Evolution of the Imperial Presidency from Fdr to Obama

2895 Words Apr 20th, 2013 12 Pages
The Evolution of the Imperial Presidency from FDR to Obama, and How it Has Changed the Fabric of American Society.

When the Constitution was first written by America’s founding fathers, they intended for the executive branch to serve the nation’s citizenry by keeping their best interests at heart, but stated that in no way should this branch be more powerful than any other—it be constantly checked and balanced by the legislative and judicial branches.. In James Madison’s Federalist Number 48, he states that in a representative republic, “the executive magistracy is carefully limited; both in the extent and the duration of its power”1. The founding fathers never intended for the role of President of the United States
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In November, 1936, FDR was given a second chance at presidency by an overwhelmingly large majority vote. After he experienced the disapproval by the Supreme Court, Roosevelt took matters into his own hands, and created a “court-packing” plan, which stated that for every justice above the age of 70, he was allowed one new justice – of his approval, meaning that he (female justices were not present in the Supreme Court just yet) would pass all acts that Roosevelt created. After this act, he placed 5 new justices on the Supreme Court, bringing the overall make up of justices in his favor3. Many citizens thought this was Roosevelt’s way of increasing the executive power, and portraying a dictatorship-like government, claiming that “Stalin had governed his country for 17 exacting years, Roosevelt his for 12 years nearly as exacting” (168)5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt finished 3 terms as president, and died of a cerebral hemorrhage during his 4th, putting Harry Truman, his Vice President at the time, in charge.
FDR believed in a “New Deal” America, containing social welfare and unemployment, Medicare, government involvement within the economy to help regulate and set standards. Both of these presidencies changed the fabric of American society by bringing the country as a whole through incredibly difficult issues, and showing how, with government intervention, the economy can be brought
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