What are strongest arguments brought by anti-Federalists against strong executive?



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What are strongest arguments brought by anti-Federalists against strong executive?


Based on Lincoln’s actions do you think Presdent should be able to assume extratextual powers during war?

- vacuum of congressional authority during his term

- rising military and

-can’t do so arbitrarily

-Lincoln exhibited restraint whereas other may have not

- actions were conditional – divided nation

- rebellion of south nothing outlined in constitution so taking actions beyond constitution might be permitted but should not go against constitution (suspending writ of habeas corpus)

-
President Jackson ran his administration in the name of the common man – was he a people’s president?



  • Humble origins, background was among the people, came from rural area

  • Advocated universal white male suffrage, common man voting

  • Conventions established (first was actually by Anti-masonists)

  • Jackson felt cheated out of previous election, made his mark on presidency

  • Invited everyone to the inauguration

  • Jeffersonian: acted through the people

  • Opposition to the bank = favored Jeffersonian agrarian ideal, led to more credit; against stereotypical

  • Jackson built on Jeffersonian tradition of agrarian interests ; builds on Jefferson

  • Marks generation shift

  • Not from original 13 countries

  • Hadn’t been previous political experience

  • WASN”T: against women, blacks, Indians


What went wrong during the election of 1800?

  • did not predict tie

  • Georgia ballet filled out wrong

  • Vote-counter should not be candidate

  • No clear distinction who was president and vice-president

  • Founding father did not consider political parties/factions but more considered with balance of states

  • Undefined if they didn’t figure out problem before the next president was to be inaugurated

  • Rise of Plebiscitarian president above procedurial presidency

  • Mob was convening and there was threatening military action


How did congress weaken the presidency following Lincoln’s term?

  • Johnson turned out to be against congress

  • Congress assault on presidency

  • Congress stayed in session – took away pocket veto

  • Congress tried to impeach him twice and tried to eliminate checks and balances by getting rid of president’s opposition

  • Pendleton Act – put limits on patronage system and long-term limitation of presidential authority; civil service – positions no longer filled by patronage but by merit

  • Line of weak presidents did not help executive branch

  • Ability of congress to get 2/3 majority to overrule veto

  • Tenure of Office Act: officials could not be appointed without Congress’ concent – went against Washington’s precedent ; punitive measure against Andrew Johnson

  • Ability to elect cabinet officials


Do you believe if, had Lincoln lived, reconstruction would have been a less divisive and painful process?

  • possibly in abasense of war, Lincoln would not have been as powerful

  • 10 percent plan still opposed

  • Many of his policies still controversial

  • Tension with radical republicans would not have been as severe

  • Lincoln was a good politician and might have been able to handle opposition

  • Could have pushed people to do what he wanted and less hard-lined than radicals were

  • If Lincoln had lived, successors still would have been less competent than Lincoln


What kind of successor would Lincoln groom?

  • may have chosen someone who was classical Whig who advocated less presidential authority

  • someone from the West


Explain the foundation of the system of parties? What caused faction to coalesce into parties? How did affect the later election of 1800?

  • domestically, argument over constitution on whether strong or weak president would prevail between Federalists and Democratic Republicans

  • split over the Jay Treaty

  • Washington’s international policy – side with France or over England? Sympathies with French revolution

  • Foreign policy issues influence division

  • States rights, Hamilton and Federalists

Consider the broad sweep of Presidential History from 1789 to 1883, which branch of government has been more influential?



  • war time presidencies were mostly successful but then there was Madison

  • congressional power came after war time

  • presidents often expanded territory

  • presidents had more leniency to shape office since constitution was vague but legislature’s role largely established

  • presidents more popular

  • time sensitive 


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