Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive


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I first encountered Patrick Henry in fifth grade. On July 4, , the United States declared itself an independent nation.

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This is almost true, but the timing is a tad off…. In education circles, document-based learning is all the rage. The idea is to present a historical document, ask students to examine it closely, then…. Fortunately, a heroic rider from Boston woke up the sleepy-eyed farmers just….

This article was originally published in Journal of the American Revolution, Vol. Raphael's focus on Morris explains in stunning clarity the sensibility of a system that most today deem arcane and undemocratic: the Electoral College. As the presidency emerged and grew in power, the mode of selection became more contentious, pitting many interests against one another: state governments versus the national, large states versus small, democratic selection versus elite control.

Unfortunately, Raphael abandons his use of narrative as an analytical tool in "Field Tests," as he turns to telling narrative stories in a topical, case study manner that ignores the chronological "day-to-day" approach that worked so well in his coverage of the Convention. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.


  • Ray Raphael, Author at Journal of the American Revolution.
  • Summary and reviews of Mr. President by Ray Raphael?
  • The Founders’ Great Mistake - The Atlantic.

If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. President: How and Why the Founders Created This followed custom: No state constitution had granted appointive powers to a single person.

The Story of the Founding Fathers’ Debate Over Presidential Power

Then in The Federalist No. But that plan had not been adopted, and when writing as Publius,Hamilton tried to assure those who feared executive overreach that the president could not dismiss an appointee at whim.

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The issue came to a head in the First Federal Congress, almost two years after the framers drafted the provision. In the ensuing debate, plain logic seemed to favor those who insisted on Senate involvement.

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But was it that simple? James Madison countered with three arguments.

But this begged the central question: Is the power of dismissal inherent within the power of appointment? If the president required the concurrence of the Senate before removing an executive officer, that officer could ensure his tenure in office simply by courting the approval of the majority of senators. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs and other important officials would thus come under the sway of legislators instead of the chief executive, and executive accountability would be lost.

Department heads could endure in office indefinitely, while the president had to stand for re-election every four years.

Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive
Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive

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