Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Chapter 12: The Presidency I. Presidents and...

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Chapter 12: The Presidency I. Presidents and prime ministers A. Characteristics of parliaments 1. Parliamentary system twice as common 2. Chief executive chosen by legislature 3. Cabinet ministers chosen from among members of parliament 4. Prime minister remains in power as long as his or her party or coalition maintains a majority in the legislature B. Differences 1. Presidents are often outsiders; prime ministers are always insiders, chosen by party members in parliament 2. Presidents choose their cabinet from outside Congress; prime ministers choose members of parliament 3. Presidents have no guaranteed majority in the legislature; prime ministers always have a majority. The United States usually has a divided government. 4. Presidents and the legislature often work at cross-purposes a. Even when one party controls both branches b. A consequence of separation of powers c. Only Roosevelt and Johnson had much luck with Congress II. Divided Government A. Divided versus unified government 1. Fifteen of twenty-two congressional/presidential elections since 1952 produced divided government 2. Americans dislike divided government because it can lead to gridlock. B. Does gridlock matter? 1. But divided government enacts as many important laws as a unified government 2. Reason: Unified government is something of a myth in U.S. C. Is policy gridlock bad? 1. Unclear whether gridlock is always bad; it is a necessary consequence of representative democracy 2. Representative democracy opposite direct democracy III. The evolution of the presidency A. Delegates feared both anarchy and monarchy 1. Idea of a plural executive 2. Idea of an executive checked by a council B. Concerns of the Founders 1. Fear of military power of president who could overpower states 2. Fear of presidential corruption of Senate 3. Fear of presidential bribery to ensure reelection C. The electoral college 1. Each state to choose own method for selecting electors 2. Electors to meet in own capital to vote for president and vice president 3. If no majority, House would decide D. The president's term of office 1. Precedent of George Washington and two terms 2. Twenty-second Amendment in 1951 limits to two terms 3. Problem of establishing the legitimacy of the office 4. Provision for orderly transfer of power E. The first presidents 1. Prominent men helped provide legitimacy 2. Minimal activism of early government contributed to lessening fear of the presidency
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2008 for the course HIST 21 taught by Professor Spear during the Fall '07 term at Furman.

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Chapter 12 - Chapter 12: The Presidency I. Presidents and...

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