In his book, The Imperial Presidency, Arthur Schlesinger recounts the
rise of the presidency as it grew into the imperial, powerful position that it
is today. His writing reflects a belief that the presidency is becoming too
powerful and that very few people are making a real effort to stop it. He
analyzes the back and forth struggle for power between Congress and the
Presidency. Schlesinger breaks up the first half of the book chronologically. He
begins by discussing the areas concerning the presidency where the founding
fathers agreed and also the areas where they disagreed. He then goes on to
analyze the rise of the imperial presidency through war and recovery, with
emphasis on the events of the twentieth century. After the war in Vietnam,
Schlesinger divides the book based on the specific nature of the events that had
an impact on presidential power. He divides it based on domestic policy, foreign
policy, and the affairs that go on in secrecy.
Schlesinger provides an incredible amount of evidence to recount the ups
and downs of the imperial presidency. He provides a base for his argument with
an in-depth view of what the framers intended and how they set the stage for
development over the next two centuries. An issue that Schlesinger focuses on is
the presidents ability to make war. The decisions of the founders in this area
would have a huge impact on the power contained in the office of the president.
The consensus amongst the framers was that the president, as Commander in Chief,
had the ability to defend the United States and its interests, but the ability
to declare war was vested in the Congress. This decision set the stage for the
struggles between the president and congress. He also discussed the debate over
the power institutionalized in the presidency. At the time, there were two
schools of thought on the subject. Hamilton supported an active president, while
Jefferson argued in favor of a passive president. The... [continues]
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"Imperial Presidency: Overview." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Imperial-Presidency-Overview-3315.html.