The President of the United States of America - Powers and Priveleges

1500 Words 6 Pages
Despite the intentions of the framers of the Constitution and the subsequent roles laid out for the president therein, the President of the United States of America has assumed roles and powers that somewhat challenge these intentions. Since the forming of the Union there has been a continuing struggle over the powers of the president and whether he should take a reserved legalist position or a more activist role.

The legalist and activist positions are embodied perhaps no more deservedly in Presidents Taft and T. Roosevelt, respectively. It was Roosevelt's position that it was not only the President's right, but duty to do "anything that the needs of the Nation demanded, unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the
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2). The impact of such ambiguities is that considerable room for the expansion of powers are provided the President. Hirschfield states that the framers of the Constitution wanted "a central government powerful enough to maintain law and order, protect property interests, develop the nation's resources, and make America a factor in international affairs. Seeking stable, authoritative, and vigorous rule, they regarded a strong executive as essential to the achievement of their goals" (Hirschfield, p.12). Given this, it was also a priority that the office of President not be defined by any `monarchical' elements of rule - an `elected monarch' was widely held to be a worst case scenario with regard to the formation of the Union (Hirschfield, p.12). Upon reading Article II of the Constitution, it can be supposed that the President is "responsible for little more than the faithful execution of the laws that are enacted by Congress and interpreted by the Supreme Court" (Egger, p. 2). It can be seen, therefore, that while Congress may be the constitutionally dominant entity of American government, it is the president who politically dominates (Dye 2001, p. 386).

For the purpose of distinguishing between that role envisaged by the constitutional framers and that which the modern world has bestowed upon him, it is appropriate that today's president is referred to as the `modern president'. This is due to the fact that developments unforeseeable by

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