action nor upon the provisions of this act was the executive consulted. It has had no opportunity to say that it neither needs nor wants an agent clothed with such powers and favored by such exemptions. There is nothing in its legitimate functions which makes it necessary or proper. Whatever interest or influence, whether public or private, has given birth to this act, it cannot be found either in the wishes or necessities of the Executive Department, by which present action is deemed premature, and the powers conferred upon its agent not only unnecessary but dangerous to the government and country.
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics, and laborers—who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does it rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from these just principles.
Nor is our government to be maintained or our Union preserved by invasions of the rights and powers of the several states. In thus attempting to make our general government strong, we make it weak. Its true strength consists in leaving individuals and states as much as possible to themselves—in making itself felt, not in its power, but in its beneficence; not in its control, but in its protection; not in binding the states more closely to the center, but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit.
Experience should teach us wisdom. Most of the difficulties our government now encounters and most of the dangers which impend over our Union have sprung from an abandonment of the legitimate objects of government by our national legislation and the adoption of such principles as are embodied in this act. Many of our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits but have besought us to make them richer by act of Congress. By attempting to gratify their desires, we have in the results of our legislation arrayed section and section, interest against interest, and man against man, in a fearful commotion which threatens to shake the foundations of our Union.
It is time to pause in our career to review our principles and, if possible, revive that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise which distinguished the sages of the Revolution and the fathers of our Union. If we can not at once, in justice to interests vested under improvident legislation, make our government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, against any prostitution of our government to the advancement of a few at the expense of the many, and in favor of compromise and gradual reform in our code of laws and system of political economy.The Emancipation Proclamation
To Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War was a crusade not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it,” he wrote in a letter to the New York Herald. In the face of continuing Union frustration on the battlefield, however, Lincoln's hands-off policy on slavery jeopardized the support of abolitionists at home and European governments abroad. During the summer of 1862 Lincoln resolved to move against slavery, but he heeded the advice of his cabinet that he wait until after the Union army had won a battle. A partial military victory at Antietam in September was occasion enough, and on September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The rebellious states were told that unless they laid down their arms by January 1, 1863, their slaves would be legally free.
On New Year's Day, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation at a White House ceremony, saying, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.” Few slaves were freed right away, since the only slaves to whom the proclamation applied were in the states of the Confederacy. But abolitionists and European public opinion rallied to the North's cause and, in the long run, slavery was ended as the Union army regained more and more southern territory.
By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas on the 22d day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
“That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
“That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States.”
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaim for the full period of one hundred days from the first day above mentioned, order and designate as the State and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.
And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln appeared at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863, more than four months after the bloody battle that claimed more than 40,000 lives and provoked deep uncertainty on both sides about the strategy and objectives of the Civil War. The occasion was the dedication of the battlefield's cemetery. Realizing the symbolic potency of cemeteries and the uneasy state of the nation one year before his reelection campaign, Lincoln prepared intensely for his appearance.
Some scholars have argued that Lincoln's mere 272 words dramatically changed the basic creed of American politics. In the address, Lincoln raised the Declaration of Independence above the Constitution as the nation's guiding light, stressed the notion of equality of citizens, and began the process of rebuilding a nation bitterly consumed by the war.
More specifically, Lincoln's brief remarks gave the war a transcendent meaning that was not obvious amid the conflict's [Page 1864]confusion and misery. The president declared that the United States was a nation always in the process of becoming, not a nation already completed with the establishment of a constitutional system of government. He then called on his countrymen to “the great task remaining before us,” which was to remake the nation out of the misery of the Civil War.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address, which could not have lasted more than five minutes, on March 4, 1865, almost four years after the beginning of the Civil War. Six hundred thousand people had died in the war, but it clearly was drawing to an end. (Indeed, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia only a month later, on April 9.)
In style, Lincoln's second inaugural address is biblical—he quotes from the Old Testament, describes the hand of Providence in the war, and writes in cadences reminiscent of the King James Version. In substance, the address is tolerant and conciliatory toward the almost-defeated South, whose people he refers to as “adversaries,” not enemies. His concluding plea for “malice toward none” in the effort to “bind up the nation's wounds” is almost as well remembered as the first and last sentences of the Gettysburg Address.
At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.
One eighth of the whole population was colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must [Page 1865]be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
The Constitution stipulates that the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives is charged to impeach the president by majority vote; the Senate, with the chief justice of the United States presiding, then tries the president and decides whether to convict and remove. A two-thirds majority of senators is required to do so. Andrew Johnson, who was elected vice president in 1864 and succeeded to the presidency when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, is the only president to undergo the entire impeachment process until Bill Clinton in 1998. Johnson was very unpopular in the Republican-controlled Congress because he wished to pursue a conciliatory policy of Reconstruction toward the southern states that had seceded from the Union and been defeated in the Civil War. The major formal charge against Johnson, however, was that he had violated the Tenure of Office Act of 1867 by firing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton without obtaining the Senate's approval. The House impeached him on that charge on March 2 and 3, 1868, and on May 16 and 26 the Senate voted for conviction and removal by a margin of 35 to 19—one vote shy of the required two-thirds majority. Johnson served out the remainder of the term.Articles of Impeachment
ARTICLES EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN THE NAME OF THEMSELVES AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, AGAINST ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, IN MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF THEIR IMPEACHMENT AGAINST HIM FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS IN OFFICE.
That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, on the 21st day of February, A.D. 1868, at Washington, in the District of Columbia, unmindful of the high duties of his office, of his oath of office, and of the requirement of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, did unlawfully and in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States issue an order in writing for the removal of Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War, said Edwin M. Stanton having been theretofore duly appointed and commissioned, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, as such Secretary; and said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, on the 12th day of August, A.D. 1867, and during the recess of said Senate, having suspended by his order Edwin M. Stanton from said office, and within twenty days after the first day of the next meeting of said Senate—that is to say, on the 12th day of December, in the year last aforesaid—having reported to said Senate such suspension, with the evidence and reasons for his action in the case and the name of the person designated to perform the duties of such office temporarily until the next meeting of the Senate; and said Senate there-afterwards, on the 13th day of January, A.D. 1868, having duly considered the evidence and reasons reported by said Andrew Johnson for said suspension, and having refused to concur in said suspension, whereby and by force of the provisions of an act entitled “An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices,” passed March 2, 1867, said Edwin M. Stanton did forthwith resume the functions of his office, whereof the said Andrew Johnson had then and there due notice; and said Edwin M. Stanton, by reason of the premises, on said 21st day of February, being lawfully entitled to hold said office of Secretary for the Department of War; which said order for the removal of said Edwin M. Stanton is in substance as follows; that is to say:
Washington, D.C., February 21, 1868.
HON. EDWIN M. STANTON,
SIR: By virtue of the power and authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States, you are hereby removed from office as Secretary for the Department of War, and your functions as such will terminate upon the receipt of this communication.
You will transfer to Brevet Major-General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant-General of the Army, who has this day been authorized and empowerd to act as secretary of War ad interim, all records, books, papers, and other public property now in your custody and charge.
Which order was unlawfully issued with intent then and there to violate the act entitled “An act regulating the tenure of certain civil offices,” passed March 2, 1867, and with the further intent, contrary to the provisions of said act, in violation thereof, and contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and without the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, the said Senate then and there being in session, to remove said Edwin M. Stanton from the office of Secretary for the Department of War, the said Edwin M. Stanton being then and there Secretary for the Department of War, and being then and there in the due and lawful execution and discharge of the duties of said office; whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then and there commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office….[Articles II Through IX Omitted]
That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist and be maintained between the executive and legislative branches of the Government of the United States, designing and intending to set aside the rightful authority and powers of Congress, did attempt to bring disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach to the Congress of the United States and the several branches thereof, to impair and destroy the regard and respect of all the good people of the United States for the Congress and legislative power thereof (which all officers of the Government ought inviolably to preserve and maintain) and to excite the odium and resentment of all the good people of the United States against Congress and the laws by it duly and constitutionally enacted; and, in pursuance of his said design and intent, openly and publicly, and before divers assemblages of the citizens of the United States, convened in divers parts thereof to meet and receive said Andrew Johnson as the Chief Magistrate of the United States, did, on the 18th day of August, A.D. 1866, and on divers other days and times, as well before as afterwards, make and deliver with a loud voice certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues, and did therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces, as well against Congress as the laws of the United States, duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeers, and laughter of the multitudes then assembled and in hearing, …
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Clerk of the House of RepresentativesPendleton Act
The effort to reform the federal civil service by replacing the “spoils system” (under which government employees were hired and fired by elected officials) with a “merit system” (under which personnel decisions would be made nonpolitically, according to ability) was a prominent feature of American politics after the Civil War. In 1881 President James A. Garfield was assassinated by Charles Guiteau, who was enraged that he had not received a government job as reward for his labors on behalf of Garfield's candidacy in the 1880 election. In the atmosphere of revulsion against spoils that followed the assassination, Congress passed the Pendleton Act of 1883.
The Pendleton Act created the Civil Service Commission and stated several ideals that were to guide its labors. Partisan activity and family and personal connections as reasons for hiring, promoting, and firing government employees were to be replaced by competitive examinations and performance-based promotion and retention policies. In the short term, only 10 percent of the federal civil service was covered by the new rules, but the act empowered the president to extend the coverage to additional categories of employees. Over time, virtually the entire civil service became “merit”-based by virtue of presidential decisions.
An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States.
Be it enacted …, That the President is authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three persons, not more than two of whom shall be adherents of the same party, as Civil Service Commissioners, and said three commissioners shall constitute the United States Civil Service Commission. Said commissioners shall hold no other official place under the United States.
SEC. 2. That it shall be the duty of said commissioners:
FIRST. To aid the President, as he may request, in preparing suitable rules for carrying this act into effect, and when said rules shall have been promulgated it shall be the duty of all officers of the United States in the departments and offices to which any such rules may relate to aid, in all proper ways, in carrying said rules, and any modifications thereof, into effect.
SECOND. And, among other things, said rules shall provide and declare, as nearly as the first conditions of good administration will warrant, as follows:
First, for open, competitive examinations for testing the fitness of applicants for the public service now classified or to be classified hereunder. Such examinations shall be practical in their character, and so far as may be shall relate to those matters which will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the persons examined to discharge the duties of the service into which they seek to be appointed.
Second, that all the offices, places, and employments so arranged or to be arranged in classes shall be filled by selections according to grade from among those graded highest as the results of such competitive examinations.
Third, appointments to the public service aforesaid in the departments at Washington shall be apportioned among the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia upon the basis of population as ascertained at the last preceding census….
Fourth, that there shall be a period of probation before any absolute appointment or employment aforesaid.
Fifth, that no person in the public service is for that reason under any obligations to contribute to any political fund, or to render any political service, and that he will not be removed or otherwise prejudiced for refusing to do so.
Sixth, that no person in said service has any right to use his official authority or influence to coerce the political action of any person or body….
SEC. 6…. That from time to time [the secretary of the Treasury,] the Postmaster-General, and each of the heads of departments mentioned in …[Section 158] …of the Revised Statutes, and each head of an office, shall, on the direction of the President, and for facilitating the execution of this act, respectively revise any then existing classification or arrangement of those in their respective departments and offices, and shall, for the purposes of the examination herein provided for, include in one or more of such classes, so far as practicable, [Page 1867]subordinate places, clerks, and officers in the public service pertaining to their respective departments not before classified for examinations….
SEC. 8. That no person habitually using intoxicating beverages to excess shall be appointed to, or retained in, any office, appointment, or employment to which the provisions of this act are applicable.
SEC. 9. That whenever there are already two or more members of a family in the public service in the grades covered by this act, no other member of such family shall be eligible to appointment to any of said grades.
SEC. 10. That no recommendation of any person who shall apply for office or place under the provisions of this act which may be given by any Senator or member of the House of Representatives, except as to the character or residence of the applicant, shall be received or considered by any person concerned in making any examination or appointment under this act….Theodore Roosevelt's “New Nationalism” Speech
Theodore Roosevelt voluntarily stepped down as president at the end of his term in 1909, two years shy of his fiftieth birthday. His “New Nationalism” speech was delivered almost a year and a half later, at the August 31, 1910, dedication of the John Brown Battlefield at Osawatomie, Kansas. In between those two dates, Roosevelt had witnessed the inauguration of his chosen successor, William Howard Taft, as president, then had become increasingly disillusioned with Taft's conservative leadership.
When it was delivered, the New Nationalism speech (the phrase was writer Herbert Croly's) was widely regarded as the kickoff to another presidential candidacy. In fact, Roosevelt did seek the Republican nomination in 1912 and, when Taft was nominated instead, ran as the Progressive, or “Bull Moose” candidate. (Both he and Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson.)
But Roosevelt's speech is of enduring interest because it embodies the philosophy that he brought to political life in general and to the presidency in particular. He warned of the dangers of rising concentrations of corporate power and, by implication, union power. Bigness in the private sector was not intrinsically bad, Roosevelt argued, but big business and big labor were prone to commit abuses of power that could be checked only by a large and active federal government. Within that government, the president must be “the steward of the public welfare.”
I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service….
Now, this means that our government, national and state, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests…. We must drive the special interests out of politics…. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.
The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man's making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.
We must have complete and effective publicity of corporate affairs so that the people may know beyond peradventure whether the corporations obey the law and whether their management entitles them to the confidence of the public. It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced. Corporate expenditures for political purposes, and especially such expenditures by public service corporations, have supplied one of the principal sources of corruption in our political affairs.
It has become entirely clear that we must have government supervision of the capitalization, not only of public service corporations, including, particularly, railways, but of all corporations doing an interstate business. I do not wish to see the nation forced into the ownership of the railways if it can possibly be avoided, and the only alternative is thoroughgoing and effective regulation, which shall be based on a full knowledge of all the facts, including a physical valuation of property….
We have come to recognize that franchises should never be granted, except for a limited time, and never without proper provision for compensation to the public. It is my personal belief that the same kind and degree of control and supervision which should be exercised over public service corporations should be extended also to combinations which control necessaries of life, such as meat, oil, and coal, or which deal in them on an important scale. I have no doubt that the ordinary man who has control of them is much like ourselves. I have no doubt he would like to do well, but I want to have enough supervision to help him realize that desire to do well.
I believe that the officers, and, especially, the directors, of corporations should be held personally responsible when any corporation breaks the law.
Combinations in industry are the result of an imperative economic law which cannot be repealed by political legislation. The effort at prohibiting all combination has substantially failed. The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare. For that purpose the Federal Bureau of Corporations is an agency of first importance. Its powers, and, therefore, its efficiency, as well as that of the Interstate Commerce Commission, should be largely increased. We have a right to expect from the Bureau of Corporations and from the [Page 1868]Interstate Commerce Commission a very high grade of public service. We should be as sure of the proper conduct of the interstate railways and the proper management of interstate business as we are now sure of the conduct and management of the national banks, and we should have as effective supervision in one case as in the other….
There is a widespread belief among our people that, under the methods of making tariffs which have hitherto obtained, the special interests are too influential. Probably this is true of both the big special interests and the little special interests. These methods have put a premium on selfishness, and, naturally, the selfish big interests have gotten more than their smaller, though equally selfish, brothers. The duty of Congress is to provide a method by which the interest of the whole people shall be all that receives consideration. To this end there must be an expert tariff commission, wholly removed from the possibility of political pressure or of improper business influence. Such a commission can find the real difference between cost of production, which is mainly the difference of labor cost here and abroad. As fast as its recommendations are made, I believe in revising one schedule at a time. A general revision of the tariff almost inevitably leads to logrolling and the subordination of the general public interest to local and special interests.
The absence of effective state and, especially, national restraint upon unfair money getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise…. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.
No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar's worth of service rendered—not gambling in stocks but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective—a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.
The people of the United States suffer from periodical financial panics to a degree substantially unknown among the other nations which approach us in financial strength. There is no reason why we should suffer what they escape. It is of profound importance that our financial system should be promptly investigated and so thoroughly and effectively revised as to make it certain that hereafter our currency will no longer fail at critical times to meet our needs….
Nothing is more true than that excess of every kind is followed by reaction; a fact which should be pondered by reformer and reactionary alike. We are face to face with new conceptions of the relations of property to human welfare, chiefly because certain advocates of the rights of property as against the rights of men have been pushing their claims too far. The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.
But I think we may go still further. The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted. Let us admit also the right to regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good. The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which he will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him; but if he is a worthy man, try your best to see that he gets a chance to show the worth that is in him.
No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living and hours of labor short enough so that after his day's work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life with which we surround them. We need comprehensive workmen's compensation acts, both state and national laws to regulate child labor and work for women, and, especially, we need in our common schools not merely education in book learning but also practical training for daily life and work. We need to enforce better sanitary conditions for our workers and to extend the use of safety appliances for our workers in industry and commerce, both within and between the states. Also, friends, in the interest of the workingman himself we need to set our faces like flint against mob violence just as against corporate greed; against violence and injustice and lawlessness by wage workers just as much as against lawless cunning and greed and selfish arrogance of employers.
If I could ask but one thing of my fellow countrymen, my request would be that, whenever they go in for reform, they remember the two sides, and that they always exact justice from one side as much as from the other. I have small use for the public servant who can always see and denounce the corruption of the capitalist, but who cannot persuade himself to say a word about lawless mob violence. And I have equally small use for the man, be he a judge on the bench, or editor of a great paper, or wealthy and influential private citizen, who can see clearly enough and denounce the lawlessness of mob violence, but whose eyes are closed so that he is blind when the question is one of corruption in business on a gigantic scale….
I do not ask for overcentralization; but I do ask that we work in a spirit of broad and far-reaching nationalism when we work for what concerns our people as a whole. We are all Americans. Our common interests are as broad as the continent. I speak to you here in Kansas exactly as I would speak in New York or Georgia, for the most vital problems are those which affect us all alike. The national government belongs to the whole American people, and where the whole American people are interested, that interest can be guarded effectively only by the national government. The betterment which we seek must be accomplished, I believe, mainly through the national government.
The American people are right in demanding that New Nationalism, without which we cannot hope to deal with new problems. The New Nationalism puts the national need before [Page 1869]sectional or personal advantage. It is impatient of the utter confusion that results from local legislatures attempting to treat national issues as local issues. It is still more impatient of the impotence which springs from overdivision of governmental powers, the impotence which makes it possible for local selfishness or for legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests, to bring national activities to a deadlock. This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare. It demands of the judiciary that it shall be interested primarily in human welfare rather than in property, just as it demands that the representative body shall represent all the people rather than any one class or section of people….
One of the fundamental necessities in a representative government such as ours is to make certain that the men to whom the people delegate their power shall serve the people by whom they are elected and not the special interests. I believe that every national officer, elected or appointed, should be forbidden to perform any service or receive any compensation, directly or indirectly, from interstate corporations; and a similar provision could not fail to be useful within the states.
The object of government is the welfare of the people. The material progress and prosperity of a nation are desirable chiefly so far as they lead to the moral and material welfare of all good citizens. Just in proportion as the average man and woman are honest, capable of sound judgment and high ideals, active in public affairs—but, first of all, sound in their homelife, and the father and mother of healthy children whom they bring up well—just so far, and no farther, we may count our civilization a success. We must have—I believe we have already—a genuine and permanent moral awakening, without which no wisdom of legislation or administration really means anything; and, on the other hand, we must try to secure the social and economic legislation without which any improvement due to purely moral agitation is necessarily evanescent.Wilson's ”Fourteen Points” Speech
Almost from the moment the United States entered World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to issue a clear statement of U.S. objectives in the war against Germany. He was dissuaded from doing so by the argument that any such statement could foster disagreement among the other Allied governments. In December 1917, however, the new Bolshevik government in Russia released copies of the old tsarist government's secret treaties with the Allies, charging that the documents proved that both sides in the war were fighting only in pursuit of selfish national interests. In response to Russia's action, Wilson resolved to publish a statement of U.S. objectives that was more idealistic.
The “Fourteen Points” speech (each point described a U.S. war aim) was delivered to Congress on January 8, 1918. The speech was successful both as an answer to the Bolsheviks and as the initial framework for peace. The armistice agreement that ended the war on November 11, 1918, recognized the fourteen points as the basis for a negotiated settlement. Much of its idealism was lost in the writing of the Treaty of Versailles, but Wilson's proposal to create a League of Nations was accepted. Much to Wilson's disappointment, the U.S. Senate refused to allow the United States to join the league.
…We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, as we see it, is this:
I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.
III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.
IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.
V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.
VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.
VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No [Page 1870]other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of internal law is forever impaired.
VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.
IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.
X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.
XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.
XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.
XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.
XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike….
We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question. An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak. Unless this principle be made its foundation no part of the structure of international justice can stand. The people of the United States could act upon no other principle; and to the vindication of this principle they are ready to devote their lives, their honor, and everything that they possess. The moral climax of this the culminating and final war for human liberty has come, and they are ready to put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their own integrity and devotion to the test.Teapot Dome Resolution
Warren G. Harding, who was president from 1921 until his death in 1923, presided over one of the most corrupt administrations in history. The most notorious scandal of his tenure involved the naval oil reserves at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, and Elk Hills, California. In 1921 Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall persuaded Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby to transfer these oil fields to the Interior Department, with Harding's approval. Fall then leased them without competitive bidding—Teapot Dome to Harry Sinclair's Mammoth Oil Co. and Elk Hills to Edward L. Doheny's Pan-American Co. In October 1923, after an eighteen-month investigation and two months after Harding's death, a Senate committee exposed the scandal in public hearings.
The Teapot Dome scandal eventually led to the resignation of Denby, the cancellation of the oil leases, the firing of Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty, who had refused to cooperate with the Senate investigation and had ordered federal agents to spy on certain senators, and the imprisonment of Sinclair and Fall. Congress cancelled the leases by a joint resolution adopted February 8, 1924. President Calvin Coolidge, who succeeded Harding, heeded Congress's call to investigate and prosecute vigorously.
A joint resolution directing the President to institute and prosecute suits to cancel certain leases of oil lands and incidental contracts, and for other purposes.
Whereas it appears from evidence taken by the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys of the United States Senate that certain lease of naval reserve No. 3, in the State of Wyoming, bearing date April 7, 1922, made in form by the Government of the United States, through Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior, and Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy, as lessor, to the Mammoth Oil Co., as lessee, and that certain contract between the Government of the United States and the Pan American Petroleum & Transport Co., dated April 25, 1922, signed by Edward C. Finney, Acting Secretary of the Interior, and Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy, relating among other things to the construction of oil tanks at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, and that certain lease of naval reserve No. 1, in the State of California, bearing date December 11, 1922, made in form by the Government of the United States through Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior, and Edwin Denby, Secretary of the Navy, as lessor, to the Pan American Petroleum Co., as lessee, were executed under circumstances indicating fraud and corruption; and
Whereas the said leases and contract were entered into without authority on the part of the officers purporting to act in the execution of the same for the United States and in violation of the laws of Congress; and
Whereas such leases and contract were made in defiance of the settled policy of the Government adhered to through three successive administrations, to maintain in the ground a great reserve supply of oil adequate to the needs of the Navy in any emergency threatening the national security: Therefore be it
Resolved, etc., That the said leases and contract are against the public interest and that the lands embraced therein should [Page 1871]be recovered and held for the purpose to which they were dedicated; and
Resolved further, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, authorized and directed immediately to cause suit to be instituted and prosecuted for the annulment and cancellation of the said leases and contract and all contracts incidental or supplemental thereto, to enjoin further extraction of oil from the said reserves under said lease or from the territory covered by the same, to secure any further appropriate incidental relief, and to prosecute such other actions or proceedings, civil and criminal, as may be warranted by the facts in relation to the making of the said leases and contract.
And the President is further authorized and directed to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, special counsel who shall have charge and control of the prosecution of such litigation, anything in the statutes touching the powers of the Attorney General of the Department of Justice to the contrary notwithstanding.Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president to be inaugurated on March 4; the Twentieth Amendment (1933) advanced the start of the president's term to January 20. During the long winter between Roosevelt's election victory over President Herbert C. Hoover in November 1932 (the most overwhelming defeat of an incumbent president in history) and his inauguration, the depression that had sunk the nation into economic inactivity had worsened. Factories to produce goods and land to grow food and other crops were abundant but had fallen into disuse.
Roosevelt saw his main challenge as restoring the people's confidence and raising their morale. In the best-remembered line from his address, he proclaimed that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Roosevelt pledged to pursue active and helpful government policies to combat the depression, using and perhaps extending the full powers of the presidency to do so.
Roosevelt's distant relative, former president Theodore Roosevelt, had been the first to describe the presidency as a “bully pulpit” for moral leadership. Franklin Roosevelt made full use of the pulpit in 1933 and afterward. In response to his first inaugural address, half a million people wrote him to express their thanks and support, an unprecedented outpouring of mail.
President Hoover, Mr. Chief Justice, my friends:
This is a day of national consecration, and I am certain that my fellow-Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our nation impels.
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.
So first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen, government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.
Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. True, they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money.
Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers.
They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.
The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.
Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This nation asks for action, and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.
It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this, we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in the redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss, through foreclosure, of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act, and act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
These are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States….
I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require.
These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.
But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me.
I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.
We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.
We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.
In this dedication of a nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.United States V. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation
This landmark Supreme Court case endorsed an expansive view of presidential power in foreign affairs, which was all the more remarkable because the Court had been unusually hostile to the New Deal domestic policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Indeed, the author of the Court's December 21, 1936, opinion, Justice George Sutherland, was one of the New Deal's most ardent judicial foes. Yet in United States v. Curtiss-Wright (299 U.S. 304), Sutherland and all but one of his fellow justices (James C. McReynolds) promulgated a constitutional theory that regarded “the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations.”
The case was triggered by the government's effort to limit a war between Bolivia and Paraguay. Congress had empowered the president to prohibit the sale of U.S. made arms to the two nations. The Curtiss-Wright corporation was charged with conspiring to sell machine guns to Bolivia in violation of the president's order not to do so. It challenged the law under which the president acted by saying that it involved an unconstitutional delegation of power from Congress to the president.
…It will contribute to the elucidation of the question if we first consider the differences between the powers of the federal [Page 1873]government in respect of foreign or external affairs and those in respect of domestic or internal affairs. That there are differences between them, and that these differences are fundamental, may not be doubted.
The two classes of powers are different, both in respect of their origin and their nature. The broad statement that the federal government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs. In that field, the primary purpose of the Constitution was to carve from the general mass of legislative powers then possessed by the states such portions as it was thought desirable to vest in the federal government, leaving those not included in the enumeration still in the States. That this doctrine applies only to powers which the states had, is self evident. And since the states severally never possessed international powers, such powers could not have been carved from the mass of state powers but obviously were transmitted to the United States from some other source. During the colonial period, those powers were possessed exclusively by and were entirely under control of the Crown….
As a result of the separation from Great Britain by the colonies acting as a unit, the powers of external sovereignty passed from the Crown not to the colonies severally, but to the colonies in their collective and corporate capacity as the United States of America….
The Union existed before the Constitution, which was ordained and established among other things to form “a more perfect Union.” …
It results that the investment of the federal government with the powers of external sovereignty did not depend upon the affrmative grants of the Constitution. The powers to declare and wage war, to conclude peace, to make treaties, to maintain diplomatic relations with other sovereignties, if they had never been mentioned in the Constitution, would have vested in the federal government as necessary concomitants of nationality….
Not only, as we have shown, is the federal power over external affairs in origin and essential character different from that over internal affairs, but participation in the exercise of the power is significantly limited. In this vast external realm, with its important, complicated, delicate and manifold problems, the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it….
It is important to bear in mind that we are here dealing not only with an authority vested in the President by an exertion of legislative power, but with such an authority plus the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations—a power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress, but which, of course, like every other government power, must be exercised in subordination to the applicable provisions of the Constitution. It is quite apparent that if, in the maintenance of our international relations, embarrassment—perhaps serious embarrassment—is to be avoided and success for our aims achieved, congressional legislation which is to be made effective through negotiation and inquiry within the international field must often accord to the President a degree of discretion and freedom from statutory restriction which would not be admissible were domestic affairs alone involved. Moreover he, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing the conditions which prevail in foreign countries, and especially is this true in time of war. He has his confidential sources of information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other officials. Secrecy in respect of information gathered by them may be highly necessary and the premature disclosure of it productive of harmful results….
In the light of the foregoing observations, it is evident that this court should not be in haste to apply a general rule which will have the effect of condemning legislation like that under review as constituting an unlawful delegation of legislative power. The principles which justify such legislation find overwhelming support in the unbroken legislative practice which has prevailed almost from the inception of the national government to the present day….Franklin D. Roosevelt's “Four Freedoms” Speech
After World War I the United States sank into a mood of isolationism in foreign policy that was embodied by the slogan, “America first!” Beginning in 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to alert the nation to the “solidarity and interdependence about the modern world, …which makes it impossible for any nation completely to isolate itself from political and economic upheavals in the rest of the world.” But public response was tepid to his call to “quarantine” aggressor nations for the sake of national self-interest.
In 1941 Roosevelt took another tack in his effort to promote U.S. aid to nations that were at war with the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. In his January 6, 1941, State of the Union Address, Roosevelt appealed to American idealism by citing “four essential human freedoms” to which all people were entitled. The first two—freedom of speech and expression and freedom of religion—derived from the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. The third—freedom from want—extended the New Deal view of economic sufficiency to the international arena. The fourth was freedom from fear, which ultimately meant widespread disarmament.
The “Four Freedoms” speech roused public support for Roosevelt's lend-lease program of military aid to Great Britain and the Soviet Union and was incorporated into the Atlantic Charter, which stated Allied war aims.
…Let us say to the democracies:
We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources and our [Page 1874]organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. That is our purpose and our pledge….
Yes, and we must prepare, all of us prepare, to make the sacrifices that the emergency—almost as serious as war itself—demands. Whatever stands in the way of speed and efficiency in defense, in defense preparations at any time, must give way to the national need.
A free nation has the right to expect full cooperation from all groups. A free nation has the right to look to the leaders of business, of labor and of agriculture to take the lead in stimulating effort, not among other groups but within their own groups….
As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armament alone. Those who man our defenses and those behind them who build our defenses must have the stamina and the courage which come from unshakable belief in the manner of life which they are defending. The mighty action that we are calling for cannot be based on a disregard for all the things worth fighting for.
The nation takes great satisfaction and much strength from the things which have been done to make its people conscious of their individual stakes in the preservation of democratic life in America. Those things have toughened the fiber of our people, have renewed their faith and strengthened their devotion to the institutions we make ready to protect.
Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world. For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.
The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:
Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The employment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.
These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations….
I have called for personal sacrifice, and I am assured of the willingness of almost all Americans to respond to that call. A part of the sacrifice means the payment of more money in taxes. In my budget message I will recommend that a greater portion of this great defense program be paid for from taxation than we are paying for today. No person should try, or be allowed to get rich out of the program, and the principle of tax payments in accordance with ability to pay should be constantly before our eyes to guide our legislation.
If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead of pocketbooks, will give you their applause.
In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
To that new order we oppose the greater conception—the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual, peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly, adjusting itself to changing conditions without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.
This nation has placed its destiny in the hands, heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women, and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.
To that high concept there can be no end save victory.Truman's Point Four Message
On January 20, 1949, President Harry S. Truman delivered an inaugural address organized around four main points. He especially emphasized point four, in which he called for “a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas.” Part of Truman's motive was altruistic; the underdeveloped nations were suffering economically. Part of the motive was political. The United States had been laboring to halt the spread of communism in Europe and wanted to do the same in Africa, Asia, and South America.
The Point Four program was spelled out in detail in a special message that Truman sent to Congress on June 24, 1949. In 1950 [Page 1875]Congress passed the Act for International Development and also appropriated money for the technical assistance program of the United Nations.
U.S. foreign aid falls into two main categories: military aid and economic aid. The latter originated with Truman's Point Four program.
To the Congress of the United States:
In order to enable the United States, in cooperation with other countries, to assist the peoples of economically underdeveloped areas to raise their standards of living, I recommend the enactment of legislation to authorize an expanded program of technical assistance for such areas, and an experimental program for encouraging the outflow of private investment beneficial to their economic development. These measures are the essential first steps in an undertaking which will call upon private enterprise and voluntary organizations in the United States, as well as the Government, to take part in a constantly growing effort to improve economic conditions in the less developed regions of the world.
The grinding poverty and the lack of economic opportunity for many millions of people in the economically underdeveloped parts of Africa, the Near and Far East, and certain regions of Central and South America, constitute one of the greatest challenges of the world today. In spite of their age-old economic and social handicaps, the peoples in these areas have in recent decades been stirred and awakened. The spread of industrial civilization, the growing understanding of modern concepts of government, and the impact of two world wars have changed their lives and their outlook. They are eager to play a greater part in the community of nations.
All these areas have a common problem. They must create a firm economic base for the democratic aspirations of their citizens. Without such an economic base, they will be unable to meet the expectations which the modern world has aroused in their peoples. If they are frustrated and disappointed, they may turn to false doctrines which hold that the way of progress lies through tyranny….
The major effort in such a program must be local in character; it must be made by the people of the underdeveloped areas themselves. It is essential, however, to the success of their effort that there be help from abroad. In some cases, the peoples of these areas will be unable to begin their part of this great enterprise without initial aid from other countries.
The aid that is needed falls roughly into two categories. The first is the technical, scientific and managerial knowledge necessary to economic development. This category includes not only medical and educational knowledge, and assistance and advice in such basic fields as sanitation, communications, road building and governmental services, but also, and perhaps most important, assistance in the survey of resources and in planning for long-range economic development.
The second category is production goods—machinery and equipment—and financial assistance in the creation of productive enterprises. The underdeveloped areas need capital for port and harbor development, roads and communications, irrigation and drainage projects, as well as for public utilities and the whole range of extractive, processing and manufacturing industries. Much of the capital required can be provided by these areas themselves, in spite of their low standards of living. But much must come from abroad.
The two categories of aid are closely related. Technical assistance is necessary to lay the groundwork for productive investment. Investment, in turn, brings with it technical assistance. In general, however, technical surveys of resources and of the possibilities of economic development must precede substantial capital investment. Furthermore, in many of the areas concerned, technical assistance in improving sanitation, communications or education is required to create conditions in which capital investment can be fruitful….
In addition to our participation in this work of the United Nations, much of the technical assistance required can be provided directly by the United States to countries needing it. A careful examination of the existing information concerning the underdeveloped countries shows particular need for technicians and experts with United States training in plant and animal diseases, malaria and typhus control, water supply and sewer systems, metallurgy and mining, and nearly all phases of industry.
It has already been shown that experts in these fields can bring about tremendous improvements. For example, the health of the people of many foreign communities has been greatly improved by the work of United States sanitary engineers in setting up modern water supply systems. The food supply of many areas has been increased as the result of the advice of United States agricultural experts in the control of animal diseases and the improvement of crops. These are only examples of the wide range of benefits resulting from the careful application of modern techniques to local problems. The benefits which a comprehensive program of expert assistance will make possible can only be revealed by studies and surveys undertaken as a part of the program itself….
Many of these conditions of instability in underdeveloped areas which deter foreign investment are themselves a consequence of the lack of economic development which only foreign investment can cure. Therefore, to wait until stable conditions are assured before encouraging the outflow of capital to underdeveloped areas would defer the attainment of our objectives indefinitely. It is necessary to take vigorous action now to break out of this vicious circle.
Since the development of underdeveloped economic areas is of major importance in our foreign policy, it is appropriate to use the resources of the government to accelerate private efforts toward that end….
The enactment of these two legislative proposals, the first pertaining to technical assistance and the second to the encouragement of foreign investment, will constitute a national endorsement of a program of major importance in our efforts for world peace and economic stability. Nevertheless, these measures are only the first steps. We are here embarking on a venture that extends far into the future. We are at the beginning of a rising curve of activity, private, governmental and international, that will continue for many years to come. It is all the more important, therefore, that we start promptly….
Before the peoples of these areas we hold out the promise of a better future through the democratic way of life. It is vital that we move quickly to bring the meaning of that promise home to them in their daily lives.Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. V. Sawyer
On April 8, 1952, President Harry S. Truman ordered Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer to seize the nation's privately owned steel mills and keep them in operation. Truman acted partly out of the fear that an impending strike of the steel unions would jeopardize U.S. ability to maintain its military effort in the Korean War. His order was challenged quickly and was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 2, 1952, in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer (343 U.S. 579).
Although Truman lost the case, his constitutional claim that the president has an inherent, unstated constitutional power to act in national emergencies was accepted, to one degree or another, by a majority of the justices. Justice Hugo L. Black, delivering the opinion of the Court, rejected this claim (as did Justice William O. Douglas). But the three dissenting justices (Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson and Justices Sherman Minton and Stanley F. Reed) and at least two of the justices who voted with Black endorsed it to one degree or another. Justice Robert H. Jackson, for example, voted with Black, but only because Congress had expressly denied the president powers of seizure. Still, Jackson argued that an inherent executive power did exist.
[Justice Black delivered the opinion of the Court.]
We are asked to decide whether the President was acting within his constitutional power when he issued an order directing the Secretary of Commerce to take possession of and operate most of the Nation's steel mills. The mill owners argue that the President's order amounts to lawmaking, a legislative function which the Constitution has expressly confided to the Congress and not to the President. The Government's position is that the order was made on findings of the President that his action was necessary to avert a national catastrophe which would inevitably result from a stoppage of steel production, and that in meeting this grave emergency the President was acting within the aggregate of his constitutional powers as the Nation's Chief Executive and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States….
Two crucial issues have developed: First. Should final determination of the constitutional validity of the President's order be made in this case which has proceeded no further than the preliminary injunction stage? Second. If so, is the seizure order within the constitutional power of the President? …
The President's power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. There is no statute that expressly authorizes the President to take possession of property as he did here. Nor is there any act of Congress to which our attention has been directed from which such a power can fairly be implied. Indeed, we do not understand the Government to rely on statutory authorization for this seizure….
Moreover, the use of the seizure technique to solve labor disputes in order to prevent work stoppages was not only unauthorized by any congressional enactment; prior to this controversy, Congress had refused to adopt that method of settling labor disputes. When the Taft-Hartley Act was under consideration in 1947, Congress rejected an amendment which would have authorized such governmental seizures in cases of emergency….
It is clear that if the President had authority to issue the order he did, it must be found in some provisions of the Constitution.
And it is not claimed that express constitutional language grants this power to the President. The contention is that presidential power should be implied from the aggregate of his powers under the Constitution. Particular reliance is placed on provisions in Article II which say that “the executive Power shall be vested in a President …”; that “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”; and that he “shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”
The order cannot properly be sustained as an exercise of the President's military power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Government attempts to do so by citing a number of cases upholding broad powers in military commanders engaged in day-to-day fighting in a theater of war. Such cases need not concern us here. Even though “theater of war” be an expanding concept, we cannot with faithfulness to our constitutional system hold that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has the ultimate power as such to take possession of private property in order to keep labor disputes from stopping production. This is a job for the Nation's lawmakers, not for its military authorities.
Nor can the seizure order be sustained because of the several constitutional provisions that grant executive power to the President. In the framework of our Constitution, the President's power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker. The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad. And the Constitution is neither silent nor equivocal about who shall make laws which the President is to execute. The first section of the first article says that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” After granting many powers to the Congress, Article I goes on to provide that Congress may “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” …
It is said that other Presidents without congressional authority have taken possession of private business enterprises in order to settle labor disputes. But even if this be true, Congress has not thereby lost its exclusive constitutional authority to make laws necessary and proper to carry out the powers vested by the Constitution “in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
The Founders of this Nation entrusted the lawmaking power to the Congress alone in both good and bad times. It would do no good to recall the historical events, the fears of power and the hopes for freedom that lay behind their choice. Such a review would but confirm our holding that this seizure order cannot stand.
The Judgment of the District Court is affirmed.
[Dissent by Chief Justice Vinson, in which Justice Reed and Justice Minton joined.]
…Those who suggest that this is a case involving extraordinary powers should be mindful that these are extraordinary [Page 1877]times. A world not yet recovered from the devastation of World War II has been forced to face the threat of another and more terrifying global conflict….
The steel mills were seized for a public use. The power of eminent domain, invoked in this case, is an essential attribute of sovereignty and has long been recognized as a power of the Federal Government….
Admitting that the Government could seize the mills, plaintiffs claim that the implied power of eminent domain can be exercised only under an Act of Congress; under no circumstances, they say, can that power be exercised by the President unless he can point to an express provision in enabling legislation. This was the view adopted by the District Judge when he granted the preliminary injunction….
Under this view, the President is left powerless at the very moment when the need for action may be most pressing and when no one, other than he, is immediately capable of action. Under this view, he is left powerless because a power not expressly given to Congress is nevertheless found to rest exclusively with Congress….Eisenhower's Farewell Address
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to deliver a televised farewell address, three days before the end of his second term, on January 17, 1961. Eisenhower's farewell speech is the best-remembered such address since George Washington's in 1796.
President Eisenhower was not renowned as an orator, yet his speech was both thoughtful and moving. Although he was best known as the general who had served as supreme commander of the Allied forces during World War II, his speech warned the nation to keep a close watch on the “military-industrial complex” (a term he coined). Eisenhower also cautioned against the excesses of technology and warned the nation not to overreact to crises foreign and domestic.
At the time, Eisenhower's farewell address was not so well suited to the mood of the country as President John F. Kennedy's bold and challenging inaugural address, which was delivered three days later. As time went by, however, the wisdom of the farewell address became more fully appreciated.
My fellow Americans:
Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.
This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen….
Throughout America's adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.
Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology—global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle—with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research—these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.
But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs—balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage— balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.
The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only….
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvision of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or by the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principle of our democratic system—ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we—you and I, and our government—must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow….
To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:
We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.Kennedy's Inaugural Address
John F. Kennedy was elected president in 1960, at the end of Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term. The contrasts between the two presidents were dramatic and visible: the youngest man ever to be elected president was replacing the oldest man to leave the office up to that time; a Democrat was replacing a Republican; and an advocate of change and energy was replacing a defender of caution, prudence, and restraint.
Kennedy's inaugural address, delivered January 20, 1961, on a bright but bitterly cold day, accentuated all of these contrasts. He emphasized his youth by noting that “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born of this century.” He reached out to the Soviet Union: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” But he also pledged that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Finally, in the best-remembered phrase of his presidency, Kennedy summoned the idealism of the American people: “ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end as well as a beginning— signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.
To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge—to convert our good words into good deeds—in a new alliance for progress—to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war.
So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms—and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to “undo the heavy burdens …(and) let the oppressed go free.”
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.
Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need—not a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hours of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.The Cuban Missile Crisis
On October 15, 1962, President John F. Kennedy received photographic evidence that the Soviet Union had installed offensive nuclear missiles, aimed at the United States, just ninety miles from U.S. soil in Cuba. Kennedy secretly formed an “executive committee” (ExCom) of high administration officials to prepare a U.S. response. With advice from the committee, Kennedy decided to confront the Soviet Union by imposing a naval blockade around Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from bringing in supplies. Publicly and privately, [Page 1880]Kennedy then demanded that the Soviet missiles be withdrawn. Nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed more likely than at any other time in history.
Soviet reaction to the U.S. blockade and demand was hard to ascertain. A conciliatory message from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was received on October 26; a harsh one followed on October 27. Kennedy decided to ignore the latter and reply to the former. Kennedy's October 27 letter to Khrushchev laid out the basis of the agreement that ended the crisis: the Soviet missiles would be removed in return for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.President Kennedy's Letter to Khrushchev
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I have read your letter of October 26th with great care and welcomed the statement of your desire to seek a prompt solution to the problem. The first thing that needs to be done, however, is for work to cease on offensive missile bases in Cuba and for all weapons systems in Cuba capable of offensive use to be rendered inoperable, under effective United Nations arrangements.
Assuming this is done promptly, I have given my representatives in New York instructions that will permit them to work out this weekend—in cooperation with the Acting Secretary General and your representative—an arrangement for a permanent solution to the Cuban problem along the lines suggested in your letter of October 26th. As I read your letter, the key elements of your proposals—which seem generally acceptable as I understand them—are as follows:
1) You would agree to remove these weapons systems from Cuba under appropriate United Nations observation and supervision; and undertake, with suitable safeguards, to halt the further introduction of such weapons systems into Cuba.
2) We, on our part, would agree—upon the establishment of adequate arrangements through the United Nations to ensure the carrying out and continuation of these commitments—(a) to remove promptly the quarantine measures now in effect and (b) to give assurances against an invasion of Cuba. I am confident that other nations of the Western Hemisphere would be prepared to do likewise.
If you will give your representative similar instructions, there is no reason why we should not be able to complete these arrangements and announce them to the world within a couple of days. The effect of such a settlement on easing world tensions would enable us to work toward a more general arrangement regarding “other armaments,” as proposed in your second letter which you made public. I would like to say again that the United States is very much interested in reducing tensions and halting the arms race; and if your letter signifies that you are prepared to discuss a detente affecting NATO and the Warsaw Pact, we are quite prepared to consider with our allies any useful proposals.
But the first ingredient, let me emphasize, is the cessation of work on missile sites in Cuba and measures to render such weapons inoperable, under effective international guarantees. The continuation of this threat, or a prolonging of this discussion concerning Cuba by linking these problems to the broader questions of European and world security, would surely lead to an intensification of the Cuban crisis and a grave risk to the peace of the world. For this reason I hope we can quickly agree along the lines outlined in this letter and in your letter of October 26th.Lyndon B. Johnson's ”Great Society” Speech
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded to the presidency when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Although Johnson initially offered “Let us continue” as the watchwords of his presidency, he was more concerned to make his own mark on history. Within a few months, Johnson chose the phrase “Great Society” as the theme for his administration. In a May 22, 1964, commencement address at the University of Michigan, he developed the theme in detail.
According to Johnson, the United States already had become “the rich society and the powerful society” and now was challenged to reach “upward.” The effort to build a Great Society would have two main goals. The first was “an end to poverty and racial injustice.” The other was “to advance the quality of our American civilization.”
As president, Johnson was able to create and enact a number of new programs to address the goals of the Great Society, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as civil rights legislation, highway lands beautification, and numerous other programs.
…The purpose of protecting the life of our Nation and preserving the liberty of our citizens is to pursue the happiness of our people. Our success in that pursuit is the test of our success as a nation. For a century we labored to settle and to subdue a continent. For half a century, we called upon unbounded invention and untiring industry to create an order of plenty for all of our people. The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization.
Your imagination, your initiative and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth.
For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society. The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce, but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.
It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods. But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.
So I want to talk to you today about three places where we begin to build the Great Society—in our cities, in our countryside, and in our classrooms….
Aristotle said, “Men come together in cities in order to live, but they remain together in order to live the good life.”
It is harder and harder to live the good life in American cities today. The catalogue of ills is long: There is the decay of the centers and the despoiling of the suburbs. There is not enough housing for our people or transportation for our traffic. Open land is vanishing and old landmarks are violated. Worst of all, expansion is eroding the precious and time-honored values of community with neighbors and communion with nature. The loss of these values breeds loneliness and boredom and indifference. Our society will never be great until our cities are great. Today the frontier of imagination and innovation is inside those cities, and not beyond their borders….
A second place where we begin to build the Great Society is in our countryside. We have always prided ourselves on being not only America the strong and America the free, but America the beautiful. Today that beauty is in danger. The water we drink, the food we eat, the very air that we breathe, are threatened with pollution. Our parks are overcrowded. Our seashores overburdened. Green fields and dense forests are disappearing.
A few years ago we were greatly concerned about the Ugly American. Today we must act to prevent an Ugly America.
For once the battle is lost, once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature, his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted.
A third place to build the Great Society is in the classrooms of America. There your children's lives will be shaped. Our society will not be great until every young mind is set free to scan the farthest reaches of thought and imagination. We are still far from that goal…. In many places, classrooms are overcrowded and curricula are outdated. Most of our qualified teachers are underpaid, and many of our paid teachers are unqualified.
So we must give every child a place to sit and a teacher to learn from. Poverty must not be a bar to learning, and learning must offer an escape from poverty.
But more classrooms and more teachers are not enough. We must seek an educational system which grows in excellence as it grows in size. This means better training for our teachers. It means preparing youth to enjoy their hours of leisure as well as their hours of labor. It means exploring new techniques of teaching, to find new ways to stimulate the love of learning and the capacity for creation.
These are three of the central issues of the Great Society. While our government has many programs directed at those issues, I do not pretend that we have the full answer to those problems. But I do promise this: We are going to assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America….
There are those timid souls who say this battle cannot be won, that we are condemned to a soulless wealth. I do not agree. We have the power to shape the civilization that we want. But we need your will, your labor, your hearts, if we are to build that kind of society.
Those who came to this land sought to build more than just a new country. They sought a free world.
So I have come here today to your campus to say that you can make their vision our reality. Let us from this moment begin our work so that in the future men will look back and say: It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life.
Thank you. Goodbye.Lyndon B. Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin Message
Two themes dominated the five-year presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson: the Great Society and the war in Vietnam. In early 1964 Johnson aides privately prepared a congressional resolution that would give the president a virtual blank check to conduct the Vietnam War as he saw fit. Johnson feared that such a proposal would generate too much controversy. But on August 4, 1964, reports reached Washington (they were proved false much later) that U.S. naval vessels had been attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin near North Vietnam. The next day, Johnson sent a message to Congress urging passage of “a Resolution expressing the support of Congress for all necessary action to protect our armed forces and to assist nations covered by the SEATO [Southeast Asia Treaty Organization] treaty,” including South Vietnam. On August 6 the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and with only two dissenting votes in the Senate. In later years, as the U.S. war effort became much larger and more controversial, Johnson cited the resolution as providing ample justification for his administration's policies. Privately, he compared it to “grandma's nightshirt—it covered everything.”
To the Congress of the United States:
Last night I announced to the American people that the North Vietnamese regime had conducted further deliberate attacks against U.S. naval vessels operating in international waters, and that I had therefore directed air action against gun boats and supporting facilities used in these hostile operations. This air action has now been carried out with substantial damage to the boats and facilities. Two U.S. aircraft were lost in the action.
After consultation with the leaders of both parties in the Congress, I further announced a decision to ask the Congress for a Resolution expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in Southeast Asia.
These latest actions of the North Vietnamese regime have given a new and grave turn to the already serious situation in Southeast Asia. Our commitments in that area are well known to the Congress. They were first made in 1954 by President Eisenhower. They were further defined in the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty approved by the Senate in February 1955.
This Treaty with its accompanying protocol obligates the United States and other members to act in accordance with their Constitutional processes to meet Communist aggression against any of the parties or protocol states.
Our policy in Southeast Asia has been consistent and unchanged since 1954. I summarized it on June 2 in four simple propositions:
1. America keeps her word. Here as elsewhere, we must and shall honor our commitments.
2. The issue is the future of Southeast Asia as a whole. A threat to any nation in that region is a threat to all, and a threat to us.
3. Our purpose is peace. We have no military, political or territorial ambitions in the area.
4. This is not just a jungle war, but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity. Our military and economic assistance to South Vietnam and Laos in particular has the purpose of helping these countries to repel aggression and strengthen their independence.
The threat to the free nations of Southeast Asia has long been clear. The North Vietnamese regime has constantly sought to take over South Vietnam and Laos. This Communist regime has violated the Geneva Accords for Vietnam. It has systematically conducted a campaign of subversion, which includes the direction, training, and supply of personnel and arms for the conduct of guerrilla warfare in South Vietnamese territory. In Laos, the North Vietnamese regime has maintained military forces, used Laotian territory for infiltration into South Vietnam, and most recently carried out combat operations—all in direct violation of the Geneva Agreements of 1962.
In recent months, the actions of the North Vietnamese regime have become steadily more threatening. In May, following new acts of Communist aggression in Laos, the United States undertook reconnaissance flights over Laotian territory, at the request of the Government of Laos. These flights had the essential mission of determining the situation in territory where Communist forces were preventing inspection by the International Control Commission. When the Communists attacked these aircraft, I responded by furnishing escort fighters with instructions to fire when fired upon. Thus, these latest North Vietnamese attacks on our naval vessels are not the first direct attack on armed forces of the United States.
As President of the United States I have concluded that I should now ask the Congress, on its part, to join in affirming the national determination that all such attacks will be met, and that the U.S. will continue in its basic policy of assisting the free nations of the area to defend their freedom.
As I have repeatedly made clear, the United States intends no rashness, and seeks no wider war. We must make it clear to all that the United States is united in its determination to bring about the end of Communist subversion and aggression in the area. We seek the full and effective restoration of the international agreements signed in Geneva in 1954, with respect to South Vietnam, and again in Geneva in 1962, with respect to Laos.
I recommend a Resolution expressing the support of the Congress for all necessary action to protect our armed forces and to assist nations covered by the SEATO Treaty. At the same time, I assure the Congress that we shall continue readily to explore any avenues of political solution that will effectively guarantee the removal of Communist subversion and the preservation of the independence of the nations of the area.
The Resolution could well be based upon similar resolutions enacted by the Congress in the past—to meet the threat to Formosa in 1955, to meet the threat to the Middle East in 1957, and to meet the threat in Cuba in 1962. It could state in the simplest terms the resolve and support of the Congress for action to deal appropriately with attacks against our armed forces and to defend freedom and preserve peace in southeast Asia in accordance with the obligations of the United States under the southeast Asia Treaty. I urge the Congress to enact such a Resolution promptly and thus to give convincing evidence to the aggressive Communist nations, and to the world as a whole, that our policy in Southeast Asia will be carried forward—and that the peace and security of the area will be preserved.
The events of this week would in any event have made the passage of a Congressional Resolution essential. But there is an additional reason for doing so at a time when we are entering on three months of political campaigning. Hostile nations must understand that in such a period the United States will continue to protect its national interests, and that in these matters there is no division among us.Nixon's China Trip Announcement
On July 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon appeared on national television to read a three-and-one-half minute announcement that he would be traveling to China sometime in early 1972 at the invitation of the Chinese government. The purpose would be “to seek the normalization of relations” between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Nixon made the trip, which was the product of two years of secret negotiations, in February 1972.
Nixon's visit ended more than twenty years of hostility between the two nations, tracing back to the 1949 revolution in China in which communist forces led by Mao Tse-tung had overthrown the government of Chiang Kai-shek, a close ally of the United States. Ironically, Nixon's entire political career had been based on anticommunism, including strong support for Chiang, who had fled to the island of Formosa, claiming to be leader of the true government [Page 1883]of China. Yet, as president, Nixon saw an opportunity for the United States to take advantage of the hostility between China and the Soviet Union. Many analysts believed that only a staunch anticommunist like Nixon could have ended U.S. hostility to the most populous nation in the world without provoking widespread political opposition.
I have requested this television time tonight to announce a major development in our efforts to build a lasting peace in the world.
As I have pointed out on a number of occasions over the past three years, there can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People's Republic of China and its 750 million people. That is why I have undertaken initiatives in several areas to open the door for more normal relations between our two countries.
In pursuance of that goal, I sent Dr. Kissinger, my Assistant for National Security Affairs, to Peking during his recent world tour for the purpose of having talks with Premier Chou Enlai. The announcement I shall now read is being issued simultaneously in Peking and in the United States.
Premier Chou Enlai and Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's Assistant for National Security Affairs, held talks in Peking from July 9 to 11, 1971. Knowing of President Nixon's expressed desire to visit the People's Republic of China, Premier Chou Enlai, on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China, has extended an invitation to President Nixon to visit China at an appropriate date before May 1972. President Nixon has accepted the invitation with pleasure.
The meeting between the leaders of China and the United States is to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries and also to exchange views on questions of concern to the two sides. In anticipation of the inevitable speculation which will follow this announcement, I want to put our policy in the clearest possible context.
Our action in seeking a new relationship with the People's Republic of China will not be at the expense of our old friends. It is not directed against any other nation. We seek friendly relations with all nations. Any nation can be our friend without being any other nation's enemy.
I have taken this action because of my profound conviction that all nations will gain from a reduction of tensions and a better relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
It is in that spirit that I will undertake what I deeply hope will become a journey for peace, peace not just for our generation, but for future generations on this earth we share together.
Thank you and good night.Resignation of Vice President Agnew
Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, who was elected with President Richard Nixon in 1968 and reelected in 1972, resigned on October 10, 1973, as part of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. The Justice Department had uncovered extensive evidence that Agnew received bribes from contractors while serving as county executive of Baltimore County, Maryland, governor of Maryland, and vice president. It was prepared to indict Agnew on conspiracy, extortion, bribery, and tax charges. In return for his resignation, however, Agnew was allowed (also on October 10) to plead nolo contendere (no contest) to one count of income tax evasion. He was fined $10,000 and sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation.
On the day of Agnew's resignation, the Justice Department submitted a forty-page document to a federal grand jury in Baltimore that listed the payoffs Agnew had accepted.II. The Relationship Between Mr. Agnew and Allen Green.
Shortly after Mr. Agnew's election in November 1966 as governor of Maryland, he complained to Allen Green, principal of a large engineering firm, about the financial burdens to be imposed upon Mr. Agnew by his role as Governor. Green responded by saying that his company had benefited from state work and had been able to generate some cash funds from which he would be willing to provide Mr. Agnew with some financial assistance. Mr. Agnew indicated that he would be grateful for such assistance.
Beginning shortly thereafter, Green delivered to Mr. Agnew six to nine times a year an envelope containing between $2,000 and $3,000 in cash. Green's purpose was to elicit from the Agnew administration as much state work for his engineering firm as possible. The purpose was clearly understood by Governor Agnew….
Green continued to make cash payments to Vice President Agnew three or four times a year up to and including December 1972. These payments were usually about $2,000 each. The payments were made both in Mr. Agnew's vice presidential office and at his residence in the Sheraton-Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. The payments were not discontinued until after the initiation of the Baltimore County investigation by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland in January 1973.III. The Relationship Between MR. Agnew and Lester Matz.
Lester Matz, a principal in another large engineering firm, began making corrupt payments while Mr. Agnew was County Executive of Baltimore County in the early 1970s. In those days, Matz paid 5 percent of his fees from Baltimore County contracts in cash to Mr. Agnew through one of Mr. Agnew's close associates.
After Mr. Agnew became Governor of Maryland, Matz decided to make his payments directly to Governor Agnew. He made no payments until that summer of 1968 when he and his partner calculated that they owed Mr. Agnew approximately $20,000 in consideration for the work which their firm had already received from the Governor's administration. The $20,000 in cash was generated in an illegal manner and was [Page 1884]given by Matz to Governor Agnew in a manila envelope in Governor Agnew's office on or about July 16, 1968….
Matz made no further corrupt payments to Mr. Agnew until shortly after Mr. Agnew became Vice President, at which time Matz calculated that he owed Mr. Agnew approximately $10,000 more from jobs and fees which the Matz firm had received from Governor Agnew's administration since July 1968. After generating $10,000 in cash in an illegal manner, Matz met with Mr. Agnew in the Vice President's office and gave him approximately $10,000 cash in an envelope….
In or around April 1971, Matz made a cash payment to Vice President Agnew of $2,500 in return for the awarding by the General Services Administration of a contract to a small engineering firm in which Matz had a financial ownership interest.
An intermediary was instrumental in the arrangement for that particular corrupt payment.Proposed Articles of Impeachment of Richard Nixon
On June 17, 1972, burglars secretly employed by the Committee to Re-elect the President were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington's Watergate Hotel. The chain of command that had authorized the break-in, as well as a host of other illegal and unethical campaign activities, reached high into the Nixon administration. In an effort to avoid embarrassing revelations, President Richard Nixon and some of his closest aides responded to news of the burglary by trying to obstruct official investigations into what had happened.
Through a combination of activities—including diligent investigations by reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, hearings by a special bipartisan Senate committee chaired by Democratic senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, testimony by John Dean and other participants in the Watergate affair, and the release of secret White House tape recordings—evidence of Nixon's involvement in the Watergate coverup was brought to light.
In February 1974 the House of Representatives charged its Judiciary Committee to consider impeaching the president for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Between July 27 and 29 the committee voted to recommend three articles of impeachment to the full House. Article I described Nixon's role in the Watergate coverup, Article II detailed other abuses of power by the president, and Article III charged Nixon with contempt of Congress for his failure to honor the Judiciary Committee's subpoenas, mostly for certain tape recordings. Two other proposed articles—one dealing with Nixon's secret bombings of Cambodia, the other with his income taxes—were rejected by the committee on July 30.Article I
In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, in that: On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such unlawful entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.
The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:
(1) making false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
(2) withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;
(3) approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counseling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;
(4) interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees;
(5) approving, condoning, and acquiescing in, the surreptitious payment of substantial sums of money for the purpose of obtaining the silence or influencing the testimony of witnesses, potential witnesses or individuals who participated in such unlawful entry and other illegal activities;
(6) endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency, an agency of the United States;
(7) disseminating information received from officers of the Department of Justice of the United States to subjects of investigations conducted by lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States, for the purpose of aiding and assisting such subjects in their attempts to avoid criminal liability;
(8) making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct; or
(9) endeavoring to cause prospective defendants, and individuals duly tried and convicted, to expect favored [Page 1885]treatment and consideration in return for their silence or false testimony, or rewarding individuals for their silence or false testimony.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office. [—Adopted July 27 by a 27–11 vote]Article II
Using the powers of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies.
This conduct has included one or more of the following:
(1) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
(2) He misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.
(3) He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial.
(4) He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive, judicial, and legislative entities concerning the unlawful entry into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, and the cover up thereof, and concerning other unlawful activities including those relating to the confirmation of Richard Kleindienst as Attorney General of the United States, the electronic surveillance of private citizens, the break-in into the offices of Dr. Lewis Fielding and the campaign financing practices of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
(5) In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive branch, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division, and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, of the Department of Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
[—Adopted July 29 by a 28–10 vote]Article III
In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has failed without lawful cause of excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge, or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, Richard M. Nixon by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.
[—Adopted July 30 by a 21–17 vote]Nixon's ”Smoking Gun” Tape
In 1973 the special Senate Watergate committee learned that President Richard Nixon had installed a secret, voice-activated taping system in the Oval Office and other presidential offices. Under severe political and legal pressure, Nixon released many of the tape recordings but withheld others. On July 24, 1974, just before the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend articles of impeachment, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ordered Nixon to release more tapes in the case of United States v. Nixon.
Included in the tapes, which Nixon made public August 5, was a recording of a ninety-five-minute Oval Office meeting between the president and his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. At that meeting, Nixon instructed Haldeman to have the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) falsely tell the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that the FBI should tread lightly in its investigation because the June 17, 1972, Watergate break-in was a CIA activity.
The June 23 tape was the “smoking gun” in the Watergate investigation—the first piece of evidence that indisputably demonstrated Nixon's active role in the coverup. Republicans in Congress, including members of the House Judiciary Committee who had voted against recommending impeachment, publicly denounced Nixon, all but guaranteeing that the House of Representatives would vote to impeach the president and that the Senate would vote to convict. On August 9, 1974, Nixon became the first U.S. president to resign from the office.
Haldeman. Now, on the investigation, you know the Democratic break-in thing, we're back in the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray [acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray III] doesn't exactly know how to control it and they have—their investigation is now leading into some productive areas—because they've been able to trace the money—not through the money itself—but through the bank sources—the banker. And, and it goes in some directions we don't want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things—like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami who was a photographer or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy Barker [Bernard L. Barker, one of the five men caught in the Watergate break-in] and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letterhead documents and things. So it's things like that that are filtering in. Mitchell [former attorney general John N. Mitchell] came up with yesterday, and [White House counsel] John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell's recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we're set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that—the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC—they did a massive story on the Cuban thing.
President. That's right.
H. That the way to handle this now is for us to have Walters [deputy CIA director Vernon A. Walters] call Pat Gray and just say, “Stay to hell out of this—this is ah, business here we don't want you to go any further on it.” That's not an unusual development, and ah, that would take care of it.
P. What about Pat Gray—you mean Pat Gray doesn't want to?
H. Pat does want to. He doesn't know how to, and he doesn't have, he doesn't have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He'll call Mark Felt in [W. Mark Felt, FBI deputy associate director in 1972], and the two of them—and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because he's ambitious—
H. He'll call him in and say, “We've got the signal from across the river to put the hold on this.” And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that's what it is.
P. This is CIA? They've traced the money? Who'd they trace it to?
H. Well they've traced it to a name, but they haven't gotten to the guy yet.
P. Would it be somebody here?
H. Ken Dahlberg.
P. Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?
H. He gave $25,000 in Minnesota and, ah, the check went directly to this guy Barker.
P. It isn't from the Committee, though, from [Nixon re-election committee finance chairman Maurice H.] Stans?
H. Yeah. It is. It's directly traceable and there's some more through some Texas people that went to the Mexican bank which can also be traced to the Mexican bank—they'll get their names today.
P. Well, I mean, there's no way—I'm just thinking if they don't cooperate, what do they say? That they were approached by the Cubans. That's what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too, that they—
H. Well, if they will. But then we're relying on more and more people all the time. That's the problem and they'll stop if we could take this other route.
P. All right.
H. And you seem to think the thing to do is get them to stop?
P. Right, fine.
H. They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it's got to be to Helms [CIA director Richard
C. Helms] and to—ah, what's his name…. ? Walters.
H. And the proposal would be that [domestic policy adviser John D.] Ehrlichman and I call them in, and say, ah—
P. All right, fine. How do you call him in—I mean you just—well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things.
H. That's what Ehrlichman says.
P. Of course, this Hunt [E. Howard Hunt Jr., a White House consultant], that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab, there's a hell of a lot of things and we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well, what the hell, did Mitchell know about this?
H. I think so. I don't think he knew the details, but I think he knew.
P. He didn't know how it was going to be handled though—with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well, who was the asshole that did? Is it Liddy? [G. Gordon Liddy, former FBI agent] Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts!
H. He is.
P. I mean he just isn't well screwed on is he? Is that the problem?
H. No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder—
P. Pressure from Mitchell?
P. Oh, Mitchell. Mitchell was at the point (unintelligible).
P. All right, fine, I understand it all. We won't second-guess Mitchell and the rest. Thank God it wasn't Colson. [Charles W. Colson, White House special counsel]
H. The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do. To have him take an interrogation, which he did, and that—the FBI guys working the case concluded that there were one or two possibilities—one, that this was a White House—they don't think that there is anything at the Election Committee—they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it—nonpolitical, or it was a—Cuban and the CIA. And after their interrogation of Colson yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it is a CIA thing, so the CIA turnoff would—
P. Well, not sure of their analysis, I'm not going to get that involved. I'm (unintelligible).
H. No, sir, we don't want you to.
P. You call them in.
H. Good deal.
P. Play it tough. That's the way they play it and that's the way we are going to play it.
P. When I saw that news summary, I questioned whether it's a bunch of crap, but I thought, er, well it's good to have them off us a while, because when they start bugging us, which they have, our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though.
H. You never know.
[Other matters are discussed. Then the conversation returns to the break-in cover-up strategy.]
P. When you get in—when you get in (unintelligible) people, say, Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that ah, without going into the details—don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is a comedy of errors, without getting into it, the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah, because these people are plugging for (unintelligible) and that they should call the FBI in and (unintelligible) don't go any further into this case period! (Inaudible) our cause—
H. Get more done for our cause by the opposition than by us.
P. Well, can you get it done?
H. I think so.Nixon's Resignation Speech
After protesting many times that he would defend his presidency until the end, President Richard Nixon announced in a televised address August 8, 1974, that he would resign effective noon the next day. Impeachment and conviction were certain—also, for Nixon to fight on would cost him the extensive benefits that former presidents receive and increase the likelihood that he would be prosecuted for his role in the Watergate coverup.
In his speech, Nixon admitted only to having made mistaken judgments, claiming that even “they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.” He also suggested that but for the political hopelessness of his position, and the paralysis that a long impeachment process would cause in the government, the right thing to do would be to continue his fight for vindication.
This is the thirty-seventh time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.
In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion….
But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged….
I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a fulltime President and a fulltime Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.
To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.
Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.
As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next two and a half years. But in turning over direction of the Government to Vice President Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I nominated him for that office ten months ago, that the leadership of America will be in good hands….
By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.
I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.
To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.
And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.
So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.
I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past five and a half years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people.
But the challenges ahead are equally great, and they, too, will require the support and the efforts of the Congress and the people working in cooperation with the new Administration.
We have ended America's longest war, but in the work of securing a lasting peace in the world, the goals ahead are even more far-reaching and more difficult. We must complete a structure of peace so that it will be said of this generation, our generation of Americans, by the people of all nations, not only that we ended one war but that we prevented future wars.
We have unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People's Republic of China.
We must now ensure that the one quarter of the world's people who live in the People's Republic of China will be and remain not our enemies but our friends.
In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.
Together with the Soviet Union we have made the crucial breakthroughs that have begun the process of limiting nuclear arms. But we must set as our goal not just limiting but reducing and finally destroying these terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization and so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people.
We have opened the new relation with the Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand that new relationship so that the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation rather than confrontation.
Around the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Middle East, there are millions of people who live in terrible poverty, even starvation. We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace so that people everywhere on this earth can at last look forward in their children's time, if not in our own time, to having the necessities for a decent life.
Here in America, we are fortunate that most of our people have not only the blessings of liberty but also the means to live full and good and, by the world's standards, even abundant lives. We must press on, however, toward a goal of not only more and better jobs but of full opportunity for every American and of what we are striving so hard right now to achieve, prosperity without inflation.
For more than a quarter of a century in public life I have shared in the turbulent history of this era. I have fought for what I believed in. I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities that were entrusted to me.
Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, “whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I pledge to you tonight that as long as I have a breath of life in my body, I shall continue in that spirit. I shall continue to work for the great causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a Congressman, a Senator, a Vice President, and President, the cause of peace not just for America but among all nations, prosperity, justice, and opportunity for all of our people.
There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live.
When I first took the oath of office as President five and a half years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to “consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations.”
I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge. As a result of these efforts, I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations, and that all of our children have a better chance than before of living in peace rather than dying in war.
This, more than anything, is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the Presidency. This, more than anything, is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the Presidency.
To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God's grace be with you in all the days ahead.Ford's Remarks on Becoming President
Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment (1967) charges the president to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency by nominating a new vice president, subject to the approval of both houses of Congress, voting separately. When Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in 1973, President Richard Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to be vice president. Congress confirmed the nomination overwhelmingly.
From the moment of his appointment, Ford was aware that he might be called upon to serve as president if Nixon either resigned or was removed from office. When Nixon's resignation took effect at noon on August 9, 1974, Ford was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. In his brief remarks, Ford proclaimed that “our long national nightmare is over.” Aware that he was the first unelected vice president to become president, Ford said: “I am acutely aware that you have not elected me your President by your ballots, and so I ask that you confirm me as your President with your prayers.”
Mr. Chief Justice, my dear friends, my fellow Americans:
The oath that I have taken is the same oath that was taken by George Washington and by every President under the Constitution. But I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances, never before experienced by Americans. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.
Therefore, I feel it is my first duty to make an unprecedented compact with my countrymen. Not an inaugural address, not a fireside chat, not a campaign speech—just a little straight talk among friends. And I intend it to be the first of many.
I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers. And I hope that such prayers will be the first of many.
If you have not chosen me by secret ballot, neither have I gained office by any secret promises. I have not campaigned either for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman—my dear wife—as I begin this very difficult job.
I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it. Those who nominated and confirmed me as Vice President were my friends and are my friends. They were of both parties, elected by all the people and acting under the Constitution in their name. It is only fitting then that I should pledge to them and to you that I will be the President of all the people.
Thomas Jefferson said the people are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty. And down the years, Abraham Lincoln renewed this American article of faith saying, “Is there any better way or equal hope in the world?”
I intend, on Monday next, to request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate the privilege of appearing before the Congress to share with my former colleagues and with you, the American people, my views on the priority business of the Nation and to solicit your views and their views. And may I say to the Speaker and the others, if I could meet with you right after these remarks, I would appreciate it.
Even though this is late in an election year, there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's urgent needs. We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now together.
To the peoples and the governments of all friendly nations, and I hope that could encompass the whole world, I pledge an uninterrupted and sincere search for peace. America will remain strong and united, but its strength will remain dedicated to the safety and sanity of the entire family of man, as well as to our own precious freedom.
I believe that truth is the glue that holds governments together, not only our Government, but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.
In all my public and private acts as your President, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end.
My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher power, by whatever name we honor him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.
As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate.
In the beginning, I asked you to pray for me. Before closing, I ask again your prayers, for Richard Nixon and his family. May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself. May God bless and comfort his wonderful wife and daughters, whose love and loyalty will forever be a shining legacy to all who bear the lonely burdens of the White House.
I can only guess at those burdens, although I have witnessed at close hand the tragedies that befell three Presidents and the lesser trials of others.
With all the strength and all the good sense I have gained from life, with all the confidence my family, my friends, and my dedicated staff impart to me, and with the good will of countless Americans I have encountered in recent visits to 40 states, I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best I can for America.
God helping me, I will not let you down.
Thank you.The Nixon Pardon
President Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974, left him subject to indictment, trial, and possible conviction for obstructing justice in the Watergate investigation. On September 8, President Gerald R. Ford used the pardon power of his office to grant Nixon a “full, free and absolute pardon …for all offenses against the United States which he …has committed or may have committed.”
In announcing the pardon, Ford noted several reasons for his decision, including the former president's health and mental anguish and the difficulty of securing a fair trial. More than anything else, though, Ford argued that someone must write “The End” to the “American tragedy” of the Watergate affair, lest “ugly passions …again be aroused.”
Ford paid a severe political price for the Nixon pardon. He was roundly criticized and his approval rating dropped 20 percentage points in the polls.
…The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens. Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it. As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God. And I have sought such guidance and searched my own conscience with special diligence to determine the right thing for me to do with respect to my predecessor in this place, Richard Nixon, and his loyal wife and family.
Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write “The End” to it.
I have concluded that only I can do that. And if I can, I must.
There are no historic or legal precedents to which I can turn in this matter, none that precisely fit the circumstances of a private citizen who has resigned the presidency of the United States. But it is common knowledge that serious allegations and accusations hang like a sword over our former President's head, threatening his health, as he tries to reshape his life, a great part of which was spent in the service of this country and by the mandate of its people.
After years of bitter controversy and divisive national debate, I have been advised and I am compelled to conclude that many months and perhaps more years will have to pass before Richard Nixon could obtain a fair trial by jury in any jurisdiction of the United States under governing decisions of the Supreme Court.
I deeply believe in equal justice for all Americans, whatever their station or former station. The law, whether human or divine, is no respecter of persons but the law is a respecter of reality. The facts as I see them are that a former President of the United States, instead of enjoying equal treatment with any other citizen accused of violating the law, would be cruelly and excessively penalized either in preserving the presumption of his innocence or in obtaining a speedy determination of his guilt in order to repay a legal debt to society.
During this long period of delay and potential litigation, ugly passions would again be aroused, and our people would again be polarized in their opinions, and the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad. In the end, the courts might well hold that Richard Nixon had been denied due process and the verdict of history would even more be inconclusive with respect to those charges arising out of the period of his presidency of which I am presently aware.
But it is not the ultimate fate of Richard Nixon that most concerns me—though surely it deeply troubles every decent and every compassionate person. My concern is the immediate future of this great country. In this I dare not depend upon my personal sympathy as a longtime friend of the former President nor my professional judgment as a lawyer. And I do not.
As President, my greatest concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States, whose servant I am.
As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience. My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed.
My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience says it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility, but to use every means that I have to ensure it.
I do believe that the buck stops here, that I cannot rely upon public opinion polls to tell me what is right. I do believe that right makes might, and that if I am wrong ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. I do believe with all my heart and mind and spirit that I, not as President, but as a humble servant of God, will receive justice without mercy if I fail to show mercy.
Finally, I feel that Richard Nixon and his loved ones have suffered enough, and will continue to suffer no matter what I do, no matter what we as a great and good nation can do together to make his goal of peace come true.
Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969, through August 9, 1974.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 8th day of September in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred Seventy Four, and of the independence of the United States of America the 199th.Carter's ”Crisis of Confidence” Speech
Summer 1979 was a time of oil shortages, raging inflation, and widespread dissatisfaction with the leadership of President Jimmy Carter. In July, Carter cancelled a scheduled televised address on energy and retreated to the presidential compound at Camp David, Maryland, to reflect on the underlying causes of the energy crisis. During the course of the next week, he met there with more [Page 1891]than a hundred invited visitors, including political, business, labor, and religious leaders. He also made some unannounced helicopter visits to speak with average families in their homes. On July 15 Carter gave a televised speech from the White House that, while dealing with energy, dwelt on the “crisis of confidence” that he believed was enfeebling the country.
Carter began with an extended mea culpa, quoting criticisms of his leadership from some of the people with whom he had spoken during his Camp David retreat. He then described “a fundamental threat to American democracy,” namely, a “crisis of the American spirit” that was marked by loss of faith in the country and confidence in the future. “Restoring that faith and that confidence in America is now the most important task we face,” Carter concluded.
Although Carter never spoke the word, his address soon became known as the “malaise” speech. In 1980 Republican Ronald Reagan defeated Carter in his bid for re-election after proclaiming repeatedly that the United States was not lacking in confidence, but in leadership.
This is a special night for me. Exactly three years ago on July 15, 1976, I accepted the nomination of my party to run for President of the United States. I promised you a President who is not isolated from the people, who feels your pain and who shares your dreams and who draws his strength and his wisdom from you.
During the past 3 years I have spoken to you on many occasions about national concerns, the energy crisis, reorganizing the Government, our Nation's economy and issues of war and especially peace. But over those years the subjects of the speeches, the talks and the press conferences have become increasingly narrow, focused more and more on what the isolated world of Washington thinks is important. Gradually you have heard more and more about what the Government thinks or what the Government should be doing and less and less about our Nation's hopes, our dreams and our vision of the future.
Ten days ago I had planned to speak to you again about a very important subject—energy. For the fifth time I would have described the urgency of the problem and laid out a series of legislative recommendations to the Congress. But as I was preparing to speak, I began to ask myself the same question that I now know has been troubling many of you. Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?
It's clear that the true problems of our Nation are much deeper—deeper than gasoline lines or energy shortages, deeper even than inflation or recession. And I realize more than ever that as President I need your help. So, I decided to reach out and to listen to the voices of America.
I invited to Camp David people from almost every segment of our society—business and labor, teachers and preachers, Governors, mayors and private citizens. And then I left Camp David to listen to other Americans, men and women like you. It has been an extraordinary 10 days, and I want to share with you what I've heard.
First of all, I got a lot of personal advice. Let me quote a few of the typical comments that I wrote down.
This from a southern Governor: “Mr. President, you are not leading this Nation—you're just managing the Government.”
“You don't see the people enough any more.”
“Some of your Cabinet members don't seem loyal. There is not enough discipline among your disciples.”
“Don't talk to us about politics or the mechanics of government, but about an understanding of our common good.”
“Mr. President, we're in trouble. Talk to us about blood and sweat and tears.”
“If you lead, Mr. President, we will follow.”
Many people talked about themselves and about the condition of our Nation. This from a young woman in Pennsylvania: “I feel so far from government. I feel like ordinary people are excluded from political power.”
And this from a young Chicano: “Some of us have suffered from recession all our lives.”
“Some people have wasted energy, but others haven't had anything to waste.”
And this from a religious leader: “No material shortage can touch the important things like God's love for us or our love for one another.”
And I like this one particularly from a black woman who happens to be the mayor of a small Mississippi town: “The big shots are not the only ones who are important. Remember, you can't sell anything on Wall Street unless someone digs it up somewhere else first.”
This kind of summarized a lot of other statements: “Mr. President, we are confronted with a moral and a spiritual crisis.”…
These 10 days confirmed my belief in the decency and the strength and the wisdom of the American people, but it also bore out some of my longstanding concerns about our Nation's underlying problems.
I know, of course, being President, that government actions and legislation can be very important. That is why I've worked hard to put my campaign promises into law—and I have to admit, with just mixed success. But after listening to the American people I have been reminded again that all the legislation in the world can't fix what's wrong with America. So, I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than energy or inflation. I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.
I do not mean our political and civil liberties. They will endure. And I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might.
The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our Nation.
The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.
The confidence that we have always had as a people is not simply some romantic dream or a proverb in a dusty book that we read just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea we founded our Nation on and has guided our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else—public institutions and private enterprise, our own families, and the very Constitution of the United States. Confidence has defined our course and has served as a link between generations. We've always believed in something called progress. We've always had a faith that the days of our children would be better than our own.
Our people are losing that faith, not only in government itself, but in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy. As a people we know our past and we are proud of it. Our progress has been part of the living history of America, even the world. We always believed that we were part of a great movement of humanity itself called democracy, involved in the search for freedom and that belief has always strengthened us in our purpose. But just as we are losing our confidence in the future, we are also beginning to close the door on our past.
In a Nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.
The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country the majority of our people believe that the next 5 years will be worse than the past 5 years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.
As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.
These changes did not happen overnight. They've come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy.
We were sure that ours was a nation of the ballot, not the bullet, until the murders of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. We were taught that our armies were always invincible and our causes were always just, only to suffer the agony of Vietnam. We respected the Presidency as a place of honor until the shock of Watergate.
We remember when the phrase “sound as a dollar,” was an expression of absolute dependability, until 10 years of inflation began to shrink our dollars and our savings. We believed that our Nation's resources were limitless until 1973 when we had to face a growing dependence on foreign oil.
These wounds are still very deep. They have never been healed.
Looking for a way out of this crisis, our people have turned to the Federal Government and found it isolated from the mainstream of our Nation's life. Washington, D.C., has become an island. The gap between our citizens and our government has never been so wide. The people are looking for honest answers, not easy answers; clear leadership, not false claims and evasiveness and politics as usual.
What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests.
You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.
Often you see paralysis and stagnation and drift. You don't like it, and neither do I. What can we do?
First of all, we must face the truth and then we can change our course. We simply must have faith in each other, faith in our ability to govern ourselves and faith in the future of this Nation.
Restoring that faith and that confidence to America is now the most important task we face. It is a true challenge of this generation of Americans.
One of the visitors to Camp David last week put it this way: “We've got to stop crying and start sweating, stop talking and start walking, stop cursing and start praying. The strength we need will not come from the White House, but from every house in America.”
We know the strength of America. We are strong. We can regain our unity. We can regain our confidence. We are the heirs of generations who survived threats much more powerful and awesome than those that challenge us now. Our fathers and mothers were strong men and women who shaped a new society during the Great Depression, who fought world wars and who carved out a new charter of peace for the world.
We ourselves are the same Americans who just 10 years ago put a man on the moon. We are the generation that dedicated our society to the pursuit of human rights and equality. And we are the generation that will win the war on the energy problem and in that process rebuild the unity and confidence of America….Reagan's First Inaugural Address
In the 1980 presidential election, Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter by the largest electoral vote majority in history against an incumbent president. His inauguration also was unprecedented in some ways. Reagan was the oldest person ever to be inaugurated as president. He was inaugurated on the West Front of the Capitol, not the traditional East Front. And he coordinated part of his speech with television cameras, which showed pictures of the Washington Monument, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and Arlington National Cemetery as he spoke of them.
Reagan's inaugural on January 20, 1981, advanced the two main themes of his political career, his 1980 campaign, and, subsequently, of his presidency: the ills of big government and a fervent optimism that national problems could be overcome. “In this present crisis,” he said, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion. And, yet, in the history of our Nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in [Page 1893]the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the hallmark of our Republic.
The business of our Nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.
Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.
But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.
You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding—we are going to begin to act, beginning today.
The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together—in and out of government—must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we're sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, “We the people,” this breed called Americans.
Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this “new beginning,” and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.
So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.
It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.
Now so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.
If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high. But we have never been unwilling to pay that price.
It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government….
Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children's children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.
To those neighbors and allies who share our ideal of freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.
As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it now or ever.
Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if [Page 1894]need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.
Above all we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.
I'm told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I'm deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if each Inaugural Day in future years should be declared a day of prayer.
This is the first time in our history that this ceremony has been held, as you've been told, on this West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man: George Washington, father of our country, a man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence. And then, beyond the Reflecting Pool, the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.
Beyond these monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.
Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together and with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which confront us.
And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.
God bless you, and thank you.Reagan's Economic Plan Speech
President Ronald Reagan became known to the nation as the “Great Communicator” because of his skill, developed during a long career as a movie and television actor and public speaker, at appealing directly to the public in televised speeches from the Oval Office of the White House. Reagan's first such speech, delivered February 5, 1981, was one of his most successful. In it, he asked the American people to support his economic plan of dramatic reductions in a range of domestic federal programs and of sweeping reductions in federal income taxes. At one point, the president dramatized the nation's economic woes by holding a dollar in one hand and thirty-six cents (which he had borrowed from an aide) in the other: the coins represented the decline in the value of the dollar since 1960.
Reagan's speech had its intended effect: an unusually large outpouring of letters, telegrams, and telephone calls urging Congress to support the president's proposed policies. Within a few months, most of the Reagan economic plan was enacted.
Good evening. I am speaking to you tonight to give you a report on the state of our Nation's economy. I regret to say that we are in the worst economic mess since the Great Depression….
Let me try to put this in personal terms. Here is a dollar such as you earned, spent, or saved in 1960. Here is a quarter, a dime, and a penny—36¢. That's what this 1960 dollar is worth today. And if the present inflation rate should continue three more years, that dollar of 1960 will be worth a quarter. What initiative is there to save? And if we don't save we are short of the investment capital needed for business and industry expansion. Workers in Japan and West Germany save several times the percentage of their income than Americans do.
What's happened to that American dream of owning a home? Only ten years ago a family could buy a home and the monthly payment averaged little more than a quarter—27¢ out of each dollar earned. Today it takes 42¢ out of every dollar of income. So, fewer than 1 out of 11 families can afford to buy their first new home.
Regulations adopted by government with the best of intentions have added $666 to the cost of an automobile. It is estimated that altogether regulations of every kind, on shopkeepers, farmers, and major industries add $100 billion or more to the cost of the goods and services we buy. And then another $20 billion is spent by government handling the paperwork created by those regulations.
I'm sure you are getting the idea that the audit presented to me found government policies of the last few decades responsible for our economic troubles. We forgot or just overlooked the fact that government—any government—has a built-in tendency to grow. Now, we all had a hand in looking to government for benefits as if government had some sources of [Page 1895]revenue other than our earnings. Many if not most of the things we thought of or that government offered to us seemed attractive….
By 1960 our national debt stood at $284 billion. Congress in 1971 decided to put a ceiling of $400 billion on our ability to borrow. Today the debt is $934 billion. So-called temporary increases or extensions in the debt ceiling have been allowed 21 times in these 10 years and now I have been forced to ask for another increase in the debt ceiling or the government will be unable to function past the middle of February and I've only been here 16 days. Before we reach the day when we can reduce the debt ceiling we may in spite of our best efforts see a national debt in excess of a trillion dollars. Now this is a figure literally beyond our comprehension.
We know now that inflation results from all that deficit spending. Government has only two ways of getting money other than raising taxes. It can go into the money market and borrow, competing with its own citizens and driving up interest rates, which it has done, or it can print money, and it's done that. Both methods are inflationary….
One way out would be to raise taxes so that government need not borrow or print money. But in all these years of government growth we've reached—indeed surpassed—the limit of our people's tolerance or ability to bear an increase in the tax burden.
Prior to World War II, taxes were such that on the average we only had to work just a little over one month each year to pay our total Federal, state and local tax bill. Today we have to work four months to pay that bill.
Some say shift the tax burden to business and industry but business doesn't pay taxes. Oh, don't get the wrong idea, business is being taxed—so much so that we are being priced out of the world market. But business must pass its costs of operation and that includes taxes, onto the customer in the price of the product. Only people pay taxes—all the taxes. Government just uses business in a kind of sneaky way to help collect the taxes. They are hidden in the price and we aren't aware of how much tax we actually pay. Today, this once great industrial giant of ours has the lowest rate of gain in productivity of virtually all the industrial nations with whom we must compete in the world market here in America against foreign automobiles, steel and a number of other products.
Japanese production of automobiles is almost twice as great per worker as it is in America. Japanese steel workers out-produce their American counterparts by about 25 percent.
Now this isn't because they are better workers. I'll match the American working man or woman against anyone in the world. But we have to give them the tools and equipment that workers in the other industrial nations have.
We invented the assembly line and mass production, but punitive tax policies and excessive and unnecessary regulations plus government borrowing have stifled our ability to update plant and equipment. When capital investment is made it's too often for some unproductive alterations demanded by government to meet various of its regulations.
Excessive taxation of individuals has robbed us of incentive and made overtime unprofitable….
All of you who are working know that even with cost-of-living pay raises you can't keep up with inflation. In our progressive tax system as you increase the number of dollars you earn you find yourself moved up into higher tax brackets, paying a higher tax rate just for trying to hold your own. The result? Your standard of living is going down.
Over the past decades we've talked of curtailing government spending so that we can then lower the tax burden. Sometimes we've even taken a run at doing that. But there were always those who told us taxes couldn't be cut until spending was reduced. Well, you know, we can lecture our children about extravagance until we run out of voice and breath. Or we can cure their extravagance by simply reducing their allowance.
It is time to recognize that we have come to a turning point. We are threatened with an economic calamity of tremendous proportions and the old business as usual treatment can't save us.
Together, we must chart a different course. We must increase productivity. That means making it possible for industry to modernize and make use of the technology which we ourselves invented: that means putting Americans back to work. And that means above all bringing government spending back within government revenues which is the only way, together with increased productivity that we can reduce and, yes, eliminate inflation.
In the past we've tried to fight inflation one year and then when unemployment increased turn the next year to fighting unemployment with more deficit spending as a pump primer. So again, up goes inflation. It hasn't worked. We don't have to choose between inflation and unemployment—they go hand in hand. It's time to try something different and that's what we're going to do.
I've already placed a freeze on hiring replacements for those who retire or leave government service. I have ordered a cut in government travel, the number of consultants to the government, and the buying of office equipment and other items. I have put a freeze on pending regulations and set up a task force under Vice President Bush to review regulations with an eye toward getting rid of as many as possible. I have decontrolled oil. And I am eliminating that ineffective Council on Wage and Price Stability.
But it will take more, much more and we must realize there is no quick fix. At the same time, however, we cannot delay in implementing an economic program aimed at both reducing rates to stimulate productivity and reducing the growth in government spending to reduce unemployment and inflation.
On February 18th, I will present in detail an economic program to Congress embodying the features I have just stated. It will propose budget cuts in virtually every department of government. It is my belief that these actual budget cuts will only be a part of the savings. As our Cabinet Secretaries take charge of their departments, they will search out areas of waste, extravagance, and costly administrative overhead which could yield additional and substantial reductions.
Now at the same time we're doing this, we must go forward with a tax relief package. I shall ask for a 10 percent reduction across the board in personal income tax rates for each of the next three years. Proposals will also be submitted for accelerated depreciation allowances for business to provide necessary capital so as to create jobs.
Now, here again, in saying this, I know that language, as I said earlier, can get in the way of a clear understanding of what our program is intended to do. Budget cuts can sound as if we are going to reduce total government spending to a lower level than was spent the year before. This is not the case. The budgets [Page 1896]will increase as our population increases and each year we'll see spending increases to match that growth. Government revenues will increase as the economy grows, but the burden will be lighter for each individual because the economic base will have been expanded by reason of the reduced rates….
Now, in all of this we will of course work closely with the Federal Reserve System toward the objective of a stable monetary policy.
Our spending cuts will not be at the expense of the truly needy. We will, however, seek to eliminate benefits to those who are not really qualified by reason of need….
We can create the incentives which take advantage of the genius of our economic system—a system, as Walter Lippmann observed more than 40 years ago, which for the first time in history gave men “a way of producing wealth in which the good fortune of others multiplied their own.”
Our aim is to increase our national wealth so all will have more, not just redistribute what we already have which is just a sharing of scarcity. We can begin to reward hard work and risk-taking, by forcing this government to live within its means.
Over the years we've let negative economic forces run out of control. We've stalled the judgment day. We no longer have that luxury. We're out of time.
And to you my fellow citizens, let us join in a new determination to rebuild the foundation of our society; to work together to act responsibly. Let us do so with the most profound respect for that which must be preserved as well as with sensitive understanding and compassion for those who must be protected.
We can leave our children with an unrepayable massive debt and a shattered economy or we can leave them liberty in a land where every individual has the opportunity to be whatever God intended us to be. All it takes is a little common sense and recognition of our ability. Together we can forge a new beginning for America.
Thank you and good night.Temporary Transfer of Power from Reagan to G. H. W. Bush
Section 3 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment (1967) created a procedure for a disabled president to transfer temporarily the powers and duties of the office to the vice president. President Ronald Reagan was criticized for not invoking the amendment after he was shot in March 1981. On July 13, 1985, preparing for cancer surgery, Reagan transferred power to Vice President George H. W. Bush, the first such transfer in history. Following the constitutional procedure, Reagan sent separate letters to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate to announce both the beginning of the transfer and the end, later the same day. For eight hours, Bush was acting president.
Curiously, although Reagan's transfer of power to Bush clearly fell under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, his letter to the Speaker and president pro tempore stated that he thought the action was inappropriate to the situation.
Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)
I am about to undergo surgery during which time I will be briefly and temporarily incapable of discharging the Constitutional powers and duties of the Office of the President of the United States.
After consultation with my counsel and the Attorney General, I am mindful of the provisions of Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and of the uncertainties of its application to such brief and temporary periods of incapacity. I do not believe that the drafters of this Amendment intended its application to situations such as the instant one.
Nevertheless, consistent with my longstanding arrangement with Vice President George Bush, and not intending to set a precedent binding anyone privileged to hold this Office in the future, I have determined and it is my intention and direction that Vice President George Bush shall discharge those powers and duties in my stead commencing with the administration of anesthesia to me in this instance.
I shall advise you and the Vice President when I determine that I am able to resume the discharge of the Constitutional powers and duties of this Office.
May God bless this Nation and us all.
Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)
Following up on my letter to you of this date, please be advised I am able to resume the discharge of the Constitutional powers and duties of the Office of the President of the United States. I have informed the Vice President of my determination and my resumption of those powers.G. H. W. Bush's War Address
No decision weighs more heavily on a president than the decision to commit American troops to war. Presidents must bear not only the moral burden of ordering Americans into harm's way but also the political burden. The Vietnam experience taught that presidents cannot sustain foreign military operations for long without the support of the American people and Congress.
When on August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops invaded neighboring Kuwait, President George H. W. Bush angrily denounced the move as “naked aggression” and vowed that it would not stand. In the months that followed, Bush conducted a two-track policy: trying through bilateral and multilateral diplomatic initiatives to convince Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from [Page 1897]Kuwait voluntarily, while simultaneously preparing the American military, the American people, and the international community for war. Through press releases, news conferences, and public addresses, Bush repeatedly stated his case for intervening. “In the life of a nation, we're called upon to define who we are and what we believe. Sometimes these choices are not easy. But today as President, I ask for your support in a decision I've made to stand up for what's right and condemn what's wrong, all in the cause of peace,” Bush said in a television address to the nation on August 8.
By January 15, 1991, the deadline set by United Nations Resolution 678 for Iraqi withdrawal, President Bush had secured from the House and Senate authorization to use military force, and he had the support of a majority of the American people. The next day, the United States, in coalition with twenty-seven other nations, went to war with Iraq. Less than two hours after the first coalition aircraft began the attack, President Bush addressed the nation. Speaking from the Oval Office, Bush sought to assure the American people that the war's aims were just, necessary, and limited. And he sought to reassure them that “this will not be another Vietnam.”
Just 2 hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. These attacks continue as I speak. Ground forces are not engaged.
This conflict started August 2 when the dictator of Iraq invaded a small and helpless neighbor. Kuwait—a member of the Arab League and a member of the United Nations—was crushed; its people, brutalized. Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait. Tonight, the battle has been joined.
This military action, taken in accord with United Nations resolutions and with the consent of the United States Congress, follows months of constant and virtually endless diplomatic activity on the part of the United Nations, the United States, and many, many other countries. Arab leaders sought what became known as an Arab solution, only to conclude that Saddam Hussein was unwilling to leave Kuwait. Others traveled to Baghdad in a variety of efforts to restore peace and justice. Our Secretary of State, James Baker, held an historic meeting in Geneva, only to be totally rebuffed. This past weekend, in a last-ditch effort, the Secretary-General of the United Nations went to the Middle East with peace in his heart—his second such mission. And he came back from Baghdad with no progress at all in getting Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait.
Now the 28 countries with forces in the Gulf area have exhausted all reasonable efforts to reach a peaceful resolution—have no choice but to drive Saddam from Kuwait by force. We will not fail.
As I report to you, air attacks are underway against military targets in Iraq. We are determined to knock out Saddam Hussein's nuclear bomb potential. We will also destroy his chemical weapons facilities. Much of Saddam's artillery and tanks will be destroyed. Our operations are designed to best protect the lives of all the coalition forces by targeting Saddam's vast military arsenal. Initial reports from General [Norman] Schwarzkopf are that our operations are proceeding according to plan.
Our objectives are clear: Saddam Hussein's forces will leave Kuwait. The legitimate government of Kuwait will be restored to its rightful place, and Kuwait will once again be free. Iraq will eventually comply with all relevant United Nations resolutions, and then, when peace is restored, it is our hope that Iraq will live as a peaceful and cooperative member of the family of nations, thus enhancing the security and stability of the Gulf.
Some may ask: Why act now? Why not wait? The answer is clear: The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective. Sanctions were tried for well over 5 months, and we and our allies concluded that sanctions alone would not force Saddam from Kuwait.
While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own. He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities—and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children.
While the world waited, Saddam sought to add to the chemical weapons arsenal he now possesses, an infinitely more dangerous weapon of mass destruction—a nuclear weapon. And while the world waited, while the world talked peace and withdrawal, Saddam Hussein dug in and moved massive forces into Kuwait.
While the world waited, while Saddam stalled, more damage was being done to the fragile economies of the Third World, emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, to the entire world, including to our own economy. The United States, together with the United Nations, exhausted every means at our disposal to bring this crisis to a peaceful end. However, Saddam clearly felt that by stalling and threatening and defying the United Nations, he could weaken the forces arrayed against him.
While the world waited, Saddam Hussein met every overture of peace with open contempt. While the world prayed for peace, Saddam prepared for war.
I had hoped that when the United States Congress, in historic debate, took its resolute action, Saddam would realize he could not prevail and would move out of Kuwait in accord with the United Nation[s] resolutions. He did not do that. Instead, he remained intransigent, certain that time was on his side.
Saddam was warned over and over again to comply with the will of the United Nations: Leave Kuwait, or be driven out. Saddam has arrogantly rejected all warnings. Instead, he tried to make this a dispute between Iraq and the United States of America.
Well, he failed. Tonight, 28 nations—countries from 5 continents, Europe and Asia, Africa, and the Arab League—have forces in the Gulf area standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein. These countries had hoped the use of force could be avoided. Regrettably, we now believe that only force will make him leave.
Prior to ordering our forces into battle, I instructed our military commanders to take every necessary step to prevail as quickly as possible, and with the greatest degree of protection possible for American and allied servicemen and women. I've told the American people before that this will not be another Vietnam, and I repeat this here tonight. Our troops will have the best possible support in the entire world, and they will not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back. I'm hopeful that this fighting will not go on for long and that casualties will be held to an absolute minimum.
This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for [Page 1898]future generations a new world order—a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful—and we will be—we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders.
We have no argument with the people of Iraq. Indeed, for the innocents caught in this conflict, I pray for their safety. Our goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the liberation of Kuwait. It is my hope that somehow the Iraqi people can, even now, convince their dictator that he must lay down his arms, leave Kuwait and let Iraq itself rejoin the family of peace-loving nations.
Thomas Paine wrote many years ago: “These are the times that try men's souls.” Those well-known words are so very true today. But even as planes of the multinational forces attack Iraq, I prefer to think of peace, not war. I am convinced not only that we will prevail but that out of the horror of combat will come the recognition that no nation can stand against a world united. No nation will be permitted to brutally assault its neighbor.
No president can easily commit our sons and daughters to war. They are the Nation's finest. Ours is an all-volunteer force, magnificently trained, highly motivated. The troops know why they're there. And listen to what they say, for they've said it better than any President or Prime Minister ever could.
Listen to Hollywood Huddleston, Marine lance corporal. He says, “Let's free these people, so we can go home and be free again.” And he's right. The terrible crimes and tortures committed by Saddam's henchmen against the innocent people of Kuwait are an affront to mankind and a challenge to the freedom of all.
Listen to one of our great officers out there, Marine Lieutenant General Walter Boomer. He said: “There are things worth fighting for. A world in which brutality and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked isn't the kind of world we're going to want to live in.”
Listen to Master Sergeant J. P. Kendall of the 82d Airborne: “We're here for more than just the price of a gallon of gas. What we're doing is going to chart the future of the world for the next 100 years. It's better to deal with this guy now than 5 years from now.”
And finally, we should all sit up and listen to Jackie Jones, an Army lieutenant, when she says, “If we let him get away with this, who knows what's going to be next?”
I have called upon Hollywood and Walter and J. P. and Jackie and all their courageous comrades-in-arms to do what must be done. Tonight, America and the world are deeply grateful to them and to their families. And let me say to everyone listening or watching tonight: When the troops we've sent in finish their work, I am determined to bring them home as soon as possible.
Tonight, as our forces fight, they and their families are in our prayers. May God bless each and every one of them, and the coalition forces at our side in the Gulf, and may He continue to bless our nation, the United States of America.Clinton's 1996 State of the Union Address
Bill Clinton's first three years as president were as politically turbulent as any president's since Herbert Hoover. The year 1993 was marked by both triumphant political success—enactment of spending reductions and tax increases on the wealthy that promised to reduce the federal budget deficit by $500 billion over a five-year period—and stormy political controversy concerning issues such as gays in the military. The following year, 1994, was unrelentingly disappointing for the president. First, the administration's major legislative initiative—a proposed overhaul of the nation's health care system that was developed by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the president's behest—stalled in Congress. Then, in a crushing political blow, the Republicans took control of Congress in the midterm elections for the first time in forty years.
At the start of 1995, Clinton was already a lame duck president in the eyes of many political observers—at one news conference, he had to insist that “the president is relevant.” Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas, an early contender for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, was the new Senate majority leader. Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, a strongly ideological conservative and a fiercely partisan Republican, was the new Speaker of the House. During the 1994 midterm election campaign, Gingrich had committed Republican congressional candidates to a ten-item “Contract with America” that included items such as welfare reform and a line-item veto. As Speaker, Gingrich vowed that the contract would serve as Washington's political agenda for 1995, eclipsing the president's legislative program.
The Republican contract faltered during the first year of the 104th Congress. Even when the House of Representatives approved an item, either the Senate failed to pass it or Clinton cast a veto. By the end of 1995, Republicans were stymied in their effort to pass a seven-year balanced budget plan. When the federal government shut down for several days for lack of appropriations, most voters blamed the Republicans.
Clinton's strategy during 1995 was to lie low, hoping that the Republicans would fail, then come out fighting at the start of the 1996 election year. In a sense, his State of the Union address, delivered to a joint session of Congress and televised to a live national audience on January 23, 1996, was the kickoff of his reelection campaign.
In the vigorously delivered speech, Clinton argued that “the state of the union is strong” because of the accomplishments of his administration. Stealing a popular theme from the Republicans, he also proclaimed, “The era of big government is over.” Senator Dole, who gave the Republican response to Clinton's address, could do little more than complain that the president talked like a conservative Republican but governed as a liberal Democrat.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of the 104th Congress, distinguished guests, my fellow Americans all across our land.
Let me begin tonight by saying to our men and women in uniform around the world, and especially those helping peace take root in Bosnia, and to their families, I thank you. America is very, very proud of you.
My duty tonight is to report on the state of the union, not the state of our government, but of our American community, and to set forth our responsibilities—in the words of our founders—to form a “more perfect union.”
The state of the union is strong.
Our economy is the healthiest it has been in three decades. We have the lowest combined rates of unemployment and inflation in 27 years.
We have created nearly 8 million new jobs, over a million of them in basic industries like construction and automobiles. America is selling more cars than Japan for the first time since the 1970s, and for three years in a row we have had a record number of new businesses started in our country.
Our leadership in the world is also strong, bringing hope for a new peace. And perhaps most important, we are gaining ground in restoring our fundamental values. The crime rate, the welfare and food stamp rolls, the poverty rate, and the teen pregnancy rate are all down. And as they go down, prospects for America's future go up.“An Age of Possibility”
We live in an Age of Possibility. A hundred years ago we moved from farm to factory. Now we move to an age of technology, information and global competition. These changes have opened vast new opportunities for our people, but they have also presented them with stiff challenges. While more Americans are living better, too many of our fellow citizens are working harder just to keep up, in search of greater security for their families.
We must answer here three fundamental questions: First, how do we make the American dream of opportunity for all a reality for all Americans who are willing to work for it? Second, how do we preserve our old and enduring values as we move into the future? And third, how do we meet these challenges together, as one America?
We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there is not a program for every problem. We know and we have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington—and we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big government is over.
But we cannot go back to the time when our citizens were left to fend for themselves. We must go forward as one America—one nation working together, to meet the challenges we face together. Self-reliance and teamwork are not opposing virtues—we must have both.
I believe our new, smaller government must work in an old-fashioned American way—together with all our citizens, through state and local governments, in the workplace, in religious, charitable and civic associations. Our goal must be to enable all our people to make the most of their own lives with stronger families, more educational opportunity, economic security, safer streets, a cleaner environment, and a safer world.
To improve the state of our union, we must ask more of ourselves; we must expect more of each other; and we must face our challenges together.
Here, in this place, our responsibility begins with balancing the budget in a way that is fair to all Americans. There is now broad bipartisan agreement that permanent deficit spending must come to an end.
I compliment the Republican leadership and the membership for the energy and determination you have brought to this task of balancing the budget. And I thank the Democrats for passing the largest deficit reduction plan in history in 1993, which has already cut the deficit nearly in half in just three years.
Since 1993, we have all seen the benefits of deficit reduction: Lower interest rates have made it easier for businesses to borrow and to invest and to create new jobs. Lower interest rates have brought down the cost of home mortgages, car payments and credit card rates to ordinary citizens. Now it is time to finish the job and balance the budget.
Though differences remain among us that are significant, the combined total of the proposed savings common to both plans is more than enough, using the numbers from your Congressional Budget Office, to balance the budget in seven years and to provide a modest tax cut. These cuts are real, they will require sacrifice from everyone. But these cuts do not undermine our obligations to our parents, our children, and our future by endangering Medicare, Medicaid, education or the environment, or by raising taxes on working families.
I have said before and I'll say again that many good ideas have come out of our negotiations. I have learned a lot about the way both Republicans and Democrats view the debate before us. I have learned a lot about the good ideas that each side has that we could all embrace. We ought to resolve our remaining differences. I am willing to work to resolve them. I am ready to meet tomorrow. But I ask you to consider that we should at least enact these savings that both plans have in common and give the American people their balanced budget, a tax cut, lower interest rates and a brighter future. We should do that now and make permanent deficits yesterday's legacy.Children and Families
Now it is time for us to look also to the challenges of today and tomorrow, beyond the burdens of yesterday. The challenges are significant, but our nation was built on challenges. America was built on challenges, not promises. And when we work together, we never fail. That is the key to a more perfect union: Our individual dreams must be realized by our common efforts.
Tonight, I want to speak to you about the challenges we all face as a people.
Our first challenge is to cherish our children and strengthen America's families.
Families are the foundation of American life. If we have stronger families, we will have a stronger America. Before I go on, I'd like to take just a moment to thank my own family, and to thank the person who has taught me more than anyone else over 25 years about the importance of families and children. A wonderful wife, a magnificent mother, and a great first lady. Thank you, Hillary.
All strong families begin with taking more responsibility for our children. I've heard Mrs. Gore say that it's hard to be a parent today, but it's even harder to be a child. So all of us, not just as parents but all of us in our other roles—our businesses, our media, our schools, our teachers, our communities, our churches and synagogues, our government—all of us have a responsibility to help our children to make it, and to make the most of their lives and their God-given capacities.
To the media: I say you should create movies, CDs and television shows you would want your own children and grandchildren to enjoy. I call on Congress to pass the requirement for a “v-chip” in TV sets so that parents can screen out programs they believe are inappropriate for their children.
When parents control what their young children see, that is not censorship. That is enabling parents to assume more personal responsibility for their children's upbringing. And I urge them to do it. The v-chip requirement is part of the important telecommunications bill now pending in this Congress. It has bipartisan support, and I urge you to pass it now.
To make the v-chip work, I challenge the broadcast industry to do what movies have done to identify your programs in ways that help parents to protect their children. And I invite the leaders of major media corporations and the entertainment industry to come to the White House next month to work with us in a positive way on concrete ways to improve what our children see on television. I am ready to work with you.
I say to those who produce and market cigarettes: Every year, a million children take up smoking, even though it's against the law; 300,000 of them will have their lives shortened as a result.
Our administration has taken steps to stop the massive marketing campaigns that appeal to our children. We are simply saying: Market your products to adults, if you wish—but draw the line on children.
I say to those who are on welfare, and especially to those who have been trapped on welfare for a long time: For too long our welfare system has undermined the values of family and work instead of supporting them. The Congress and I are near agreement on sweeping welfare reform. We agree on time limits, tough work requirements, and the toughest possible child-support enforcement. But I believe we must also provide child care so that mothers who are required to go to work can do so without worrying about what is happening to their children. I challenge this Congress to send me a bipartisan welfare reform bill that will really move people from welfare to work and do the right thing by our children. I will sign it immediately.
But let us be candid about this difficult problem. Passing a law, even the best possible law, is only a first step. The next step is to make it work. I challenge people on welfare to make the most of this opportunity for independence. I challenge American businesses to give people on welfare the chance to move into the work force. I applaud the work of religious groups and others who care for the poor. More than anyone else in our society, they know the true difficulty of this task, and they are in a position to help. Every one of us should join them. That is the only way we can make real welfare reform a reality in the lives of the American people.
To strengthen the family, we must do everything we can to keep the teen pregnancy rate going down. I am gratified, as I'm sure all Americans are, that it has dropped for two years in a row. But we all know it is still far too high. Tonight I am pleased to announce that a group of prominent Americans is responding to that challenge by forming an organization that will support grassroots community efforts all across our country in a national campaign against teen pregnancy. And I challenge all of us and every American to join their efforts.
I call on American men and women in families to respect one another. We must end the deadly scourge of domestic violence in our country. And I challenge America's families to work harder to stay together. For families that stay together not only do better economically, their children do better as well.
In particular, I challenge the fathers of this country to love and care for their children. If your family has separated, you must pay your child support. We are doing more than ever to make sure you do, and we are going to do more. But let's admit something about that too: A check will never substitute for a father's love and guidance. And only you—only you can make the decision to help raise your children. No matter who you are, how low or high your station in life, it is the most basic human duty of every American to do that job to the best of his or her ability.Educational Opportunities
Our second challenge is to provide Americans with the educational opportunities we need for this new century.
In our schools, every classroom in America must be connected to the information superhighway, with computers, good software and well-trained teachers. We are working with the telecommunications industry, educators, and parents to connect 20 percent of California's classrooms by this spring, and every classroom and every library in the entire United States by the year 2000. I ask Congress to support our education technology initiative so that we can make sure this national partnership succeeds.
Every diploma ought to mean something. I challenge every community, every school, and every state to adopt national standards of excellence, to measure whether schools are meeting those standards, to cut bureaucratic red tape so that schools and teachers have more flexibility for grassroots reform, and to hold them accountable for results. That's what our Goals 2000 initiative is all about.
I challenge every state to give all parents the right to choose which public school their children will attend and to let teachers form new schools with a charter they can keep only if they do a good job.
I challenge all our schools to teach character education: to teach good values, and good citizenship. And if it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require the students to wear school uniforms.
I challenge our parents to become their children's first teachers. Turn off the TV. See that the homework is done. And visit your children's classroom. No program, no teacher, no one else can do that for you.
My fellow Americans, higher education is more important today than ever before. We have created a new student loan program that has made it easier to borrow and repay loans; and we have dramatically cut the student loan default rate. That's something we should all be proud of, because it was unconscionably high just a few years ago. Through AmeriCorps, our national service program, this year 25,000 young people will earn college money by serving in their local communities to improve the lives of their friends and neighbors. These initiatives are right for America, and we should keep them going.
And we should work hard to open the doors of college even wider. I challenge Congress to expand work study and help 1 million young Americans work their way through college by the year 2000; to provide a $1,000 merit scholarship for the top 5 percent of graduates in every high school in the U.S.; to expand [Page 1901]Pell Grant scholarships for deserving and needy students; and to make up to $10,000 a year of college tuition tax deductible. It's a good idea for America.Economic Security
Our third challenge is to help every American who is willing to work for it achieve economic security in this new age.
People who work hard still need support to get ahead in the new economy. They need education and training for a lifetime, they need more support for families raising children, they need retirement security, they need access to health care.
More and more Americans are finding that the education of their childhood simply doesn't last a lifetime. So I challenge Congress to consolidate 70 overlapping, antiquated job training programs into a simple voucher worth $2,600 for unemployed or underemployed workers to use as they please for community college tuition or other training. This is a GI bill for America's Workers we should all be able to agree on.
More and more Americans are working hard without a raise. Congress sets the minimum wage. Within a year, the minimum wage will fall to a 40-year low in purchasing power—$4.25 an hour is no longer a minimum wage. But millions of Americans and their children are trying to live on it. I challenge you to raise their minimum wage.
In 1993, Congress cut the taxes of 15 million hard-pressed working families to make sure that no parents who worked full time would have to raise their children in poverty, and to encourage people to move from welfare to work. This expanded Earned Income Tax Credit is now worth about $1,800 a year to a family of four living on $20,000. The budget bill I vetoed would have reversed this achievement and raised taxes on nearly eight million of these people. We should not do that. We should not do that.
But I also agree that the people who are helped under this initiative are not all those in our country who are working hard to do a good job raising their children and at work. I agree that we need a tax credit for working families with children. That's one of the things most of us in this chamber, I hope, can agree on. I know it is strongly supported by the Republican majority and it should be part of any final budget agreement.
I want to challenge every business that can possibly afford it to provide pensions for your employees, and I challenge Congress to pass a proposal recommended by the White House Conference on Small Business that would make it easier for small businesses and farmers to establish their own pension plans. That is something we should all agree on.
We should also protect existing pension plans. Two years ago, with bipartisan support, it was almost unanimous on both sides of the aisle. We moved to protect the pensions of 8 million working people and to stabilize the pensions of 32 million more. Congress should not now let companies endanger those workers’ pension funds. I know the proposal to liberalize the ability of employers to take money out of pension funds for other purposes would raise money for the treasury, but I believe it is false economy. I vetoed that proposal last year, and I would have to do so again.
Finally, if our working families are going to succeed in the new economy, they must be able to buy health insurance policies that they do not lose when they change jobs or when someone in their family gets sick. Over the past two years, over 1 million Americans in working families have lost their health insurance. We have to do more to make health care available to every American. And Congress should start by passing the bipartisan bill offered by Senator [Edward M.] Kennedy [D-Mass.] and Senator [Nancy Landon] Kassebaum [R-Kan.] that would require insurance companies to stop dropping people when they switch jobs, and stop denying coverage for preexisting conditions. Let's all do that.
And even as we enact savings in these programs, we must have a common commitment to preserve the basic protections of Medicare and Medicaid, not just to the poor, but to people in working families, including children, people with disabilities, people with AIDS, and senior citizens in nursing homes. In the past three years, we have saved $15 billion just by fighting health care fraud and abuse. We have all agreed to save much more. We have all agreed to stabilize the Medicare trust fund. But we must not abandon our fundamental obligations to the people who need Medicare and Medicaid. America cannot become stronger if they become weaker.
The GI Bill for Workers, tax relief for education and childrearing, pension availability and protection, access to health care, preservation of Medicare and Medicaid, these things—along with the Family and Medical Leave Act passed in 1993—these things will help responsible hardworking American families to make the most of their own lives.
But employers and employees must do their part as well, as they are in so many of our finest companies, working together, putting long-term prosperity ahead of short-term gains. As workers increase their hours and their productivity, employers should make sure they get the skills they need and share the benefits of the good years as well as the burdens of the bad ones. When companies and workers work as a team, they do better. And so does America.Take Back the Streets
Our fourth great challenge is to take back our streets from crime, gangs and drugs.
At last, we have begun to find the way to reduce crime—forming community partnerships with local police forces to catch criminals and to prevent crime. This strategy, called community policing, is clearly working. Violent crime is coming down all across America.
In New York City, murders are down 25 percent, in St. Louis 18 percent, in Seattle 32 percent. But we still have a long way to go before our streets are safe and our people are free of fear.
The Crime Bill of 1994 is critical to the success of community policing. It provides funds for 100,000 new police in communities of all sizes. We are already a third of the way there. And I challenge Congress to finish the job. Let us stick with the strategy that's working, and keep the crime rate coming down.
Community policing also requires bonds of trust between citizens and police. I ask all Americans to respect and support our law enforcement officers. And to our police I say: Our children need you as role models and heroes. Don't let them down.
The Brady Bill has already stopped 44,000 people with criminal records from buying guns. The assault weapons ban is keeping 19 kinds of assault weapons out of the hands of violent gangs. I challenge the Congress to keep those laws on the books.
Our next step in the fight against crime is to take on gangs the way we once took on the mob. I am directing the FBI and [Page 1902]other investigative agencies to target gangs that involve juveniles in violent crime and to seek authority to prosecute as adults teenagers who maim and kill like adults.
And I challenge local housing authorities and tenant associations: Criminal gang members and drug dealers are destroying the lives of decent tenants. From now on, the rule for residents who commit crime and peddle drugs should be: One strike and you're out.
I challenge every state to match federal policy: to assure that serious violent criminals serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
More police and punishment are important, but they're not enough. We have got to keep more of our young people out of trouble, with prevention strategies not dictated by Washington, but developed in communities. I challenge all of our communities, all of our adults, to give our children futures to say yes to. And I challenge Congress not to abandon the crime bill's support of these grassroots prevention efforts.
Finally, to reduce crime and violence, we have to reduce the drug problem. The challenge begins in our homes, with parents talking to their children openly and firmly. It embraces our churches and synagogues, our youth groups and our schools. I challenge Congress not to cut our support for drug-free schools. People like these DARE [Drug Abuse Resistance Education] officers are making a real impression on grade school children that will give them the strength to say no when the time comes.
Meanwhile, we continue our efforts to cut the flow of drugs into America. For the last two years, one man in particular has been on the front lines of that effort. Tonight I am nominating a hero of the Persian Gulf and the commander in chief of the U.S. Military's Southern Command, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, as America's new drug czar.
Gen. McCaffrey has earned three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars fighting for this country. Tonight I ask that he lead our nation's battle against drugs at home and abroad. To succeed, he needs a force far larger than he has ever commanded before. He needs all of us. Every one of us has a role to play on this team. Thank you, Gen. McCaffrey, for agreeing to serve your country one more time.Commitment to the Environment
Our fifth challenge: to leave our environment safe and clean for the next generation.
Because of a generation of bipartisan effort, we do have cleaner air and water. Lead levels in children's blood has been cut by 70 percent and toxic emissions from factories cut in half. Lake Erie was dead. Now it is a thriving resource.
But 10 million children under 12 still live within four miles of a toxic waste dump. A third of us breathe air that endangers our health. And in too many communities, water is not safe to drink. We still have much to do.
Yet Congress has voted to cut environmental enforcement by 25 percent. That means more toxic chemicals in our water, more smog in our air, more pesticides in our food. Lobbyists for the polluters have been allowed to write their own loopholes into bills to weaken laws that protect the health and safety of our children. Some say that the taxpayers should pick up the tab for toxic waste and let polluters who can afford to fix it off the hook.
I challenge Congress to reexamine those policies and to reverse them. I believe…. This issue has not been a partisan issue. The most significant environmental gains in the last 30 years were made under a Democratic Congress and President Richard Nixon. We can work together. We have to believe some basic things. Do you believe we can expand the economy without hurting the environment? I do. Do you believe we can create more jobs over the long run by cleaning the environment up? I know we can. That should be our commitment.
We must challenge businesses and communities to take more initiative in protecting the environment and we have to make it easier for them to do it. To businesses, this administration is saying: If you can find a cheaper, more efficient way than government regulations require to meet tough pollution standards, do it—as long as you do it right.
To communities we say: We must strengthen community right-to-know laws requiring polluters to disclose their emissions, but you have to use the information to work with business to cut pollution. People do have a right to know that their air and water are safe.American World Leadership
Our sixth challenge is to maintain America's leadership in the fight for freedom and peace throughout the world.
Because of American leadership, more people than ever before live free and at peace, and Americans have known 50 years of prosperity and security. We owe thanks especially to our veterans of World War II. I would like to say to Senator Bob Dole [R-Kan.] and to all others in this chamber who fought in World War II and to all others on both sides of the aisle who have fought bravely in all our conflicts since, I salute your service and so do the American people.
All over the world, even after the Cold War people still look to us, and trust us to help them seek the blessings of peace and freedom.
But as the Cold War fades into memory, voices of isolation say America should retreat from its responsibilities. I say they are wrong.
The threats we face today as Americans respect no nation's borders. Think of them—terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, organized crime, drug trafficking, ethnic and religious hatred, aggression by rogue states, environmental degradation. If we fail to address these threats today, we will suffer the consequences in all our tomorrows.
Of course, we can't be everywhere. Of course, we can't do everything. But where our interests and our values are at stake—and where we can make a difference—America must lead. We must not be isolationist; we must not be the world's policeman. But we can and should be the world's very best peacemaker.
By keeping our military strong, by using diplomacy where we can and force where we must, by working with others to share the risk and the cost of our efforts, America is making a difference for people here and around the world.
For the first time since the dawn of the nuclear age, there is not a single Russian missile pointed at America's children. North Korea has now frozen its dangerous nuclear weapons program. In Haiti, the dictators are gone, democracy has a new day, the flow of desperate refugees to our shores has subsided. Through tougher trade deals for America, over 80 of [Page 1903]them, we have opened markets abroad, and now exports are at an all-time high, growing faster than imports and creating good American jobs.
We stood with those taking risks for peace—in Northern Ireland, where Catholic and Protestant children now tell their parents that violence must never return, and in the Middle East, where Arabs and Jews, who once seemed destined to fight forever, now share knowledge and resources and even dreams.
And we stood up for peace in Bosnia. Remember the skeletal prisoners, the mass graves, the campaigns of rape and torture, the endless lines of refugees, the threat of a spreading war—all these threats, all these horrors have now begun to give way to the promise of peace. Now our troops and a strong NATO, together with our new partners from Central Europe and elsewhere, are helping that peace to take hold.
As all of you know, I was just there with a bipartisan congressional group and I was so proud not only of what our troops were doing but at the pride they evidenced in what they were doing. They know what America's mission in this world is and they were proud to be carrying it out.
Through these efforts, we have enhanced the security of the American people. But make no mistake about it, important challenges remain. The Start II treaty with Russia will cut our nuclear stockpiles by another 25 percent; I urge the Senate to approve it—now. We must end the race to create new nuclear weapons by signing a truly comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty—this year. As we remember what happened in the Japanese subway, we can outlaw poison gas forever, if the Senate approves the Chemical Weapons Convention—this year. We can intensify the fight against terrorists and organized criminals at home and abroad, if Congress passes the antiterrorism legislation I proposed after the Oklahoma City bombing—now. We can help more people move from hatred to hope all across the world in our own interest—if Congress gives us the means to remain the world's leader for peace.Reinventing Government
My fellow Americans, the six challenges I have discussed are for all of us. Our seventh challenge is really America's challenge to those of us in this hallowed hall here tonight—to reinvent our government and make our democracy work for them.
Last year, this Congress applied to itself the laws it applies to everyone else. This Congress banned gifts and meals from lobbyists. This Congress forced lobbyists to disclose who pays them and what legislation they are trying to pass or kill. This Congress did that and I applaud you for it.
Now I challenge Congress to go further, to curb special interest influence in politics by passing the first truly bipartisan campaign finance reform bill in a generation. You Republicans and Democrats alike can show the American people that we can limit spending and we can open the airwaves to all candidates.
And I also appeal to Congress to pass the line item veto you promised the American people. Our administration is working hard to give the American people a government that works better and costs less. Thanks to the work of Vice President [Al] Gore, we are eliminating 16,000 pages of unnecessary rules and regulations and shifting more decision-making out of Washington back to states and communities.
As we move into an era of balanced budgets and smaller government, we must work in new ways to enable people to make the most of their own lives. We are helping America's communities, not with more bureaucracy, but with more opportunities. Through our successful empowerment zones and community development banks we are helping people to find jobs, to start businesses.
And with tax incentives for the companies that clean up abandoned industrial property, we can bring jobs back to the places that desperately, desperately need them.
But there are some areas that the federal government should not leave and should address and address strongly. One of these areas is the problem of illegal immigration. After years and years of neglect, this administration has taken a strong stand to stiffen the protection of our borders. We are increasing border patrols by 50 percent. We are increasing inspections to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants.
And tonight, I announce I will sign an executive order to deny federal contracts to businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Let me be very clear about this: We are still a nation of immigrants; we should be proud of it. We should honor every legal immigrant here working hard to be a good citizen, working hard to become a new citizen. But we are also a nation of laws.
I want to say a special word now to those who work for our federal government. Today, the federal work force is 200,000 employees smaller than it was the day I took office as president—our federal government today is the smallest it has been in 30 years, and it's getting smaller every day. Most of our fellow Americans probably don't know that and there's a good reason— a good reason: The remaining federal work force is composed of Americans who are now working harder and working smarter than ever before to make sure that the quality of our services does not decline.
I'd like to give you one example. His name is Richard Dean. He's a 49-year-old Vietnam veteran who's worked for the Social Security Administration for 22 years now. Last year, he was hard at work in the federal building in Oklahoma City when the blast killed 169 people and brought the rubble down all around him. He reentered that building four times. He saved the lives of three women. He is here with us this evening, and I want to recognize Richard and applaud both his public service and his extraordinary personal heroism.
But Richard Dean's story doesn't end there. This last November, he was forced out of his office when the government shut down. And the second time the government shut down, he continued helping Social Security recipients, but he was working without pay. On behalf of Richard Dean and his family and all the other people who are out there working every day doing a good job for the American people, I challenge all of you in this chamber: Never—ever—shut the federal government down again. On behalf of all Americans, especially those who need their Social Security payments at the beginning of March, I also challenge the Congress to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States, to honor the obligations of this great nation as we have for 220 years, to rise above partisanship and pass a straightforward extension of the debt limit and show the people America keeps its word.
I know that this evening I have asked a lot of Congress and even more from America. But I am confident. When Americans work together in their homes, their schools, their churches, [Page 1904]their synagogues, their civic groups, or their workplace, they can meet any challenge.Torch of Citizenship
I say again: The era of big government is over. But we can't go back to the era of fending for yourself. We have to go forward, to the era of working together—as a community, as a team, as one America—with all of us reaching across these lines that divide us. The division, the discrimination, the rancor, we have to reach across it to find common ground. We have got to work together if we want America to work.
I want you to meet two more people tonight who do just that. Lucius Wright is a teacher in the Jackson, Mississippi, public school system. A Vietnam veteran, he has created groups to help inner city children turn away from gangs and build futures they can believe in. And Sergeant Jennifer Rodgers is a police officer in Oklahoma City. Like Richard Dean, she helped to pull her fellow citizens out of the rubble and deal with that awful tragedy. She reminds us that, in their response to that atrocity, the people of Oklahoma City lifted all of us with their basic sense of decency and community.
Lucius Wright and Jennifer Rodgers are special Americans, and I have the honor to announce tonight that they are the very first of several thousand Americans who will be chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its long journey from Los Angeles to the centennial of the modern Olympics in Atlanta this summer—not because they are star athletes, but because they are star citizens, community heroes meeting America's challenges. They are our real champions. Please stand up.
Now each of us must hold high the torch of citizenship in our own lives. None of us can finish the race alone. We can only achieve our destiny together—one hand, one generation, one American connecting to another. There have always been things we could do together, dreams we could make real, which we could never have done on our own. We Americans have forged our identity, our very union, from the very point of view that we can accommodate every point on the planet, every different opinion, but we must be bound together by a faith more powerful than any doctrine that divides us, by our belief in progress, our love of liberty, and our relentless search for common ground.
America has always sought and always risen to every challenge. Who would say that having come so far together, we will not go forward from here? Who would say that this age of possibility is not for all Americans? Our country is and always has been a great and good nation, but the best is yet to come if we all do our part.
Thank you God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.Clinton's ”Apology” Address
On the evening of August 17, 1998, President Bill Clinton delivered a televised address to the nation unlike any other in the history of the presidency. In the opening seconds of the four-minute speech, which he gave from the Map Room of the White House, Clinton admitted that his personal relationship with former presidential intern Monica Lewinsky “was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong.” He devoted the rest of his remarks to denying that he had violated any laws and to attacking Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's conduct of the investigation into the president's behavior.
Appointed in 1994 to investigate Clinton's possible involvement during the late 1970s in a real estate scheme known as Whitewater, Starr had broadened his investigation to include the president's testimony in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former Arkansas state employee, Paula Jones. Clinton had said in a sworn deposition that he had never had “sexual relations” or “an affair” with Lewinsky. Starr regarded this testimony as possible perjury and also suspected the president of having persuaded Lewinsky to perjure herself in her own deposition in the Jones case.
Matters came to a head on August 6, 1998, when Lewinsky, in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, testified to Starr's Whitewater grand jury that she and the president had had a number of sexual encounters in the White House. When the federal courts ruled that Starr had authority to subpoena Clinton to testify before the grand jury, the president agreed to appear voluntarily. He did so via closed-circuit television on the afternoon preceding his public apology, in the very Map Room from which he addressed the nation.
Reaction to Clinton's speech was mixed, even within his own party. This mixed response mirrored public opinion throughout the entire Lewinsky controversy. The public's regard for Clinton as a person went down sharply, but its approval of his performance on the job remained high.Clinton: ‘Critical Lapse in Judgment’
Following is the text of President Clinton's Aug. 17, 1998, address to the nation in which the president acknowledged a relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky that was “not appropriate” and was “wrong.” He said his conduct was “a critical lapse in judgment.”
This afternoon, in this room, from this chair, I testified before the Office of Independent Counsel and the grand jury.
I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.
Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and private. And that is why I am speaking to you tonight.
As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.
Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.
But I told the grand jury today, and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action.
I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First, by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct.
I was also very concerned about protecting my family. The fact that these questions were being asked in a politically inspired lawsuit, which has since been dismissed, was a consideration too.
In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation that began with private business dealings 20 years ago, dealings, I might add, about which an independent federal agency found no evidence of any wrongdoing by me or my wife over two years ago.
The independent counsel investigation moved on to my staff and friends, then into my private life. And now the investigation itself is under investigation.
This has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many innocent people.
Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most—my wife and our daughter—and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.
Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It's nobody's business but ours.
Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.
Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.
Now it is time—in fact, it is past time—to move on.
We have important work to do—real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
Thank you for watching. And good night.Articles of Impeachment Against Clinton
The Lewinsky scandal culminated in a decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Bill Clinton in December 1998. The U.S. Senate tried Clinton in early 1999 and acquitted him, enabling the president to complete his second term. In both houses the voting on impeachment closely followed party lines: nearly every Republican favored removing Clinton from office, and nearly every Democrat supported the president.
On December 19 the House adopted two articles of impeachment that had been recommended by its Judiciary Committee. By a vote of 228 to 206, with only five Republicans and five Democrats crossing party lines, the House adopted the first article, which accused Clinton of committing perjury in his August 17, 1998, grand jury testimony concerning his intimate relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The House then voted 221–212 to adopt the second article, which charged Clinton with obstruction of justice for his alleged efforts to find Lewinsky a job in New York and for other matters. Five Democrats voted for this article, while twelve Republicans voted against it. The House rejected two other committee-recommended articles: one involved Clinton's deposition in the sexual harassment lawsuit brought against him by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, and the other charged him with “a pattern of deceit and obstruction” in providing misleading statements to the Judiciary Committee.
The Senate formally opened the Clinton trial on January 7, 1999, with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presiding, as mandated by the Constitution. On February 12 the chamber voted 45 in favor of conviction on Article I and 55 against, 22 votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary to remove the president. Ten Republicans joined all forty-five Democrats in voting “not guilty.” On Article II, which accused Clinton of obstruction of justice, the Senate divided 50–50, with five Republicans joining all the Democrats in voting not to convict.
Partisan politics colored the conduct of both sides in the Clinton impeachment controversy. That the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress helped to explain why Clinton was impeached. But they lacked a two-thirds majority in the Senate, a fact that, along with strong public opposition to impeachment, helped to explain why he was not convicted and removed.
Following is the text of H Res 611, the articles of impeachment against President Clinton, that the Judiciary Committee presented to the full House. Articles I and III were approved by the House on Dec. 19, 1998; articles II and IV were rejected.
Resolution, Impeaching William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Resolved, that William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.Article I
In his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of the President of the United States, and to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice, in that:
On August 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth before a [Page 1906]Federal grand jury of the United States. Contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury concerning one or more of the following: (1) the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate government employee; (2) prior perjurious, false and misleading testimony he gave in a Federal civil rights action brought against him; (3) prior false and misleading statements he allowed his attorney to make to a Federal judge in that civil rights action; and (4) his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence in that civil rights action.
In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and [Page 1907]disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.Article II
In his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States, and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice, in that:
(1) On December 23, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton, in sworn answers to written questions asked as part of a Federal civil rights action brought against him, willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning conduct and proposed conduct with subordinate employees.
(2) On January 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in a deposition given as part of a Federal civil rights action brought against him. Contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate government employee, his knowledge of that employee's involvement and participation in the civil rights action brought against him, and his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of that employee.
In all of this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as president, and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.Article III
In his conduct, while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding.
The means used to implement this course of conduct or scheme included one or more of the following acts:
(1) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to execute a sworn affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.
(2) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to give perjurious, false and misleading testimony if and when called to testify personally in that proceeding.
(3) On or about December 28, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a Federal civil rights action brought against him.
(4) Beginning on or about December 7, 1997, and continuing through and including January 14, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him.
(5) On January 17, 1998, at his deposition in a Federal civil rights action brought against him, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a Federal-judge characterizing an affidavit, in order to prevent questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a communication to that judge.
(6) On or about January 18 and January 20–21, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a Federal civil rights action brought against him to a potential witness in that proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of that witness.
(7) On or about January 21, 23, and 26, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton made false and misleading statements to potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in order to corruptly influence the testimony of those witnesses. The false and misleading statements made by William Jefferson Clinton were repeated by witnesses to the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and misleading information.
In all of this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has acted in a manner subversive to the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury to the people of the United States.
Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.Article IV
Using the powers and influence of the office of the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has engaged in conduct that resulted in misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, and contravened the authority of the legislative branch and the truth-seeking purpose of a coordinate investigative proceeding, in that, as President, William Jefferson Clinton refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to certain written requests for admission propounded to him as part of the impeachment inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.
William Jefferson Clinton, in refusing and failing to respond and in making perjurious, false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry.
In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.Speeches by Gore and G. W. Bush Ending the 2000 Election Controversy
The 2000 presidential election remained unresolved for thirty-six days after the nation voted on November 7. The results in Florida were incredibly close, and neither Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic nominee, nor Texas governor George W. Bush, the Republican nominee, could attain the 270 electoral votes needed for election without Florida's twenty-five votes.
For five weeks both candidates waged legal and public relations warfare in pursuit of Florida and the presidency. Some of the legal issues involved the counting of thousands of disputed votes, most of which required voters to punch out a small cardboard “chad” next to the name of the candidate of their choice. Other legal issues involved the requirement in an 1887 federal law that states must send the results of their voting to the National Archives by December 12 in order for their electoral votes to be counted by Congress on January 6.
Bush pressed a strong advantage in the public relations war. On election night the television networks had all declared him the victor in Florida and the new president-elect; Gore had even called Bush to concede the election. Although both the networks and the vice president withdrew their declarations within a matter of hours, the public and the news media continued to treat Bush as the presumptive winner, unless Gore could prove otherwise. In addition, throughout the five-week recount dispute, Bush never lost his slim lead in the ever-changing Florida vote tallies.
Bush also had a legal ace in the hole. On December 11 the closely divided Supreme Court, seven of whose members had been appointed by Republican presidents, ruled by a 5–4 vote in Bush v. Gore that all the recounts in Florida must be ended. The following day, Gore and Bush asked for network television time to address the nation. Speaking from the vice presidential mansion, Gore graciously conceded that Bush would be the next president. Immediately afterward, Bush entered the house chamber of the Texas state legislature and, with equal grace, claimed victory. On January 6, 2001, Vice President Gore fulfilled his legal responsibility to stand before a joint session of Congress, announce how each state had cast its electoral votes, and declare Bush the winner of the election.Al Gore's Concession Speech
Following is a transcript of Vice President Al Gore's Dec. 13, 2000, televised address conceding the presidency to Texas governor George W. Bush. Gore spoke from the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. And I promised I wouldn't call him back this time.
I offered to meet with him as soon as possible, so that we can start to heal the divisions of the campaign, and the contest through which we have just passed.
Almost a century and a half ago, Sen. Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, “Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I am with you, Mr. President, and God bless you.”
In that same spirit, I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside. And may God bless his stewardship of this country.
Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Certainly, neither of us wanted it to happen. Yet it came. And now it has ended, resolved as it must be resolved—through the honored institutions of our democracy.
Over the library of one of our great law schools is inscribed the motto: “Not under man but under God and law.” It is the ruling principle of American freedom, the source of our democratic liberties; I have tried to make it my guide throughout this contest, as it has guided America's deliberations of all the complex issues of the past five weeks.
Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt: While I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be [Page 1908]ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.
I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally—to honor the new president-elect, and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines, and that our Constitution affirms and defends.
Let me say how grateful I am to all those who supported me—and supported the cause for which we have fought.
Tipper and I feel a deep gratitude to Joe and Hadassah Lieberman, who brought passion and high purpose to our partnership—and opened new doors not just for our campaign, but for our country.
This has been an extraordinary election. But in one of God's unforeseen paths, this belatedly broken impasse can point us all to a new common ground. For its very closeness can serve to remind us that we are one people, with a shared history and a shared destiny.
Indeed, that history gives us many examples of contests as hotly debated, as fiercely fought, with their own challenges to the popular will.
Other disputes have dragged on for weeks before reaching resolution. And each time, both the victor and the vanquished have accepted the result peacefully, and in a spirit of reconciliation.
So let it be with us.
I know that many of my supporters are disappointed. I am, too. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of country.
And I say to our fellow members of the world community: Let no one see this contest as a sign of American weakness. The strength of American democracy is shown most clearly through the difficulties it can overcome.
Some have expressed concern that the unusual nature of this election might hamper the next president in the conduct of his office. I do not believe it need be so.
President-elect Bush inherits a nation whose citizens will be ready to assist him in the conduct of his large responsibilities. I personally will be at his disposal.
And I call on all Americans—I particularly urge all who stood with us—to unite behind our next president.
This is America. Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done.
And while there will be time enough to debate our continuing differences, now is the time to recognize that that which unites us is greater than that which divides us.
While we yet hold and do not yield our opposing beliefs, there is a higher duty than the one we owe to political party.
This is America, and we put country before party. We will stand together behind our new president.
As for what I'll do next, I don't know the answer to that one yet. Like many of you, I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with family and old friends. I know I'll spend time in Tennessee and mend some fences—literally and figuratively.
Some have asked whether I have any regrets, and I do have one regret: that I didn't get the chance to stay and fight for the American people for the next four years. Especially for those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed. Especially for those who feel their voices have not been heard.
I heard you—and I will not forget.
I've seen America in this campaign. And I like what I see. It's worth fighting for. And that's a fight I'll never stop.
As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe, as my father once said, that no matter how hard the loss, defeat may serve as well as victory to shake the soul and let the glory out.
So for me, this campaign ends as it began: with the love of Tipper and our family; with faith in God and in the country I have been so proud to serve, from Vietnam to the vice presidency; and with gratitude to our truly tireless campaign staff and volunteers, including all those who worked so hard in Florida for the last 36 days.
Now the political struggle is over. And we turn again to the unending struggle for the common good of all Americans, and for those multitudes around the world who look to us for leadership in the cause of freedom.
In the words of our great hymn, “America, America, let us crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”
And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others—it is time for me to go.
Thank you, and good night. And God bless America.George W. Bush's Acceptance Speech
Following is a transcript of President-elect George W. Bush's Dec. 13, 2000, televised speech after the concession of Vice President Al Gore. Bush spoke from the chamber of the state House of Representatives in Austin, Texas.
Thank you all. Thank you very much. Good evening, my fellow Americans. I appreciate so very much the opportunity to speak with you tonight.
Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, friends, distinguished guests, our country has been through a long and trying period, with the outcome of the presidential election not finalized for longer than any of us could ever imagine.
Vice President Gore and I put our hearts and hopes into our campaigns. We both gave it our all. We shared similar emotions, so I understand how difficult this moment must be for Vice President Gore and his family.
He has a distinguished record of service to our country as a congressman, a senator and a vice president.
This evening I received a gracious call from the vice president. We agreed to meet early next week in Washington, and we agreed to do our best to heal our country after this hard-fought contest.
Tonight I want to thank all the thousands of volunteers and campaign workers who worked so hard on my behalf.
I also salute the vice president and his supporters for waging a spirited campaign. And I thank him for a call that I know was difficult to make. Laura and I wish the vice president and Sen. [Joseph I.] Lieberman and their families the very best.
I have a lot to be thankful for tonight. I'm thankful for America, and thankful that we were able to resolve our electoral differences in a peaceful way.
I'm thankful to the American people for the great privilege of being able to serve as your next president.
I want to thank my wife and our daughters for their love. Laura's active involvement as first lady has made Texas a better place, and she will be a wonderful first lady of America.
I am proud to have Dick Cheney by my side, and America will be proud to have him as our next vice president.
Tonight I chose to speak from the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives because it has been a home to bipartisan cooperation. Here in a place where Democrats have the majority, Republicans and Democrats have worked together to do what is right for the people we represent.
We've had spirited disagreements. And in the end, we found constructive consensus. It is an experience I will always carry with me, an example I will always follow.
I want to thank my friend, House Speaker Pete Laney, a Democrat, who introduced me today. I want to thank the legislators from both political parties with whom I've worked.
Across the hall in our Texas capitol is the state Senate. And I cannot help but think of our mutual friend, the former Democrat lieutenant governor, Bob Bullock. His love for Texas and his ability to work in a bipartisan way continue to be a model for all of us.
The spirit of cooperation I have seen in this hall is what is needed in Washington, D.C. It is the challenge of our moment. After a difficult election, we must put politics behind us and work together to make the promise of America available for every one of our citizens.
I am optimistic that we can change the tone in Washington, D.C.
I believe things happen for a reason, and I hope the long wait of the last five weeks will heighten a desire to move beyond the bitterness and partisanship of the recent past.
Our nation must rise above a house divided. Americans share hopes and goals and values far more important than any political disagreements.
Republicans want the best for our nation, and so do Democrats. Our votes may differ, but not our hopes.
I know America wants reconciliation and unity. I know Americans want progress. And we must seize this moment and deliver.
Together, guided by a spirit of common sense, common courtesy and common goals, we can unite and inspire the American citizens.
Together, we will work to make all our public schools excellent, teaching every student of every background and every accent, so that no child is left behind.
Together we will save Social Security and renew its promise of a secure retirement for generations to come.
Together we will strengthen Medicare and offer prescription drug coverage to all of our seniors.
Together we will give Americans the broad, fair and fiscally responsible tax relief they deserve.
Together we'll have a bipartisan foreign policy true to our values and true to our friends, and we will have a military equal to every challenge and superior to every adversary.
Together we will address some of society's deepest problems one person at a time, by encouraging and empowering the good hearts and good works of the American people.
This is the essence of compassionate conservatism, and it will be a foundation of my administration.
These priorities are not merely Republican concerns or Democratic concerns; they are American responsibilities.
During the fall campaign, we differed about the details of these proposals, but there was remarkable consensus about the important issues before us: excellent schools, retirement and health security, tax relief, a strong military, a more civil society.
We have discussed our differences. Now it is time to find common ground and build consensus to make America a beacon of opportunity in the 21st century.
I'm optimistic this can happen. Our future demands it, and our history proves it. Two hundred years ago, in the election of 1800, America faced another close presidential election. A tie in the Electoral College put the outcome into the hands of Congress.
After six days of voting and 36 ballots, the House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States. That election brought the first transfer of power from one party to another in our new democracy.
Shortly after the election, Jefferson, in a letter titled “Reconciliation and Reform,” wrote this: “The steady character of our countrymen is a rock to which we may safely moor; unequivocal in principle, reasonable in manner. We should be able to hope to do a great deal of good to the cause of freedom and harmony.”
Two hundred years have only strengthened the steady character of America. And so as we begin the work of healing our nation, tonight I call upon that character: respect for each other; respect for our differences; generosity of spirit, and a willingness to work hard and work together to solve any problem.
I have something else to ask you, to ask every American. I ask for you to pray for this great nation. I ask for your prayers for leaders from both parties. I thank you for your prayers for me and my family, and I ask you to pray for Vice President Gore and his family.
I have faith that with God's help we as a nation will move forward together as one nation, indivisible. And together we will create an America that is open, so every citizen has access to the American dream; an America that is educated, so every child has the keys to realize that dream; and an America that is united in our diversity and our shared American values that are larger than race or party.
I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation.
The president of the United States is the president of every single American, of every race and every background.
Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests and I will work to earn your respect.
I will be guided by President Jefferson's sense of purpose, to stand for principle, to be reasonable in manner, and, above all, to do great good for the cause of freedom and harmony. The residency is more than an honor. It is more than an office. It is a charge to keep, and I will give it my all.G. W. Bush's War on Terrorism Address
On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists of the Afghanistan-based al Qaeda network seized control of four airborne passenger jets. Two of the planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, bringing both towers to the ground. Another plane struck the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane was recaptured by a band of passengers, who managed to crash it in a remote area of Pennsylvania.
President George W. Bush was reading to children at a Florida elementary school when the attacks occurred, and security concerns delayed his return to Washington for the rest of the day. Yet, as it almost always does in times of international crisis, the nation rallied to the support of its president. Bush's job approval rating in public opinion polls, which had been hovering just above 50 percent for several months, jumped to 90 percent almost overnight.
Bush consulted closely with his experienced national security team and with the leaders of allied nations before formulating the American response to the attacks. On the evening of September 20, with British prime minister Tony Blair in the gallery of the U.S. House chamber, he addressed an expectant audience consisting of Congress and, via television, radio, and the Internet, the American people and many of the leaders and people of the world. Vowing to bring al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, to justice, Bush demanded the full support of the Taliban government of Afghanistan. “Deliver to the United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land,” Bush demanded, then warned that Taliban officials “will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.” In subsequent weeks, when the Taliban did not act, Bush fomented a civil war in Afghanistan that brought in a new government.
Bush made clear that patience would be required to achieve the larger American goal of stamping out terrorism. He vowed that the war on terrorism “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” To help protect the United States against subsequent attacks, Bush announced the appointment of Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge to head the new White House Office of Homeland Security. In June 2002 Bush asked Congress to convert the office into a cabinet department.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans: In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people.
We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground—passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight.
We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers—in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union—and it is strong.
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time. All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol, singing “God Bless America.” And you did more than sing; you acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military.
Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country.
And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support. America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.
Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own: dozens of Pakistanis; more than 130 Israelis; more than 250 citizens of India; men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico and Japan; and hundreds of British citizens. America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once again, we are joined together in a great cause—so honored the British Prime Minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America. Thank you for coming, friend.
On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars—but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war—but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks—but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day—and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are the same murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.
Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money; its goal is remaking the world—and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics—a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children.
This group and its leader—a person named Osama bin Laden—are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.
The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan, we see al Qaeda's vision for the world.
Afghanistan's people have been brutalized—many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
The United States respects the people of Afghanistan—after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid—but we condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder.
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what we see right here in this chamber—a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.
These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their way.
We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions—by abandoning every value except the will to power—they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.
Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command—every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war—to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Our nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me—the Office of Homeland Security.
And tonight I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend—Pennsylvania's Tom Ridge. He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism, and respond to any attacks that may come.
These measures are essential. But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows.
Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents to intelligence operatives to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers. And tonight, a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I've called the Armed Forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud.
This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.
We ask every nation to join us. We will ask, and we will need, the help of police forces, intelligence services, and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded—with sympathy and with support. Nations from Latin America, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Islamic world. Perhaps the NATO Charter reflects best the attitude of the world: An attack on one is an attack on all.
The civilized world is rallying to America's side. They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments. And you know what—we're not going to allow it.
Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.
I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.
I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information, liberty-unites. org, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it.
I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security; and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.
I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today.
And, finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families, for those in uniform, and for our great country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow, and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.
Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you will do. And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.
Tonight, we face new and sudden national challenges. We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights, and take new measures to prevent hijacking. We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying, with direct assistance during this emergency.
We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home. We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act, and find them before they strike.
We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's economy, and put our people back to work.
Tonight we welcome two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers: Governor George Pataki, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a symbol of America's resolve, my administration will work with Congress, and these two leaders, to show the world that we will rebuild New York City.
After all that has just passed—all the lives taken, and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them—it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear. Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world.
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom—the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time—now depends on us. Our nation—this generation—will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good. Even grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day, and to whom it happened. We'll remember the moment the news came—where we were and what we were doing. Some will remember an image of a fire, or a story of rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.
And I will carry this: It is the police shield of a man named George Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others. It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. This is my reminder of lives that ended, and a task that does not end.
I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice—assured of the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the United States of America.
Thank you.G. W. Bush Supreme Court Nominations
Judge Samuel Alito was frequently mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee after President George W. Bush took office in 2001. However, Bush chose John G. Roberts Jr. to fill the seat of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in July 2005. Upon the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on September 5, 2005, Bush nominated Roberts for the position of chief justice in an announcement at the White House. Roberts, who sat on the U.S. Court Appeals for the District of Columbia, had clerked for Justice Rehnquist right out of Harvard Law School. The Senate confirmed Roberts by a vote of 78–22, and he was sworn-in as the nation's [Page 1913]seventeenth chief justice on September 30, 2005. The president then turned to his White House counsel, Harriet E. Miers, to fill O'Connor's position. Miers withdrew three weeks later, following stinging criticism of her qualifications from Republicans and Democrats alike. Despite calls to name another woman, Bush on October 31, 2005, nominated Alito for the seat. In selecting Alito, Bush noted that he had more judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in the previous seventy years. The Senate confirmed Alito by a vote of 58–42, and he was sworn-in on January 31, 2006.Announcement of Roberts Nomination
Following is a transcript of President Bush's September 5, 2005, televised remarks nominating Judge John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
President: Morning. This summer I announced the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. I choose Judge Roberts from among the most distinguished jurists and attorneys in the country because he possesses the intellect, experience, and temperament to be an outstanding member of our nation's Highest Court.
For the past two months, members of the United States Senate and the American people have learned about the career and character of Judge Roberts. They like what they see. He's a gentleman. He's a man of integrity and fairness. And throughout his life, he has inspired the respect and loyalty of others. John Roberts has built a record of excellence and achievement, and a reputation for goodwill and decency toward others.
In his extraordinary career, Judge Roberts has argued 39 cases before the nation's Highest Court. When I nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, he was confirmed by unanimous consent. Both those who've worked with him and those who have faced him in the courtroom speak with admiration of his striking ability as a lawyer and his natural gifts as a leader. Judge Roberts has earned the nation's confidence and I'm pleased to announce that I will nominate him to serve as the 17th chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The passing of Chief Justice William Rehnquist leaves the center chair empty just four weeks before the Supreme Court reconvenes. It is in the interest of the Court and the country to have a chief justice on the bench on the first full day of the fall term. The Senate is well along in the process of considering Judge Roberts’ qualifications. They know his record and his fidelity to the law. I'm confident that the Senate can complete hearings and confirm him as chief justice within a month. As a result of my decision to nominate Judge Roberts to be chief justice, I also have the responsibility to submit a new nominee to follow Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I will do so in a timely manner.
Twenty-five years ago, John Roberts came to Washington as a clerk to Justice William Rehnquist. In his boss, the young law clerk found a role model, a professional mentor, and a friend for life. I'm certain that Chief Justice Rehnquist was hoping to welcome John Roberts as a colleague, and we're all sorry that day didn't come. Yet it's fitting that a great chief justice be followed in office by a person who shared his deep reverence for the Constitution, his profound respect for the Supreme Court, and his complete devotion to the cause of justice.
Roberts: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. I am honored and humbled by the confidence that the President has shown in me. And I'm very much aware that if I am confirmed, I would succeed a man I deeply respect and admire, a man who has been very kind to me for 25 years.
Thank you, Mr. President, for that special opportunity.Announcement of Alito Nomination
Following is a transcript of President Bush's October 31, 2005, televised remarks nominating Judge Samuel Alito as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
President: Good morning. I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America, and his long career in public service has given him an extraordinary breadth of experience.
As a Justice Department official, federal prosecutor, and judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Sam Alito has shown a mastery of the law, a deep commitment of justice, and a—and he is a man of enormous character. He's scholarly, fair-minded and principled, and these qualities will serve our nation well on the highest court of the land.
Judge Alito showed great promise from the beginning in studies at Princeton and Yale Law School; as editor of the Yale Law Journal; as a clerk for a federal court of appeals judge. He served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged as a captain. Early in his career, Sam Alito worked as a federal prosecutor and handled criminal and civil matters for the United States. As assistant to the solicitor general, he argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court, and has argued dozens of others before the federal courts of appeals.
He served in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel providing constitutional advice for the president and the executive branch. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan named him the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, the top prosecutor in one of the nation's largest federal districts, and he was confirmed by unanimous consent by the Senate. He moved aggressively against white-collar and environmental crimes, and drug trafficking, and organized crime, and violation of civil rights.
In his role, Sam Alito showed a passionate commitment to the rule of law, and he gained a reputation for being both tough and fair. In 1990, President [George H. W.] Bush nominated Sam Alito, at the age of 39, for the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. Judge Alito's nomination received bipartisan support and he was again confirmed by unanimous consent by the United States Senate. Judge Alito has served with distinction on that court for 15 years and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years.
Judge Alito's reputation has only grown over the span of his service. He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. This record reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal matter—merits carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion. He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people.
In the performance of his duties, Judge Alito has gained the respect of his colleagues and attorneys for his brilliance and [Page 1914]decency. He's won admirers across the political spectrum. I'm confident that the United States Senate will be impressed by Judge Alito's distinguished record, his measured judicial temperament, and his tremendous personal integrity. And I urge the Senate to act promptly on this important nomination so that an up or down vote is held before the end of this year.
Today, Judge Alito is joined by his wife, Martha, who was a law librarian when he first met her. Sam and I both know you can't go wrong marrying a librarian. Sam and Martha's two children, Phil and Laura, are also with us, and I know how proud you are of your dad today. I'm sure, as well, that Judge Alito is thinking of his mom, Rose, who will be 91 in December. And I know he's thinking about his late father. Samuel Alito, Sr., came to this country as an immigrant child from Italy in 1914, and his fine family has realized the great promise of our country.
Judge, thanks for agreeing to serve, and congratulations on your nomination.
Alito: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am deeply honored to be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court, and I am very grateful for the confidence that you have shown in me.
The Supreme Court is an institution that I have long held in reverence. During my 29 years as a public servant, I've had the opportunity to view the Supreme Court from a variety of perspectives—as an attorney in the Solicitor General's Office, arguing and briefing cases before the Supreme Court, as a federal prosecutor, and most recently for the last 15 years as a judge of the Court of Appeals. During all of that time, my appreciation of the vital role that the Supreme Court plays in our constitutional system has greatly deepened.
I argued my first case before the Supreme Court in 1982, and I still vividly recall that day. I remember the sense of awe that I felt when I stepped up to the lectern. And I also remember the relief that I felt when Justice O'Connor—sensing, I think, that I was a rookie—made sure that the first question that I was asked was a kind one. I was grateful to her on that happy occasion, and I am particularly honored to be nominated for her seat.
My most recent visit to the Supreme Court building was on a very different and a very sad occasion: It was on the occasion of the funeral of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. And as I approached the Supreme Court building with a group of other federal judges, I was struck by the same sense of awe that I had felt back in 1982, not because of the imposing and beautiful building in which the Supreme Court is housed, but because of what the building, and, more importantly, the institutions stand for—our dedication as a free and open society to liberty and opportunity, and, as it says above the entrance to the Supreme Court, “equal justice under law.”
Every time that I have entered the courtroom during the past 15 years, I have been mindful of the solemn responsibility that goes with service as a federal judge. Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system. And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility.
I owe a great deal to many people who have taught me over the years about the law and about judging, to judges before whom I have appeared, and to colleagues who have shown me with their examples what it means to be a fair and conscientious and temperate judge.
I also owe a great deal, of course, to the members of my family. I wish that my father had lived to see this day. He was an extraordinary man who came to the United States as a young child, and overcame many difficulties and made many sacrifices so that my sister and I would have opportunities that he did not enjoy.
As the president mentioned, my mother will be celebrating her 91st birthday next month. She was a pioneering and very dedicated public school teacher who inspired my sister and me with a love of learning. My wife, Martha, has been a constant source of love and support for the past 20 years. My children, Philip and Laura, are the pride of my life and they have made sure that being a judge has never gone to my head—they do that very well on a, pretty much, daily basis. And my sister, Rosemary, has always been a great friend and an inspiration as a great lawyer, and as a strong and independent person.
I look forward to working with the Senate in the confirmation process. Mr. President, thank you, once again, for the confidence that you've shown in me and for honoring me with this nomination.Obama's Statement on Signing Health Reform Legislation
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that overhauled the American health insurance system; a pledge he made during his election campaign, and a pledge made by numerous presidents before him.
The law affected both the private and public sectors of American health insurance. Its most prominent and controversial feature was a health insurance mandate, enforceable through monetary fine, scheduled to be placed on all individuals and families residing in the United States in 2014. Among countless other stipulations in a two-thousand page document, the law expanded Medicaid eligibility, penalized most businesses that did not provide health benefits to employees, and prohibited private health insurance providers from denying coverage to individuals based on preexisting health conditions.
Seen as a success for Democrats, the law was extremely unpopular with Republicans. Republicans in the 111th Congress—which sent the bill to Obama—and the 112th Congress both attempted to repeal it. Additionally, by early 2012 twenty-eight states challenged the constitutionality of the law in court, with respect to the individual mandate. Despite this opposition, in June 2012 the Supreme Court upheld the law as constitutional.
Today, after almost a century of trying; today, after over a year of debate; today, after all the votes have been tallied—health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America. Today.
It is fitting that Congress passed this historic legislation this week. For as we mark the turning of spring, we also mark a new season in America. In a few moments, when I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform.
And while the Senate still has a last round of improvements to make on this historic legislation—and these are improvements I'm confident they will make swiftly—the bill I'm signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for, and marched for, and hungered to see.
It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms, because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right. But a host of desperately needed reforms will take effect right away.
This year, we'll start offering tax credits to about 4 million small businessmen and women to help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees. That happens this year.
This year, tens of thousands of uninsured Americans with preexisting conditions, the parents of children who have a preexisting condition, will finally be able to purchase the coverage they need. That happens this year.
This year, insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people's coverage when they get sick. They won't be able to place lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive.
This year, all new insurance plans will be required to offer free preventive care. And this year, young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ policies until they're 26 years old. That happens this year.
And this year, seniors who fall in the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole will start getting some help. They'll receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions, and that will, over time, fill in the doughnut hole. And I want seniors to know, despite what some have said, these reforms will not cut your guaranteed benefits. In fact, under this law, Americans on Medicare will receive free preventive care without co-payments or deductibles. That begins this year.
Once this reform is implemented, health insurance exchanges will be created, a competitive marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses will finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance. They will be able to be part of a big pool and get the same good deal that members of Congress get. That's what's going to happen under this reform. And when this exchange is up and running, millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history. That's what this reform is about.
This legislation will also lower costs for families and for businesses and for the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades. It is paid for. It is fiscally responsible. And it will help lift a decades-long drag on our economy. That's part of what all of you together worked on and made happen.
That our generation is able to succeed in passing this reform is a testament to the persistence—and the character—of the American people, who championed this cause; who mobilized; who organized; who believed that people who love this country can change it.
It's also a testament to the historic leadership—and uncommon courage—of the men and women of the United States Congress, who've taken their lumps during this difficult debate.
You know, there are few tougher jobs in politics or government than leading one of our legislative chambers. In each chamber, there are men and women who come from different places and face different pressures, who reach different conclusions about the same things and feel deeply concerned about different things.
By necessity, leaders have to speak to those different concerns. It isn't always tidy; it is almost never easy. But perhaps the greatest—and most difficult—challenge is to cobble together out of those differences the sense of common interest and common purpose that's required to advance the dreams of all people—especially in a country as large and diverse as ours.
And we are blessed by leaders in each chamber who not only do their jobs very well but who never lost sight of that larger mission. They didn't play for the short term; they didn't play to the polls or to politics: One of the best speakers the House of Representatives has ever had, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
One of the best majority leaders the Senate has ever had, Mr. Harry Reid.
To all of the terrific committee chairs, all the members of Congress who did what was difficult, but did what was right, and passed health care reform—not just this generation of Americans will thank you, but the next generation of Americans will thank you.
And of course, this victory was also made possible by the painstaking work of members of this administration, including our outstanding Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius—and one of the unsung heroes of this effort, an extraordinary woman who led the reform effort from the White House, Nancy-Ann DeParle. Where's Nancy?
Today, I'm signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.
I'm signing it for Ryan Smith, who's here today. He runs a small business with five employees. He's trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers. This bill will help him afford that coverage.
I'm signing it for 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who's also here. Marcelas lost his mom to an illness. And she didn't have insurance and couldn't afford the care that she needed. So in her memory he has told her story across America so that no other children have to go through what his family has experienced.
I'm signing it for Natoma Canfield. Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent. She was terrified that an illness would mean she'd lose the house that her parents built, so she gave up her insurance. Now she's lying in a hospital bed, as we speak, faced with just such an illness, praying that she can somehow afford to get well without insurance. Natoma's family is here today because Natoma can't be. And her sister Connie is here. Connie, stand up.
I'm signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations—from Teddy Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, from Harry Truman, to Lyndon Johnson, from Bill and Hillary Clinton, to one of the deans who's been fighting this so long, John Dingell. To Senator Ted Kennedy. And it's fitting that Ted's widow, Vicki, is here—it's fitting that Teddy's widow, Vicki, is here; and his niece Caroline; his son Patrick, whose vote helped make this reform a reality.
I remember seeing Ted walk through that door in a summit in this room a year ago—one of his last public appearances. [Page 1916]And it was hard for him to make it. But he was confident that we would do the right thing.
Our presence here today is remarkable and improbable. With all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game- playing that passes for governing in Washington, it's been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing; to wonder if there are limits to what we, as a people, can still achieve. It's easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what's possible in this country.
But today, we are affirming that essential truth—a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself—that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations. We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust. We don't fall prey to fear. We are not a nation that does what's easy. That's not who we are. That's not how we got here.
We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities. We are a nation that does what is hard. What is necessary. What is right. Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny. That is what we do. That is who we are. That is what makes us the United States of America.
And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care. And it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country.
So, thank you. Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States. Thank you. Thank you.
All right, I would now like to call up to stage some of the members of Congress who helped make this day possible, and some of the Americans who will benefit from these reforms. And we're going to sign this bill.
This is going to take a little while. I've got to use every pen, so it's going to take a really long time. I didn't practice.
(The bill is signed.)
We are done.Obama's Speech Following the Death of Osama Bin Laden
On April 29, 2011, two years into his term and nearly ten years after the attacks of 9/11, President Barack Obama authorized a covert operation to break into a stronghold in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which was believed to belong to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. During the operation the stronghold was secured and bin Laden was killed. There were no American casualties.
Obama was the third president to pledge to the American people the capture and killing of bin Laden, and the first to accomplish that pledge; for the sixteen years prior to bin Laden's death, both Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's efforts to find him were unsuccessful.
The operation was grounded in a string of intelligence from the CIA gathered over the course of almost one full year. The “smoking gun” was the identification of bin Laden's courier, whom he used to communicate with the outside world, and the surveillance of this courier going to and from the secret compound. Despite the probability that bin Laden lived in the stronghold due to the nature of its secure design, his living there was not officially confirmed until Navy SEALS made contact with President Obama during the covert operation. The president addressed the nation on May 1, 2011, following the death of bin Laden.
Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory—hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda—an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin [Page 1917]Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must—and we will—remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not—and never will be—at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done.
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
Documents and TextsU.S. Presidents and Vice PresidentsBackgrounds of U.S. PresidentsPresidents and their Religious AffiliationsElectoral College Votes, 1789–2008
Article II, section 1, of the Constitution gives each state a number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives to which it is entitled. Prior to ratification of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, each presidential elector had two votes and was required to cast each vote for a different person. The person receiving the highest number of votes from a majority of electors was elected president; the person receiving the second highest total became vice president. Since there were sixty-nine electors in 1789, Washington's sixty-nine votes constituted a unanimous election. After ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, electors were required to designate which of their two votes was for president and which was for vice president. The first four tables show all electoral votes cast in the elections of 1789, 1792, 1796, and 1800; the tables for 1804 and thereafter show only the electoral votes cast for president. In the following tables, footnotes referencing specific pages for further explanation refer to Guide to U.S. Elections, 6th ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010). Electoral vote count for the 2008 election was originally published in America Votes 28, 2007–2008: Election Returns by State (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010, p. 10) by Rhodes Cook. A breakdown of electoral votes for vice president is given elsewhere in Reference Materials. (See “Electoral Votes for Vice President, 1804–2008,” p. 1951 .)Split Electoral Votes
Throughout the history of presidential elections, the electoral votes of a state have occasionally been divided between two or more candidates. Such split votes, which became less common as the electoral process evolved, occurred for a variety of reasons.
The voting procedures prescribed by the Constitution were in part responsible for split votes in the first four presidential elections. The requirement that each of a state's several electors cast two votes, each vote for a different candidate, contributed to split votes; in the election of 1800, for example, Maryland's twenty electoral votes were equally divided among four candidates. Passage of the Twelfth Amendment prior to the election of 1804 reduced the occurrence of split votes, but other factors promoting split votes remained, among them:
- The district system of choosing electors. Under this system, different candidates each could carry one or more congressional districts. This was the cause of split electoral votes in Maryland in 1804, 1808, 1812, 1824, 1828, and 1832; North Carolina in 1808; Illinois in 1824; Maine and New York in 1828; Michigan in 1892; and Nebraska in 2008.
- The selection of electors by the legislatures of some states. Party factionalism or political deals sometimes resulted in the choice of electors loyal to more than one candidate. This caused the division of electoral votes in New York in 1808 and 1824, Delaware in 1824, and Louisiana in 1824.
By 1836 all states except South Carolina had established a system of statewide popular election of electors. (In South Carolina the legislature continued to select electors until after the Civil War.) This practice limited the frequency of split votes, but a few states on occasion still divided their electoral votes among different presidential candidates because of the practice of listing on the ballot the names of all electors and allowing voters to cross off the names of any particular electors they did not like, or, alternatively, requiring voters to vote for each individual elector. Electors of different parties sometimes were chosen. This accounted for split votes in California in 1880, 1892, 1896, and 1912; New Jersey in 1860; North Dakota, Ohio, and Oregon in 1892; Kentucky in 1896; Maryland in 1904 and 1908; and West Virginia in 1916.
The increasing use of voting machines and straight-ticket voting—where the pull of a lever or the marking of an “X” resulted in automatically casting a vote for every elector of a certain party—led to a further decline in the frequency of split electoral votes.
Since 1796 the so-called faithless elector has also been a source of split electoral votes. Electors are not legally bound to vote for any particular candidate; they may cast their ballots any way they wish. Although electors are almost always faithful to the candidate of the party with which they are affiliated, they have on occasion broken ranks and voted for a candidate not supported by their party.
This happened in 1796 when a Pennsylvania Federalist elector voted for Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson instead of Federalist John Adams; in 1820 when a New Hampshire Democratic-Republican elector voted for John Quincy Adams instead of the party nominee, James Monroe; in 1948 when Preston Parks, a Truman elector in Tennessee, voted for the States’ Rights Democratic (Dixiecrat) nominee, Gov. J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina; in 1956 when W. F. Turner, a Stevenson elector in Alabama, voted for a local judge, Walter B. Jones; in 1960 when Henry D. Irwin, a Nixon elector in Oklahoma, voted for Sen. Harry F. Byrd, D-Va.; in 1968 when Dr. Lloyd W. Bailey, a Nixon elector in North Carolina, voted for George C. Wallace, the American Independent Party candidate; in 1972 when Roger L. MacBride, a Nixon elector in Virginia, voted for John Hospers, the Libertarian Party candidate; in 1976 when Mike Padden, a Ford elector in Washington State, voted for former governor Ronald Reagan of California; in 1988 when Margaret Leach, a Dukakis elector in West Virginia, voted for Dukakis's running mate, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas; in 2000 when Barbara Lett-Simmons, a Gore elector in Washington, D.C., withheld her vote from Gore; and in 2004 when an anonymous Kerry elector in Minnesota voted for Kerry's running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Source: Electoral votes cast for presidential candidates are listed in the Senate Manual (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office). Total electoral votes for each state through the 1980 census were compiled from a chart of each apportionment of the House of Representatives, published in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989), 47. The source for apportionment after the 2000 census was the Bureau of the Census. For more information on the electoral voting system see Guide to U.S. Elections, 6th ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 817–894.
Click here for PDFElectoral Votes for Vice President, 1804–2008
The following list gives the electoral votes for vice president from 1804 to 2004. Unless indicated by a note, the state-by-state breakdown of electoral votes for each vice presidential candidate was the same as for his or her party's presidential candidate.
Prior to 1804, under Article II, section 1, of the Constitution, each elector cast two votes—each vote for a different person. The electors did not distinguish between votes for president and vice president. The candidate receiving the second highest total became vice president. The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, required electors to vote separately for president and vice president.
In some cases, persons received electoral votes although they had never been formally nominated. The word candidate is used in this section to designate persons receiving electoral votes.Also-Rans: Electoral Vote Winners Who did not Become President or Vice President
This directory provides biographical summaries of candidates who received electoral votes for president or vice president but never won election to those offices. Also included are a number of prominent third party and independent candidates who received popular votes but no electoral votes. The material is organized as follows: name, state of residence in the year or years when the individual received electoral votes, party or parties with which the individual identified when receiving electoral votes, date of birth, date of death (where applicable), major offices held, and the year or years when the person received electoral votes. For third party candidates who received no electoral votes, the dates indicate the year or years in which they were candidates. (See Chapter 35, Biographies of the Presidents, and Chapter 36, Biographies of the Vice Presidents.)
In the elections of 1789, 1792, 1796, and 1800, presidential electors did not vote separately for president and vice president. It was, therefore, difficult in many cases to determine whether an individual receiving electoral votes in these elections was a candidate for president or vice president. Where no determination could be made from the sources consulted by Congressional Quarterly, the year in which the individual received electoral votes is given with no specification as to whether the individual was a candidate for president or vice president.
The following sources were used: American Political Leaders, 1789–2005 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2005); Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1989); Jaques Cattell Press, ed. Who's Who in American Politics, 1977–1978, 6th ed. (New York: R.R. Bowker, 1977); Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Scribner's, 1928–1936); John A. Garraty, ed. Encyclopedia of American Biography (New York: Harper and Row, 1974); Svend Petersen, A Statistical History of the American Presidential Elections (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981); Richard M. Scammon, Alice V. McGillivray, and Rhodes Cook, America Votes (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1977–2006); Who Was Who in America, 1607–1968 (Chicago: Marquis, 1943–1968); and Guide to U.S. Elections, 6th ed. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010).
Adams, Charles Francis - Mass. (Free Soil) August 18, 1807–November 21, 1886; House, 1859–1861; minister to Great Britain, 1861–1868. Candidacy: VP - 1848.
Adams, Samuel - Mass. (Federalist) September 27, 1722–October 2, 1803; Continental Congress, 1774–1781; signer of Declaration of Independence; governor, 1793–1797. Candidacy: 1796.
Anderson, John B. - Ill. (Republican, independent) February 15, 1922–; state's attorney, 1956–1960; House, 1961–1981. Candidacy: P - 1980.
Armstrong, James - Pa. (Federalist) August 29, 1748– May 6, 1828; House, 1793–1795. Candidacy: 1789.
Banks, Nathaniel Prentice - Mass. (Liberal Republican) January 30, 1816–September 1, 1894; House, 1853–1857, 1865–1873, 1875–1879, 1889–1891; governor, 1858–1861. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Bell, John - Tenn. (Constitutional Union) February 15, 1797–September 10, 1869; House, 1827–1841; Speaker of the House, 1834–1835; secretary of war, 1841; Senate, 1847–1859. Candidacy: P - 1860.
Benson, Allan Louis - N.Y. (Socialist) November 6, 1871–August 19, 1940; writer, editor; founder of Reconstruction Magazine, 1918. Candidacy: P - 1916.
Bentsen, Lloyd Millard Jr. - Texas (Democratic) February 11, 1921–May 23, 2006; House, 1948–1955; Senate, 1971–1993; secretary of the Treasury, 1993–1994. Candidacy: VP - 1988.
Bidwell, John - Calif. (Prohibition) August 5, 1819–April 4, 1900; California pioneer; major in Mexican War; House, 1865–1867. Candidacy: P - 1892.
Birney, James Gillespie - N.Y. (Liberty) February 4, 1792–November 25, 1857; Kentucky Legislature, 1816–1817; Alabama Legislature, 1819–1820. Candidacies: P - 1840, 1844.
Blaine, James Gillespie - Maine (Republican) January 31, 1830–January 27, 1893; House, 1863–1876; Speaker of the House, 1869–1875; Senate, 1876–1881; secretary of state, 1881, 1889–1892; president, first Pan American Congress, 1889. Candidacy: P - 1884.
Blair, Francis Preston Jr. - Mo. (Democratic) February 19, 1821–July 8, 1875; House, 1857–1859, 1860, 1861–1862, 1863–1864; Senate, 1871–1873. Candidacy: VP - 1868.
Bramlette, Thomas E. - Ky. (Democratic) January 3, 1817–January 12, 1875; governor, 1863–1867. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Bricker, John William - Ohio (Republican) September 6, 1893–March 22, 1986; attorney general of Ohio, 1933–1937; governor, 1939–1945; Senate, 1947–1959. Candidacy: VP - 1944.
Brown, Benjamin Gratz - Mo. (Democratic) May 28, 1826–December 13, 1885; Senate, 1863–1867; governor, 1871–1873. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Bryan, Charles Wayland - Neb. (Democratic) February 10, 1867–March 4, 1945; governor, 1923–1925, 1931–1935; Candidacy: VP - 1924.
Bryan, William Jennings - Neb. (Democratic, Populist) March 19, 1860–July 26, 1925; House, 1891–1895; secretary of state, 1913–1915. Candidacies: P - 1896, 1900, 1908.
Butler, Benjamin Franklin - Mass. (Greenback, Anti-Monopoly) November 5, 1818–January 11, 1893; House, 1867–1875, 1877–1879; governor, 1883–1884. Candidacy: P - 1884.
Butler, Nicholas Murray - N.Y. (Republican) April 2, 1862–December 7, 1947; president, Columbia University, 1901–1945; president, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1925–1945. Candidacy: VP - 1912. (Substituted as candidate after October 30 death of nominee James S. Sherman.)
Butler, William Orlando - Ky. (Democratic) April 19, 1791–August 6, 1880; House, 1839–1843. Candidacy: VP - 1848.
Byrd, Harry Flood - Va. (States’ Rights Democratic, Independent Democratic) June 10, 1887–October 20, 1966; governor, 1926–1930; Senate, 1933–1965. Candidacies: P - 1956, 1960.
Cass, Lewis - Mich. (Democratic) October 9, 1782–June 17, 1866; military and civil governor of Michigan Territory, 1813–1831; secretary of war, 1831–1836; minister to France, 1836–1842; Senate, 1845–1848, 1849–1857; secretary of state, 1857–1860. Candidacy: P - 1848.
Clay, Henry - Ky. (Democratic-Republican, National Republican, Whig) April 12, 1777–June 29, 1852; Senate, 1806–1807, 1810–1811, 1831–1842, 1849–1852; House, 1811–1814, 1815–1821, 1823–1825; Speaker of the House, 1811–1814, 1815–1820, 1823–1825; secretary of state, 1825–1829. Candidacies: P - 1824, 1832, 1844.
Clinton, De Witt - N.Y. (Independent Democratic-Republican, Federalist) March 2, 1769–February 11, 1828; Senate, 1802–1803; mayor of New York, 1803–1807, 1810, 1811, 1813, 1814; governor, 1817–1823, 1825–1828. Candidacy: P - 1812.
Colquitt, Alfred Holt - Ga. (Democratic) April 20, 1824–March 26, 1894; House, 1853–1855; governor, 1877–1882; Senate, 1883–1894. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Cox, James Middleton - Ohio (Democratic) March 31, 1870–July 15, 1957; House, 1909–1913; governor, 1913–1915, 1917–1921. Candidacy: P - 1920.
Crawford, William Harris - Ga. (Democratic-Republican) February 24, 1772–September 15, 1834; Senate, 1807–1813; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1812–1813; secretary of war, 1815–1816; secretary of the Treasury, 1816–1825. Candidacy: P - 1824.
Davis, David - Ill. (Democratic) March 9, 1815–June 26, 1886; associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1862–1877; Senate, 1877–1883; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1881. Candidacy: P - 1872.
Davis, Henry Gassaway - W. Va. (Democratic) November 16, 1823–March 11, 1916; Senate, 1871–1883; chairman of Pan American Railway Committee, 1901–1916. Candidacy: VP - 1904.
Davis, John William - W. Va. (Democratic) April 13, 1873–March 24, 1955; House, 1911–1913; solicitor general, 1913–1918; ambassador to Great Britain, 1918–1921. Candidacy: P - 1924.
Dayton, William Lewis - N.J. (Republican) February 17, 1807–December 1, 1864; Senate, 1842–1851; minister to France, 1861–1864. Candidacy: VP - 1856.
Debs, Eugene Victor - Ind. (Socialist) November 5, 1855–October 20, 1926; Indiana Legislature, 1885; president, American Railway Union, 1893–1897. Candidacies: P - 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1920.
Dewey, Thomas Edmund - N.Y. (Republican) March 24, 1902–March 16, 1971; district attorney, New York County, 1937–1941; governor, 1943–1955. Candidacies: P - 1944, 1948.
Dole, Robert Joseph “Bob” - Kan. (Republican) July 22, 1923–; House, 1961–1969; Senate, 1969–1996; Senate majority leader, 1985–1987, 1995–1996; Senate minority leader, 1987–1995. Candidacies: VP - 1976; P - 1996.
Donelson, Andrew Jackson - Tenn. (Whig-American) August 25, 1799–June 26, 1871; minister to Prussia, 1846– 1848; minister to Germany, 1848–1849. Candidacy: VP - 1856.
Douglas, Stephen Arnold - Ill. (Democratic) April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861; House, 1843–1847; Senate, 1847–1861. Candidacy: P - 1860.
Dukakis, Michael Stanley - Mass. (Democratic) November 3, 1933–; governor, 1975–1979, 1983–1991. Candidacy: P - 1988.
Eagleton, Thomas Francis - Mo. (Democratic) September 4, 1929–March 4, 2007; attorney general of Missouri, 1961– 1965; lieutenant governor, 1965–1968; Senate, 1968–1987. Candidacy: VP - 1972. (Resigned from Democratic ticket July 31; replaced by R. Sargent Shriver Jr.)
Edwards, John - N.C. (Democratic) June 10, 1953–; Senate 1999–2005; Candidacy: VP - 2004.
Ellmaker, Amos - Pa. (Anti-Masonic) February 2, 1787–November 28, 1851; elected to the House for the term beginning in 1815 but did not qualify; attorney general of Pennsylvania, 1816–1819, 1828–1829. Candidacy: VP - 1832.
Ellsworth, Oliver - Conn. (Federalist) April 29, 1745–November 26, 1807; Continental Congress, 1778–1783; Senate, 1789–1796; chief justice of United States, 1796–1800; minister to France, 1799. Candidacy: 1796.
English, William Hayden - Ind. (Democratic) August 27, 1822–February 7, 1896; House, 1853–1861. Candidacy: VP - 1880.
Everett, Edward - Mass. (Constitutional Union) April 11, 1794–January 15, 1865; House, 1825–1835; governor, 1836–1840; minister to Great Britain, 1841–1845; president of Harvard University, 1846–1849; secretary of state, 1852–1853; Senate, 1853–1854. Candidacy: VP - 1860.
Ferraro, Geraldine Anne - N.Y. (Democratic) August 26, 1935–March 26, 2011; assistant district attorney, Queens County, 1974–1978; House, 1979–1985. Candidacy: VP - 1984.
Field, James Gaven - Va. (Populist) February 24, 1826–October 12, 1901; major in the Confederate Army, 1861–1865; attorney general of Virginia, 1877–1882. Candidacy: VP - 1892.
Fisk, Clinton Bowen - N.J. (Prohibition) December 8, 1828–July 9, 1890; Civil War brevet major general; founder of Fisk University, 1866; member, Board of Indian Commissioners, 1874, president, 1881–1890. Candidacy: P - 1888.
Floyd, John - Va. (Independent Democratic) April 24, 1783–August 17, 1837; House, 1817–1829; governor, 1830–1834. Candidacy: P - 1832.
Frelinghuysen, Theodore - N.J. (Whig) March 28, 1787–April 12, 1862; attorney general of New Jersey, 1817–1829; Senate, 1829–1835; president of Rutgers College, 1850–1862. Candidacy: VP - 1844.
Fremont, John Charles - Calif. (Republican) January 21, 1813–July 13, 1890; explorer and Army officer in West before 1847; Senate, 1850–1851; governor of Arizona Territory, 1878–1881. Candidacy: P - 1856.
Goldwater, Barry Morris - Ariz. (Republican) January 1, 1909–May 29, 1998; Senate, 1953–1965, 1969–1987. Candidacies: VP - 1960; P - 1964.
Graham, William Alexander - N.C. (Whig) September 5, 1804–August 11, 1875; Senate, 1840–1843; governor, 1845–1849; secretary of the Navy, 1850–1852; Confederate Senate, 1864. Candidacy: VP - 1852.
Granger, Francis - N.Y. (Whig) December 1, 1792–August 31, 1868; House, 1835–1837, 1839–1841, 1841–1843; postmaster general, 1841. Candidacy: VP - 1836.
Greeley, Horace - N.Y. (Liberal Republican, Democratic) February 3, 1811–November 29, 1872; founder and editor, New York Tribune, 1841–1872; House, 1848–1849. Candidacy: P - 1872.
Griffin, S. Marvin - Ga. (American Independent) September 4, 1907–June 13, 1982; governor, 1955–1959. Candidacy: VP - 1968. (Substituted as candidate until permanent candidate Curtis LeMay was chosen.)
Groesbeck, William Slocum - Ohio (Democratic) July 24, 1815–July 7, 1897; House, 1857–1859; delegate to International Monetary Conference in Paris, 1878. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Hale, John Parker - N.H. (Free Soil) March 31, 1806–November 19, 1873; House, 1843–1845; Senate, 1847–1853, 1855–1865; minister to Spain, 1865–1869. Candidacy: P - 1852.
Hancock, John - Mass. (Federalist) January 23, 1737–October 8, 1793; Continental Congress, 1775–1778, 1785–1786; president of Continental Congress, 1775–1777; governor, 1780–1785, 1787–1793. Candidacy: 1789.
Hancock, Winfield Scott - Pa. (Democratic) February 14, 1824–February 9, 1886; brigadier general, commander of II Army Corps, Civil War. Candidacy: P - 1880.
Harper, Robert Goodloe - Md. (Federalist) January 1765–January 14, 1825; House, 1795–1801; Senate, 1816. Candidacies: VP - 1816, 1820.
Harrison, Robert H. - Md. 1745–1790; chief justice, General Court of Maryland, 1781. Candidacy: 1789.
Henry, John - Md. (Democratic-Republican) November 1750–December 16, 1798; Continental Congress, 1778–1780, 1785–1786; Senate, 1789–1797; governor, 1797–1798. Candidacy - 1796.
Hospers, John - Calif. (Libertarian) June 9, 1918–June 12, 2011; director of school of philosophy at University of Southern California. Candidacy: P - 1972.
Howard, John Eager - Md. (Federalist) June 4, 1752–October 12, 1827; Continental Congress, 1788; governor, 1788–1791; Senate, 1796–1803. Candidacy: VP - 1816.
Hughes, Charles Evans - N.Y. (Republican) April 11, 1862–August 27, 1948; governor, 1907–1910; associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1910–1916; secretary of state, 1921–1925; chief justice of United States, 1930–1941. Candidacy: P - 1916.
Huntington, Samuel - Conn. (no declared party), July 3, 1731–January 5, 1796; Continental Congress, 1776, 1778–1781, 1783; president of Continental Congress, 1779–1781, 1783; governor, 1786–1796. Candidacy: 1789.
Ingersoll, Jared - Pa. (Federalist) October 24, 1749– October 31, 1822; Continental Congress, 1780–1781; Constitutional Convention, 1787. Candidacy: VP - 1812.
Iredell, James - N.C. (Federalist) October 5, 1751–October 20, 1799; associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1790–1799. Candidacy: 1796.
Jay, John - N.Y. (Federalist) December 12, 1745–May 17, 1829; Continental Congress, 1774–1776, 1778–1779; president of Continental Congress, 1778–1779; minister to Spain, 1779; chief justice of United States, 1789–1795; governor, 1795–1801. Candidacies: 1789, 1796, 1800.
Jenkins, Charles Jones - Ga. (Democratic) January 6, 1805–June 14, 1883; governor, 1865–1868. Candidacy: P - 1872.
Johnson, Herschel Vespasian - Ga. (Democratic) September 18, 1812–August 16, 1880; Senate, 1848–1849; governor, 1853–1857; senator, Confederate Congress, 1862–1865. Candidacy: VP - 1860.
Johnson, Hiram Warren - Calif. (Progressive) September 2, 1866–August 6, 1945; governor, 1911–1917; Senate, 1917–1945. Candidacy: VP - 1912.
Johnston, Samuel - N.C. (Federalist) December 15, 1733–August 18, 1816; Continental Congress, 1780–1781; Senate, 1789–1793. Candidacy: 1796.
Jones, Walter Burgwyn - Ala. (Independent Democratic) October 16, 1888–August 1, 1963; Alabama Legislature, [Page 1956]1919–1920; Alabama circuit court judge, 1920–1935; presiding judge, 1935–1963. Candidacy: P - 1956.
Julian, George Washington - Ind. (Free Soil, Liberal Republican) May 5, 1817–July 7, 1899; House, 1849–1851, 1861–1871. Candidacies: VP - 1852, 1872.
Kefauver, Estes - Tenn. (Democratic) July 26, 1903–August 10, 1963; House, 1939–1949; Senate, 1949–1963. Candidacy: VP - 1956.
Kemp, Jack F. - N.Y. (Republican) July 13, 1935–May 2, 2009; House, 1971–1989; secretary of housing and urban development, 1989–1993. Candidacy: VP - 1996.
Kern, John Worth - Ind. (Democratic) December 20, 1849–August 17, 1917; Senate, 1911–1917; Senate majority leader, 1913–1917. Candidacy: VP - 1908.
Kerry, John F. - Mass. (Democratic) December 11, 1943–; lieutenant governor of Massachusetts 1982–1984; Senate, 1985–; Candidacy: P - 2004.
King, Rufus - N.Y. (Federalist) March 24, 1755–April 29, 1827; Continental Congress, 1784–1787; Constitutional Convention, 1787; Senate, 1789–1796, 1813–1825; minister to Great Britain, 1796–1803, 1825–1826. Candidacies: VP - 1804, 1808; P - 1816.
Knox, Franklin - Ill. (Republican) January 1, 1874–April 28, 1944; secretary of the Navy, 1940–1944. Candidacy: VP - 1936.
La Follette, Robert Marion - Wis. (Progressive) June 14, 1855–June 18, 1925; House, 1885–1891; governor, 1901–1906; Senate, 1906–1925. Candidacy: P - 1924.
Landon, Alfred Mossman - Kan. (Republican) September 9, 1887–October 12, 1987; governor, 1933–1937. Candidacy: P - 1936.
Lane, Joseph - Ore. (Southern Democratic) December 14, 1801–April 19, 1881; governor of Oregon Territory, 1849–1850, May 16–19, 1853; House (territorial delegate), 1851–1859; Senate, 1859–1861. Candidacy: VP - 1860.
Langdon, John - N.H. (Democratic-Republican) June 26, 1741–September 18, 1819; Continental Congress, 1775–1776, 1787; governor, 1805–1809, 1810–1812; Senate, 1789–1801; first president pro tempore of the Senate, 1789. Candidacy: VP - 1808.
Lee, Henry - Mass. (Independent Democratic) February 4, 1782–February 6, 1867; merchant and publicist. Candidacy: VP - 1832.
LeMay, Curtis Emerson - Ohio (American Independent) November 15, 1906–October 1, 1990; air force chief of staff, 1961–1965. Candidacy: VP - 1968.
Lemke, William - N.D. (Union) August 13, 1878–May 30, 1950; House, 1933–1941, 1943–1950. Candidacy: P - 1936.
Lieberman, Joseph I. - Conn. (Democratic/Independent) February 24, 1942–; Connecticut Legislature, 1971–1981; attorney general of Connecticut, 1983–1989; Senate 1989– . Candidacy: VP - 2000.
Lincoln, Benjamin - Mass. (Federalist) January 24, 1733–May 9, 1810; major general in Continental Army, 1777–1781. Candidacy: 1789.
Lodge, Henry Cabot Jr. - Mass. (Republican) July 5, 1902– February 27, 1985; Senate, 1937–1944, 1947–1953; ambassador to United Nations, 1953–1960; ambassador to Republic of Vietnam, 1963–1964, 1965–1967. Candidacy: VP - 1960.
Logan, John Alexander - Ill. (Republican) February 9, 1826–December 26, 1886; House, 1859–1862, 1867–1871; Senate, 1871–1877, 1879–1886. Candidacy: VP - 1884.
Machen, Willis Benson - Ky. (Democratic) April 10, 1810–September 29, 1893; Confederate Congress, 1861–1865; Senate, 1872–1873. Candidacy: VP - 1872.
Macon, Nathaniel - N.C. (Democratic-Republican) December 17, 1757–June 29, 1837; House, 1791–1815; Speaker of the House, 1801–1807; Senate, 1815–1828; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1826, 1827. Candidacy: VP - 1824.
Mangum, Willie Person - N.C. (Independent Democrat) May 10, 1792–September 7, 1861; House, 1823–1826; Senate, 1831–1836, 1840–1853. Candidacy: P - 1836.
Marshall, John - Va. (Federalist) September 24, 1755–July 6, 1835; House, 1799–1800; secretary of state, 1800–1801; chief justice of United States, 1801–1835. Candidacy: VP - 1816.
McCain, John - Ariz. (Republican) August 29, 1936–; House, 1983–1987; Senate, 1987– . Candidacy: P - 2008.
McCarthy, Eugene Joseph - Minn. (Independent) March 29, 1916–December 10, 2005; House, 1949–1959; Senate, 1959–1971. Candidacy: P - 1976.
McClellan, George Brinton - N.J. (Democratic) December 3, 1826–October 29, 1885; general-in-chief of Army of the Potomac, 1861; governor, 1878–1881. Candidacy: P - 1864.
McGovern, George Stanley - S.D. (Democratic) July 19, 1922–; House, 1957–1961; Senate, 1963–1981. Candidacy: P - 1972.
McNary, Charles Linza - Ore. (Republican) June 12, 1874–February 25, 1944; state supreme court judge, 1913– 1915; Senate, May 29, 1917–November 5, 1918, December 18, 1918–February 25, 1944; Senate minority leader, 1933–1944. Candidacy: VP - 1940.
Miller, William Edward - N.Y. (Republican) March 22, 1914–June 24, 1983; House, 1951–1965; chairman of Republican National Committee, 1961–1964. Candidacy: VP - 1964.
Milton, John - Ga. circa 1740–circa 1804; secretary of state, Georgia, circa 1778, 1781, 1783. Candidacy: 1789.
Muskie, Edmund Sixtus - Maine (Democratic) March 28, 1914–March 26, 1996; governor, 1955–1959; Senate, 1959–1980; secretary of state, 1980–1981. Candidacy: VP - 1968.
Nathan, Theodora Nathalia - Ore. (Libertarian) February 9, 1923–; broadcast journalist; National Judiciary Committee, Libertarian Party, 1972–1975; vice chairperson, Oregon Libertarian Party, 1974–1975. Candidacy: VP - 1972.
Palin, Sarah - Alaska (Republican) February 11, 1964–; governor, 2006–2009. Candidate: VP - 2008.
Palmer, John McAuley - Ill. (Democratic, National Democratic) September 13, 1817–September 25, 1900; governor, 1869–1873; Senate, 1891–1897. Candidacies: VP - 1872; P - 1896.
Parker, Alton Brooks - N.Y. (Democratic) May 14, 1852–May 10, 1926; chief justice of N.Y. Court of Appeals, 1898–1904. Candidacy: P - 1904.
Pendleton, George Hunt - Ohio (Democratic) July 19, 1825–November 24, 1889; House, 1857–1865; Senate, 1879–1885; minister to Germany, 1885–1889. Candidacy: VP - 1864.
Perot, H. Ross - Texas (Independent) June 27, 1930–; business executive and owner. Candidacy: P - 1992, 1996.
Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth - S.C. (Federalist) February 25, 1746–August 16, 1825; president, state senate, 1779; minister to France, 1796. Candidacies: VP - 1800; P - 1804, 1808.
Pinckney, Thomas - S.C. (Federalist) October 23, 1750–November 2, 1828; governor, 1787–1789; minister to Great Britain, 1792–1796; envoy to Spain, 1794–1795; House, 1797–1801. Candidacy: 1796.
Reid, Whitelaw - N.Y. (Republican) October 27, 1837–December 15, 1912; minister to France, 1889–1892; editor-in-chief, New York Tribune, 1872–1905. Candidacy: VP - 1892.
Robinson, Joseph Taylor - Ark. (Democratic) August 26, 1872–July 14, 1937; House, 1903–1913; governor, January 16–March 8, 1913; Senate, 1913–1937; Senate minority leader, 1923–1933; Senate majority leader, 1933–1937. Candidacy: VP - 1928.
Rodney, Daniel - Del. (Federalist) September 10, 1764–September 2, 1846; governor, 1814–1817; House, 1822–1823; Senate, 1826–1827. Candidacy: VP - 1820.
Ross, James - Pa. (Federalist) July 12, 1762–November 27, 1847; Senate, 1794–1803. Candidacy: VP - 1816.
Rush, Richard - Pa. (Democratic-Republican, National-Republican) August 29, 1780–July 30, 1859; attorney general, 1814–1817; minister to Great Britain, 1817–1824; secretary of the Treasury, 1825–1829. Candidacies: VP - 1820, 1828.
Rutledge, John - S.C. (Federalist) September 1739–July 23, 1800; Continental Congress, 1774–1775, 1782–1783; governor, 1779–1782; Constitutional Convention, 1787; associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court, 1789–1791; chief justice of United States, 1795. Candidacy: 1789.
Sanford, Nathan - N.Y. (Democratic-Republican) November 5, 1777–October 17, 1838; Senate, 1815–1821, 1826–1831. Candidacy: VP - 1824.
Schmitz, John George - Calif. (American Independent) August 12, 1930–January 10, 2001; House, 1970–1973. Candidacy: P - 1972.
Scott, Winfield - N.J. (Whig) June 13, 1786–May 29, 1866; general-in-chief of U.S. Army, 1841–1861. Candidacy: P - 1852.
Sergeant, John - Pa. (National-Republican) December 5, 1779–November 23, 1852; House, 1815–1823, 1827–1829, 1837–1841. Candidacy: VP - 1832.
Sewall, Arthur - Maine (Democratic) November 25, 1835–September 5, 1900; Democratic National Committee member, 1888–1896. Candidacy: VP - 1896.
Seymour, Horatio - N.Y. (Democratic) May 31, 1810–February 12, 1886; governor, 1853–1855, 1863–1865. Candidacy: P - 1868.
Shriver, Robert Sargent Jr. - Md. (Democratic) November 9, 1915–January 18, 2011; director, Peace Corps, 1961–1966; director, Office of Economic Opportunity, 1964–1968; ambassador to France, 1968–1970. Candidacy: VP - 1972. (Replaced Thomas F. Eagleton on Democratic ticket August 8.)
Smith, Alfred Emanuel - N.Y. (Democratic) December 30, 1873–October 4, 1944; governor, 1919–1921, 1923–1929. Candidacy: P - 1928.
Smith, William - S.C., Ala. (Independent Democratic-Republican) September 6, 1762–June 26, 1840; Senate, 1816–1823, 1826–1831. Candidacies: VP - 1828, 1836.
Sparkman, John Jackson - Ala. (Democratic) December 20, 1899–November 16, 1985; House, 1937–1946; Senate, 1946–1979. Candidacy: VP - 1952.
Stevenson, Adlai Ewing II - Ill. (Democratic) February 5, 1900–July 14, 1965; assistant to the secretary of Navy, 1941–1944; assistant to the secretary of state, 1945; governor, 1949–1953; ambassador to United Nations, 1961–1965. Candidacies: P - 1952, 1956.
Stockton, Richard - N.J. (Federalist) April 17, 1764–March 7, 1828; Senate, 1796–1799; House, 1813–1815. Candidacy: VP - 1820.
Talmadge, Herman Eugene - Ga. (Democratic) August 9, 1913–March 21, 2002; governor, 1947, 1948–1955; Senate, 1957–1981. Candidacy: VP - 1956.
Taylor, Glen Hearst - Idaho (Progressive) April 12, 1904– April 28, 1984; Senate, 1945–1951. Candidacy: VP - 1948.
Tazewell, Littleton Waller - Va. (Democratic) December 17, 1774–May 6, 1860; House, 1800–1801; Senate, 1824–1832; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1832; governor, 1834– 1836. Candidacy: VP - 1840.
Telfair, Edward - Ga. (Democratic-Republican) 1735– September 17, 1807; Continental Congress, 1778, 1780–1782; governor, 1789–1793. Candidacy: 1789.
Thomas, Norman Mattoon - N.Y. (Socialist) November 20, 1884–December 19, 1968; Presbyterian minister, 1911–1931; author and editor. Candidacies: P - 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948.
Thurman, Allen Granberry - Ohio (Democratic) November 13, 1813–December 12, 1895; House, 1845–1847; Ohio Supreme Court, 1851–1856; Senate, 1869–1881; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1879, 1880. Candidacy: VP - 1888.
Thurmond, James Strom - S.C. (States’ Rights Democrat, Democratic, Republican) December 5, 1902–June 26, 2003; governor, 1947–1951; Senate, 1954–1956, 1956–2003; president pro tempore of the Senate, 1981–1987. Candidacies: P - 1948; VP - 1960.
Tilden, Samuel Jones - N.Y. (Democratic) February 9, 1814–August 4, 1886; governor, 1875–1877. Candidacy: 1876.
Wallace, George Corley - Ala. (American Independent) August 25, 1919–September 13, 1998; governor, 1963–1967, 1971–1979, 1983–1987. Candidacy: P - 1968.
Warren, Earl - Calif. (Republican) March 19, 1891–July 9, 1974; governor, 1943–1953; chief justice of United States, 1953–1969. Candidacy: VP - 1948.
Watson, Thomas Edward - Ga. (Populist) September 5, 1856–September 26, 1922; House, 1891–1893; Senate, 1921–1922. Candidacies: VP - 1896; P - 1904, 1908.
Weaver, James Baird - Iowa (Greenback, Populist) June 12, 1833–February 6, 1912; House, 1879–1881, 1885–1889. Candidacies: P - 1880, 1892.
Webster, Daniel - Mass. (Whig) January 18, 1782–October 24, 1852; House, 1813–1817, 1823–1827; Senate, 1827–1841, 1845–1850; secretary of state, 1841–1843, 1850–1852. Candidacy: P - 1836.
Wheeler, Burton Kendall - Mont. (Progressive) February 27, 1882–January 6, 1975; Senate, 1923–1947. Candidacy: VP - 1924.
White, Hugh Lawson - Tenn. (Whig) October 30, 1773–April 10, 1840; Senate, October 25, 1825–March 3, 1835, October 6, 1835–January 13, 1840. Candidacy: P - 1836.
Wilkins, William - Pa. (Democratic) December 20, 1779–June 23, 1865; Senate, 1831–1834; minister to Russia, 1834–1835; House, 1843–1844; secretary of war, 1844–1845. Candidacy: VP - 1832.
Willkie, Wendell Lewis - N.Y. (Republican) February 18, 1892–October 8, 1944; utility executive, 1933–1940. Candidacy: P - 1940.
Wirt, William - Md. (Anti-Masonic) November 8, 1772–February 18, 1834; attorney general, 1817–1829. Candidacy: P - 1832.
Wright, Fielding Lewis - Miss. (States’ Rights Democratic) May 16, 1895–May 4, 1956; governor, 1946–1952. Candidacy: VP - 1948.Summary of Presidential Elections, 1789–2008Political Party Nominees, 1831–2008
Following is a comprehensive list of major and minor party nominees for president and vice president since 1831, when the first nominating convention was held by the Anti-Masonic Party. In many cases, minor parties made only token efforts at a presidential campaign. Often, third party candidates declined to run after being nominated by the convention, or their names appeared on the ballots of only a few states. In some cases the names of minor candidates did not appear on any state ballots and they received only a scattering of write-in votes, if any.
The basic source used to compile the list was Joseph Nathan Kane, Facts About the Presidents, 6th ed. (New York: H.W. Wilson, 1993). To verify the names appearing in Kane, CQ Press consulted the following additional sources: Richard M. Scammon, America at the Polls (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1965); America Votes 8 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1969); America Votes 10 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1973); Richard B. Morris, ed., Encyclopedia of American History (New York: Harper and Row, 1965); Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Scribner's, 1928–1936); Facts on File (New York: Facts on File Inc., 1945–1975); Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., ed., History of U.S. Political Parties, vols. I–IV (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971); and Who Was Who in America, 1607–1968, vols. I–V (Chicago: Marquis, 1943–1968). The sources for the 1976 to 2004 elections were Richard M. Scammon, Alice V. McGillivray, and Rhodes Cook, America Votes 12 (1977), America Votes 14 (1981), America Votes 16 (1985), America Votes 18 (1989), America Votes 20 (1993), America Votes 24 (2001), America Votes 26 (2003–2004), America Votes 28 (2007–2008), and Guide to U.S. Elections, 6th edition, published in Washington, D.C., by CQ Press, the FEC's “2008 Official Presidential General Election Results,” available online at http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2008/2008presgeresults.pdf, and online news and party sources.
In cases where these sources contain information in conflict with Kane, the conflicting information is included in a footnote. Where a candidate appears in Kane but could not be verified in another source, an asterisk appears beside the candidate's name on the list.1832 Election
President: Andrew Jackson, Tennessee
Vice president: Martin Van Buren, New York
National Republican Party
President: Henry Clay, Kentucky
Vice president: John Sergeant, Pennsylvania
President: John Floyd, Virginia
Vice president: Henry Lee, Massachusetts
President: William Wirt, Maryland
Vice president: Amos Ellmaker, Pennsylvania1836 Election
President: Martin Van Buren, New York
Vice president: Richard Mentor Johnson, Kentucky
President: William Henry Harrison, Ohio; Hugh Lawson White, Tenn.; Daniel Webster, Mass.
Vice president: Francis Granger, New York; John Tyler, Virginia
The Whigs nominated regional candidates in 1836 hoping that each candidate would carry his region and deny Democrat Van Buren an electoral vote majority. Webster was the Whig candidate in Massachusetts; Harrison in the rest of New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and the West; and White in the South.
Granger was the running mate of Harrison and Webster. Tyler was White's running mate.1840 Election
President: William Henry Harrison, Ohio
Vice president: John Tyler, Virginia
President: Martin Van Buren, New York
The Democratic convention adopted a resolution that left the choice of vice presidential candidates to the states. Democratic electors divided their vice presidential votes among incumbent Richard M. Johnson (forty-eight votes), Littleton W. Tazewell (eleven votes), and James K. Polk (one vote).
President: James Gillespie Birney, New York
Vice president: Thomas Earle, Pennsylvania1844 Election
President: James Knox Polk, Tennessee
Vice president: George Mifflin Dallas, Pennsylvania
President: Henry Clay, Kentucky
Vice president: Theodore Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
President: James Gillespie Birney, New York
Vice president: Thomas Morris, Ohio
National Democratic Party
President: John Tyler, Virginia
Vice president: None
Tyler withdrew in favor of the Democrat, Polk.1848 Election
President: Zachary Taylor, Louisiana
Vice president: Millard Fillmore, New York
President: Lewis Cass, Michigan
Vice president: William Orlando Butler, Kentucky
Free Soil Party
President: Martin Van Buren, New York
Vice president: Charles Francis Adams, Massachusetts
Free Soil (Barnburners—Liberty Party)
President: John Parker Hale, New Hampshire
Vice president: Leicester King, Ohio
Later John Parker Hale relinquished the nomination.
National Liberty Party
President: Gerrit Smith, New York
Vice president: Charles C. Foote, Michigan1852 Election
President: Franklin Pierce, New Hampshire
Vice president: William Rufus De Vane King, Alabama
President: Winfield Scott, New Jersey
Vice president: William Alexander Graham, North Carolina
President: John Parker Hale, New Hampshire
Vice president: George Washington Julian, Indiana1856 Election
President: James Buchanan, Pennsylvania
Vice president: John Cabell Breckinridge, Kentucky
President: John Charles Fremont, California
Vice president: William Lewis Dayton, New Jersey
American (Know-Nothing) Party
President: Millard Fillmore, New York
Vice president: Andrew Jackson Donelson, Tennessee
Whig Party (the “Silver Grays”)
President: Millard Fillmore, New York
Vice president: Andrew Jackson Donelson, Tennessee
North American Party
President: Nathaniel Prentice Banks, Massachusetts
Vice president: William Freame Johnson, Pennsylvania
Banks and Johnson declined the nominations and gave their support to the Republicans.1860 Election
President: Abraham Lincoln, Illinois
Vice president: Hannibal Hamlin, Maine
President: Stephen Arnold Douglas, Illinois
Vice president: Herschel Vespasian Johnson, Georgia
Southern Democratic Party
President: John Cabell Breckinridge, Kentucky
Vice president: Joseph Lane, Oregon
Constitutional Union Party
President: John Bell, Tennessee
Vice president: Edward Everett, Massachusetts1864 Election
President: Abraham Lincoln, Illinois
Vice president: Andrew Johnson, Tennessee
President: George Brinton McClellan, New York
Vice president: George Hunt Pendleton, Ohio
Independent Republican Party
President: John Charles Fremont, California
Vice president: John Cochrane, New York
Fremont and Cochrane declined the nominations and gave their support to the Republicans.1868 Election
President: Ulysses Simpson Grant, Illinois
Vice president: Schuyler Colfax, Indiana
President: Horatio Seymour, New York
Vice president: Francis Preston Blair Jr., Missouri1872 Election
President: Ulysses Simpson Grant, Illinois
Vice president: Henry Wilson, Massachusetts
Liberal Republican Party
President: Horace Greeley, New York
Vice president: Benjamin Gratz Brown, Missouri
Independent Liberal Republican Party (Opposition Party)
President: William Slocum Groesbeck, Ohio
Vice president: Frederick Law Olmsted, New York
President: Horace Greeley, New York
Vice president: Benjamin Gratz Brown, Missouri
Straight-Out Democratic Party
President: Charles O'Conor, New York
Vice president: Charles Francis Adams, Massachusetts
President: James Black, Pennsylvania
Vice president: John Russell, Michigan
People's Party (Equal Rights Party)
President: Victoria Claflin Woodhull, New York
Vice president: Frederick Douglass
Labor Reform Party
President: David Davis, Illinois
Vice president: Joel Parker, New Jersey
Liberal Republican Party of Colored Men
President: Horace Greeley, New York
Vice president: Benjamin Gratz Brown, Missouri
National Working Men's Party
President: Ulysses Simpson Grant, Illinois
Vice president: Henry Wilson, Massachusetts1876 Election
President: Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Ohio
Vice president: William Almon Wheeler, New York
President: Samuel Jones Tilden, New York
Vice president: Thomas Andrews Hendricks, Indiana
President: Peter Cooper, New York
Vice president: Samuel Fenton Cary, Ohio
President: Green Clay Smith, Kentucky
Vice president: Gideon Tabor Stewart, Ohio
American National Party
President: James B. Walker, Illinois
Vice president: Donald Kirkpatrick, New York1880 Election
President: James Abram Garfield, Ohio
Vice president: Chester Alan Arthur, New York
President: Winfield Scott Hancock, Pennsylvania
Vice president: William Hayden English, Indiana
Greenback Labor Party
President: James Baird Weaver, Iowa
Vice president: Benjamin J. Chambers, Texas
President: Neal Dow, Maine
Vice president: Henry Adams Thompson, Ohio
President: John Wolcott Phelps, Vermont
Vice president: Samuel Clarke Pomeroy, Kansas*1884 Election
President: Grover Cleveland, New York
Vice president: Thomas Andrews Hendricks, Indiana
President: James Gillespie Blaine, Maine
Vice president: John Alexander Logan, Illinois
President: Benjamin Franklin Butler, Massachusetts
Vice president: Absolom Madden West, Mississippi
President: Benjamin Franklin Butler, Massachusetts
Vice president: Absolom Madden West, Mississippi
President: John Pierce St. John, Kansas
Vice president: William Daniel, Maryland
American Prohibition Party
President: Samuel Clarke Pomeroy, Kansas
Vice president: John A. Conant, Connecticut
Equal Rights Party
President: Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, District of Columbia
Vice president: Marietta Lizzie Bell Stow, California1888 Election
President: Benjamin Harrison, Indiana
Vice president: Levi Parsons Morton, New York
President: Grover Cleveland, New York
Vice president: Allen Granberry Thurman, Ohio
President: Clinton Bowen Fisk, New Jersey
Vice president: John Anderson Brooks, Missouri1
Union Labor Party
President: Alson Jenness Streeter, Illinois
Vice president: Charles E. Cunningham, Arkansas1
United Labor Party
President: Robert Hall Cowdrey, Illinois
Vice president: William H.T. Wakefield, Kansas1
President: James Langdon Curtis, New York
Vice president: Peter Dinwiddie Wigginton, California1
Equal Rights Party
President: Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, District of Columbia
Vice president: Alfred Henry Love, Pennsylvania1
Industrial Reform Party
President: Albert E. Redstone, California1
Vice president: John Colvin, Kansas11892 Election
President: Grover Cleveland, New York
Vice president: Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Illinois
President: Benjamin Harrison, Indiana
Vice president: Whitelaw Reid, New York
People's Party of America
President: James Baird Weaver, Iowa
Vice president: James Gaven Field, Virginia
President: John Bidwell, California
Vice president: James Britton Cranfill, Texas
Socialist Labor Party
President: Simon Wing, Massachusetts
Vice president: Charles Horatio Matchett, New York11896 Election
President: William McKinley, Ohio
Vice president: Garret Augustus Hobart, New Jersey
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Arthur Sewall, Maine
People's Party (Populist)
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Thomas Edward Watson, Georgia
National Democratic Party
President: John McAuley Palmer, Illinois
Vice president: Simon Bolivar Buckner, Kentucky
President: Joshua Levering, Maryland
Vice president: Hale Johnson, Illinois1
Socialist Labor Party
President: Charles Horatio Matchett, New York
Vice president: Matthew Maguire, New Jersey
President: Charles Eugene Bentley, Nebraska
Vice president: James Haywood Southgate, North Carolina1
National Silver Party (Bi-Metallic League)
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Arthur Sewall, Maine1900 Election
President: William McKinley, Ohio
Vice president: Theodore Roosevelt, New York
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Illinois
President: John Granville Wooley, Illinois
Vice president: Henry Brewer Metcalf, Rhode Island
President: Eugene Victor Debs, Indiana
Vice president: Job Harriman, California
People's Party (Populist—Anti-Fusionist faction)
President: Wharton Barker, Pennsylvania
Vice president: Ignatius Donnelly, Minnesota
Socialist Labor Party
President: Joseph Francis Malloney, Massachusetts
Vice president: Valentine Remmel, Pennsylvania
Union Reform Party
President: Seth Hockett Ellis, Ohio
Vice president: Samuel T. Nicholson, Pennsylvania
United Christian Party
President: Jonah Fitz Randolph Leonard, Iowa
Vice president: David H. Martin, Pennsylvania
People's Party (Populist—Fusionist faction)
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Illinois
Silver Republican Party
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Illinois
President: Donelson Caffery, Louisiana
Vice president: Archibald Murray Howe, Massachusetts11904 Election
President: Theodore Roosevelt, New York
Vice president: Charles Warren Fairbanks, Indiana
President: Alton Brooks Parker, New York
Vice president: Henry Gassaway Davis, West Virginia
President: Eugene Victor Debs, Indiana
Vice president: Benjamin Hanford, New York
President: Silas Comfort Swallow, Pennsylvania
Vice president: George W. Carroll, Texas
People's Party (Populist)
President: Thomas Edward Watson, Georgia
Vice president: Thomas Henry Tibbles, Nebraska
Socialist Labor Party
President: Charles Hunter Corregan, New York
Vice president: William Wesley Cox, Illinois
President: Austin Holcomb, Georgia
Vice president: A. King, Missouri1908 Election
President: William Howard Taft, Ohio
Vice president: James Schoolcraft Sherman, New York
President: William Jennings Bryan, Nebraska
Vice president: John Worth Kern, Indiana
President: Eugene Victor Debs, Indiana
Vice president: Benjamin Hanford, New York
President: Eugene Wilder Chafin, Illinois
Vice president: Aaron Sherman Watkins, Ohio
President: Thomas Louis Hisgen, Massachusetts
Vice president: John Temple Graves, Georgia
People's Party (Populist)
President: Thomas Edward Watson, Georgia
Vice president: Samuel Williams, Indiana
Socialist Labor Party
President: August Gillhaus, New York
Vice president: Donald L. Munro, Virginia
United Christian Party
President: Daniel Braxton Turney, Illinois
Vice president: Lorenzo S. Coffin, Iowa1912 Election
President: Woodrow Wilson, New Jersey
Vice president: Thomas Riley Marshall, Indiana
Progressive Party (“Bull Moose” Party)
President: Theodore Roosevelt, New York
Vice president: Hiram Warren Johnson, California
President: William Howard Taft, Ohio
Vice president: James Schoolcraft Sherman, New York
Sherman died October 30; he was replaced by Nicholas Murray Butler, New York.
President: Eugene Victor Debs, Indiana
Vice president: Emil Seidel, Wisconsin
President: Eugene Wilder Chafin, Illinois
Vice president: Aaron Sherman Watkins, Ohio
Socialist Labor Party
President: Arthur Elmer Reimer, Massachusetts
Vice president: August Gillhaus, New York11916 Election
President: Woodrow Wilson, New Jersey
Vice president: Thomas Riley Marshall, Indiana
President: Charles Evans Hughes, New York
Vice president: Charles Warren Fairbanks, Indiana
President: Allan Louis Benson, New York
Vice president: George Ross Kirkpatrick, New Jersey
President: James Franklin Hanly, Indiana
Vice president: Ira Landrith, Tennessee
Socialist Labor Party
President: Arthur Elmer Reimer, Massachusetts1
Vice president: Caleb Harrison, Illinois1
President: Theodore Roosevelt, New York
Vice president: John Milliken Parker, Louisiana1920 Election
President: Warren Gamaliel Harding, Ohio
Vice president: Calvin Coolidge, Massachusetts
President: James Middleton Cox, Ohio
Vice president: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, New York
President: Eugene Victor Debs, Indiana
Vice president: Seymour Stedman, Illinois
Farmer Labor Party
President: Parley Parker Christensen, Utah
Vice president: Maximilian Sebastian Hayes, Ohio
President: Aaron Sherman Watkins, Ohio
Vice president: David Leigh Colvin, New York
Socialist Labor Party
President: William Wesley Cox, Missouri
Vice president: August Gillhaus, New York
Single Tax Party
President: Robert Colvin Macauley, Pennsylvania
Vice president: R.G. Barnum, Ohio
President: James Edward Ferguson, Texas
Vice president: William J. Hough1924 Election
President: Calvin Coolidge, Massachusetts
Vice president: Charles Gates Dawes, Illinois
President: John William Davis, West Virginia
Vice president: Charles Wayland Bryan, Nebraska
President: Robert La Follette, Wisconsin
Vice president: Burton Kendall Wheeler, Montana
President: Herman Preston Faris, Missouri
Vice president: Marie Caroline Brehm, California
Socialist Labor Party
President: Frank T. Johns, Oregon
Vice president: Verne L. Reynolds, New York
President: Robert La Follette, New York
Vice president: Burton Kendall Wheeler, Montana
Workers Party (Communist Party)
President: William Zebulon Foster, Illinois
Vice president: Benjamin Gitlow, New York
President: Gilbert Owen Nations, District of Columbia
Vice president: Charles Hiram Randall, California1
Commonwealth Land Party
President: William J. Wallace, New Jersey
Vice president: John Cromwell Lincoln, Ohio
Farmer Labor Party
President: Duncan McDonald, Illinois1
Vice president: William Bouck, Washington1
President: John Zahnd, Indiana1
Vice president: Roy M. Harrop, Nebraska11928 Election
President: Herbert Clark Hoover, California
Vice president: Charles Curtis, Kansas
President: Alfred Emanuel Smith, New York
Vice president: Joseph Taylor Robinson, Arkansas
President: Norman Mattoon Thomas, New York
Vice president: James Hudson Maurer, Pennsylvania
Workers Party (Communist Party)
President: William Zebulon Foster, Illinois
Vice president: Benjamin Gitlow, New York
Socialist Labor Party
President: Verne L. Reynolds, Michigan
Vice president: Jeremiah D. Crowley, New York
President: William Frederick Varney, New York
Vice president: James Arthur Edgerton, Virginia
Farmer Labor Party
President: Frank Elbridge Webb, California
Vice president: Will Vereen, Georgia1
President: John Zahnd, Indiana1
Vice president: Wesley Henry Bennington, Ohio11932 Election
President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, New York
Vice president: John Nance Garner, Texas
President: Herbert Clark Hoover, California
Vice president: Charles Curtis, Kansas
President: Norman Mattoon Thomas, New York
Vice president: James Hudson Maurer, Pennsylvania
President: William Zebulon Foster, Illinois
Vice president: James William Ford, New York