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.

Chapter 1 Constitutional Beginnings

Chapter 1 Constitutional Beginnings

Chapter 1 Constitutional beginnings

The constitutional convention of 1787 was, as Connecticut governor Samuel Huntington told the delegates to his state's constitutional ratifying convention, “a new event in the history of mankind. Heretofore, most governments have been formed by tyrants and imposed on mankind by force. Never before did a people, in a time of peace and tranquility, meet together by their representatives and, with calm deliberation, frame for themselves a system of government.”1 In the midst of this “new event,” nothing was newer than the American presidency, an invention unlike any other national executive in history. Its inventors—the fifty-five convention delegates—drew on their personal and professional experience, study of history and philosophy, understanding of political reality, and individual and collective wits in ...

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