The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective

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Home | Mises Library | 9. The American Presidency: Critical Episodes in Its Growth, Part I

9. The American Presidency: Critical Episodes in Its Growth, Part I

  • The Truth About American History
June 25, 2005

Tags BiographiesU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

No President should leave a citizen in doubt about his person or property. However, this original comforting view is contrasted with more modern theory of the Presidency in which Wilson held the President to be the “unifying force of the country”. He represents no constituency, but the “whole people”.

Teddy Roosevelt’s political philosophy held three planks: 1) the President uniquely represents the will of the American people; 2) the President can do anything as long as the Constitution does not say he cannot; and 3) the President could issue Executive Orders without consultation, making himself lawmaker (e.g., the Dominican Republic and the coal mine workers’ strike).

Congress has the power to declare war. The President in an emergency could repel a sudden attack. The President has only two foreign policy rights: the President is Commander in Chief of the armed forces and he has the power to receive foreign ambassadors. The Constitution reflects that the Executive must not be empowered to declare war.

Lecture 9 of 10 from Thomas Woods' The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective.

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