New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1267 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: American History

New Imperial Presidency

Rudalevige, Andrew. The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power after Watergate. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.

According to Andrew Rudalevige, after the resignation of Richard Nixon a new, less dictatorial paradigm of presidential power quickly but briefly emerged in America. The United States Congress was afraid that the 20th century presidency had evolved into an office unchecked power, a "presidency rampant" particularly after the intelligence demands of the Cold War had allowed presidents to use national security as a euphemism for covering up unethical behavior that protected their power, or the power of the office, not the United States as a nation (5). Congress, faced with the resignation of a corrupt president, and burdened with a war that had been based upon lies, felt empowered to act to reassert the authority that had been given to it by the Constitution.

Download full Download Microsoft Word File
paper NOW!
As chronicled in Rudalevige's 2005 book the New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power after Watergate, almost immediately after the Watergate scandal, Congress began passing legislation to strengthen the system of checks and balances on executive power. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 controlled the president's use of force, and the Hughes-Ryan Amendment of 1974, the Domestic Intelligence Guidelines of 1976 and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 limited the ability of the executive branch to conduct surveillance (7). The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Acts, the Presidential Records Act, and amendments to the Freedom of Information Act all followed swiftly afterwards over the course of the 1970s.

TOPIC: Term Paper on New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate Assignment

However, as quickly as Congress tried to check executive authority, presidents tried to reassert their imperial power. To demonstrate how this has affected recent history, Rudalevige begins with the current Bush Administration's war on Iraq in his book. The Bush Administration is clearly his inspiration for his historical overview. Contrary to the lack of support the administration has in the legislature today, at the time of the beginning of the war, Congress was willing to accept the administration's assertion that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and some legislators stated openly that the president must "know more" than did the congress (12). Congress even put forth the president's tax cut bills without question and declared French fries to be replaced by freedom fries at the congressional cafeteria, because of the French condemnation of the war effort. "As 2002 closed, observers suggested that Bush had created one of the most powerful White Houses in at least a generation" (12).

But Democratic presidents were also guilty of abusing the power of the presidency in the past. Nixon was not the first president to abuse the office. Nixon often noted that President Kennedy "did it all the time," that is, act without the approval of Congress (13). Kennedy himself wryly observed that "everyone believes in democracy -- until he gets to the White House" and "what is good for the country is good for the President, and vice versa" (13; 57). Franklin Roosevelt was accused of being autocratic because of his long terms in office and the authority he had creating the New Deal and overseeing the subsequent war effort (13). In fact, it may be Roosevelt who was the first imperial president, although the greater unity of the executive branch in relationship to the legislature may make it, by its nature, more imperial and more authoritative. Only the president is elected by the entire populace, and through the use of mass communication can speak directly to all who elected him (35).

Before Roosevelt, even William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, and Calvin Coolidge, for example, used troops to rule Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Strictly speaking, these were deemed minor 'police' actions, not wars, and thus these presidents evaded the fact that the U.S. Constitution states that only Congress… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

Two Ordering Options:

Which Option Should I Choose?
1.  Download full paper (4 pages)Download Microsoft Word File

Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!

- or -

2.  Write a NEW paper for me!✍🏻

We'll follow your exact instructions!
Chat with the writer 24/7.

American Presidency Term Paper

Presidential Powers Term Paper

Changes in Presidential Powers From Nixon to Bush Thesis

Environmental Science Nuclear Power Technical Summary Term Paper

Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors Research Paper

View 200+ other related papers  >>

How to Cite "New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate.  (2008, February 9).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate."  9 February 2008.  Web.  17 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"New Imperial Presidency Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate."  February 9, 2008.  Accessed October 17, 2021.