American Presidency


What did heads of state or chief executives look like before the US Presidency was created, and why does this matter? Examines the institution of the Roman Consul, Cromwell's 'protectorate,' constitutional monarchy in Britain following the Glorious Revolution, John Locke's Palatine Court, royal governors in the American colonies and the office of the New York state govenor in the late 1700s.
Elections & Campaigns
How did the US presidential election system change from its inception to current times, and what consequences follow from this? Topics include the elctoral college, tied presidential elections, presential campaigning and candidate centered politics.
The Modern Presidency
What is the modern presidency, how did it come about in the 1900s, and in what way did it change everything about the American public policy process? Topics include Teddy Roosevelt, progressivism, the New Deal, presidential popularity, agenda setting, executive orders and agreements, and arguments for and against presidential power.
Policy Control
How the bureaucatic state both enhanced and threatened presidential decision making. Covers the construction of new bureaucratic executive power in the 1900s, including the creation of the military industrial complex, and case studies of big decisions, such as the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missle Crisis. Also covers how presidents attempt to control Congress and the bureacracy and whether strategies are effective. The Congress lecture focuses upon Lyndon Johnson in contrast to Jimmy Carter; the bureaucracy lectures focus upon Nixon's unsuccessful strategies.
Richard Nixon & Watergate
Who was Richard Nixon, and what was Watergate all about? Focus is upon Nixon and his personality (pyschology), his foreign policy record, how early the corruption begins, the full modus operandi, the coverup and the players in the American Shakespearean political drama.
War and Emergency Powers
Who has the power to start war, and what are presidential emergency powers? The war lecture examines all of the conflicts in American history and which branch lanuched them from an internal institutional perspective. Emergency powers lectures focus upon Lincoln and the Civil War, Wilson and World War I, and FDR in World War II, Truman and the steel seizure, and the enemy combantant (detainee) cases.
A look at notable presidential lives. Who were these people and why does this matter? Focus is upon George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Andrew jackson and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.