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Evolution of Congressional Power. Intent of the Founding Fathers The Myth: The Founders Intended 3 Separate but Equal Branches of Government The Reality:

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Congressional Power. Intent of the Founding Fathers The Myth: The Founders Intended 3 Separate but Equal Branches of Government The Reality:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Congressional Power

2

3 Intent of the Founding Fathers The Myth: The Founders Intended 3 Separate but Equal Branches of Government The Reality: Intended the Legislature to be Dominate Branch.

4 Evidence Constitutional 1)Most Amount of Defined Powers Given 2)Two Most Important Powers Government Can Have (Declare War and Levy Taxes) Given to Legislative Branch 3)Active Powers (pass laws, declare war) as opposed to President (veto bills, commander-in-chief)

5 Evidence

6 Yet today…. The President is viewed as the centerpiece of Government. Media Coverage Proposal of Policy In the minds of the voters

7 Historical Trends With few notable exceptions this is an era of “no- name” Presidents. Washington …. Known mostly for pre-Presidential Activities Jefferson …. The Louisiana Purchase Lincoln …. Civil War Jackson …. Force of personality Founding Period to 1899: Congressional Dominance

8 Historical Trends 1899: The Rise of the Imperial Presidency Spanish-American War As a result of the defeat the Spanish ceded the territories of the Philippines and Spain to the U.S. The U.S. debated over setting them free or turning them into colonies. Deciding the colonize them the United States becomes a World power rather than a regional one. In terms of foreign policy the President takes the lead (with the Legislature being in an advisory role) and for the first time the U.S. President in now a leader on a world stage.

9 Historical Trends : Teddy Roosevelt and the “Bully Pulpit” “Speak Softly but Carry a Big Stick” Roosevelt becomes the first President to truly understand the symbolic power involved in the office As President he realized that he was limited in formal powers but could use the attention of his office to influence public opinion and therefore influence Congress The Presidency becomes known as the “Bully Pulpit” Used to focus attention on “trust- busting” and breaking up monopolies.

10 Historical Trends : World War I The First Major Cross Atlantic Interaction President Wilson enters into the War on a crusade Views the War as a moral cause and wants to make the world safe for Democracy with his “14 Points”

11 Historical Trends : Congress Strikes Back Upon the End of the War Wilson returns home proclaiming victory for his 14 points… Even through the Treaty of Versailles only contained 1 of them. The Senate however was upset that they were never once consulted over the negotiation process. So they…… Reject the Treaty and League of Nations Over the course of the 1920s Congress reasserts its dominance over the Executive Branch.

12 Historical Trends : Great Depression and World War II Great Depression The crash of the stock market signifies the beginning of the worst economic crisis in U.S. History. President Hoover campaigns on the idea that government cannot interfere in the business cycle In 1932 the American people elect FDR During the next 16 years FDR is President during the two biggest crisises the U.S. ever faces. As a result power floats from the Legislature to the President

13 Historical Trends The Cold War Today: The Age of Constant Crisis First Iraq War Somalia Humanitarian Crisis Kosovo 9/11

14 Societal Trends Technology Globalization “That’s the way it has always been”


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