American government

Essay by snikolaouCollege, Undergraduate December 2004

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The farmers envisioned the president powers to a certain limit, when the farmers of the constitution constructed the executive branch of government. Having delegated to the president a specific type of authority, the framers would probably be surprised to see that they had actually created a rather dynamic officer. The presidency is continually changing over time. That is, the power of the president has been both increased and decreased a various stages in history. Opportunities for change did not generally result from the characteristics of individual presidents, but rather came as a result of specific historic occurrences that impacted the nation as a whole. For example, the Civil War created a forum that expanded presidential power, whereas certain acts of Congress have contracted the president's power. Although the framers of the Constitution may not have intended to create such an executive, the presidency of today has more power, greater responsibility, higher demands and expectations; and the US toady is the world's military and economic superpower.

Presidential power when viewed from a constitutional perspective, is both specific and obscure; specific in that some elements of presidential power are clearly spelled out; obscure in that the limits and boundaries of presidential power are either ill-defined or open to vast differences in interpretation. In an effort to understand presidential power, the Constitution is a starting point, but it provides few definitive answers. The Constitution, as it relates to the powers of the president, raises more questions than it answers. As historical circumstances have changed, so too has the meaning or interpretation of the Constitution. The scope and meaning of the executive clause in Article II of the Constitution has changed to meet the needs of the times and wishes of strong presidents. The skeleton-like provisions of Article II have left the words open...