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 2 History of the Presidency

Chapter 2 History of the Presidency

Chapter 2 History of the presidency
Sidney M.Milkis andEmily J.Charnock

The Constitution of 1787 provides only the barest outline of the duties and responsibilities of the president. Article II was loosely drawn and thus left considerable leeway for future presidents and events to shape the executive office. By stating that “the Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States” and that “he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” without in most cases stipulating what those executive and administrative responsibilities would be, the Constitution has given rise to more than two centuries of conflict over the appropriate extent of presidential authority.

This chapter examines the major developments that have shaped the idea of presidential power in U.S. ...

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