pols final

pols final - 1. Throughout the 20th century, the United...

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Throughout the 20 th century, the United States Congress has seen its ups and downs along with its continuous wavering of power and dominance within the political system. This is important because the Legislative Branch of the government is one that the founders created to have equal power and to share in the ruling of the country. When this power is weakened, it creates unequal power between the three branches and moves away from the direction that the framers of the Constitution saw for the United States. In this essay I will first discuss how the power of Congress was weakened and what factors contributed to this shift of power. Next I will discuss the factors that contributed to the comeback of Congress in the later part of the century. Lastly I will discuss whether or not today’s Congress is capable of dealing with the national priorities and problems that come up. Weakening of Power The start of the shift away from Congressional power began in the beginning of the century when a charismatic and energetic president became involved with foreign policy which cannot be conducted by committee. Actions dealing with foreign policy must be conducted face to face. For example the big three alliance between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since the president, FDR had personality, a characteristic that is impossible for congress to have, he was able to take over foreign affairs and therefore strengthen the executive branch and weaken the legislative branch, or congress. Also, the weakening of political parties and the progressive movement added to the weakening of congress. Discipline weakened, the poor became organized and progressive movements began to take place. 1933-1974 were critical years where the president came to dominate foreign and domestic powers. John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse state that the public tends to try to enact reforms which weaken the congress even though they are unknowledgeable about the effects of weak congress, and will become disillusioned when congress does actually become weak. It is not in the nations interest to always listen to what the public wants, because the weakening of congress and political institutions is not a good thing. Comeback During the later part of the century, congress passed laws that made in harder on the president. He now needed consent and permission from congress on many laws and legislations. After Watergate many new installations were made: Government Accountability Office – monitor executive agency expenditures, Ethics in Government Act – established rules in order to reduce corruption and restrict the use of improper knowledge, independent counsel – a prosecutor who is not affiliated with the government who is therefore able to give unbiased reports to congress, Freedom of Information Act – all federal agencies must disclose records to anyone who asked for them in writing. Now use three strategies:
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2008 for the course POLS 173 taught by Professor Yalof during the Spring '08 term at UConn.

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pols final - 1. Throughout the 20th century, the United...

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