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47 the Presidents Office

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47. THE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE. Ori gin and Early Development.— In theory the king of England was the model for the Ameri !an chief executive. In fact, the framers of the Constitution were more influenced by such prototypes as the colonial governors and the official heads of the recently-formed States. but they did not make the chief officer of their °more perfect Union)" a mere figurehead. This was in keeping with the reactionary spirit that characterized the entire movement for a new constitution. Its leading delegates were deter mined to have a single executive with adequate administrative powers. Having settled this point all the further details of the office required only careful adaptation and mutual compromise. The result formed such an important part of their labors that opponents styled the proposed frame of government °a monarchical constitution' and largely centred their attack upon the ex ecutive. But the °Federalist Papers') of Ham ilton and his associates, and popular confidence in Washington, unanimously designated as chief magistrate, largely overcame this opposition.

Washington strove to give the office a broad national basis, but even he could not render it non-partisan. Foreign complications and the controversies over finance caused him and Adams to adhere to the policy of the Federalists. Yet Washington never abandoned a certain judicial poise, even when his Cabinet became the centre of partisan strife, and Adams did not hesitate to incur party defeat in ridding his Cabinet of factional elements. Jefferson administered affairs as a frank and fairly suc cessful party leader. Much of his success was due to his conversational and epistolary powers, to which Cabinet and Congressional majority alike yielded. Under his weaker successors the Congressional caucus nearly destroyed exec utive independence. Our country was then struggling for full national recognition. Eng lish traditions in regard to public service were still strong and the candidate for high office must show his peculiar fitness for it. Such factors, combined with the waxing spirit of democracy, made mere tools of the weaker exec utives or aroused factitious oppositi6n against the stronger ones.

Jackson's great work was to restore the office to a co-ordinate position with Congress and the judiciary. Utterly lacking in definite train ing, he was so thoroughly en rapport with dominant popular sentiment that he was able to force his will upon a hesitant Congress and to disregard Marshall's unacceptable decisions. He was aided in this result by the rise of the national convention, which destroyed the power of the Congressional caucus, and by the develop ment of a party machine, based upon executive patronage and a subsidized press. The con vention and party machine, however, made the future selection of second-rate party men al most inevitable. The predominance of domestic problems after Jackson's administration gave Congress further opportunity to control na tional policy. In some measure Polk showed how a successful war increased executive con trol, but it was under Lincoln that the war powers of the President reached their highest development. His successor, Johnson, was un able to maintain this high level and narrowly escaped conviction after impeachment by an encroaching Congress. The recurrence of do mestte problems, largely of a materialistic type, gave Congress control in national affairs.

Recent Increase in Executive Power.— Cleveland ushered in a new group of strong executives, but he owed as much to the con fusion of domestic politics as to his own native force. During his first administration Con gress repealed the last of its restrictions upon the executive power of removal and estab lished the succession to the Presidency upon its present basis. At the same time civil serv ice reform and the tariff enabled Cleveland to assume a leadership that recalled the best efforts of Jefferson and Jackson. In his sec ond administration he even challenged opposi tion within his own party upon the issues of free silver and the tariff and startled the con servative elements of the whole country by a new interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.

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