Chapter 13 Essay and Discussion

The Presidency

In chapter 13 of We The People (Ginsberg, et.al.) we discuss the role the American President serves in the government. The presidency was established in Article II of the constitution “The executive power shall be vested in a president of the United States” Ginsberg, et.al.). During the establishment of the presidency, some argued that executive power would be better by a council rather than in the hands of one person. But it was decided that have a single individual would provide “energy” in the executive as opposed to a collective leadership council.

The President is not elected by the people of the United States (U.S.), instead, they are elected by electors from each state. This election takes place in December. Although electors typically vote according to their party or whoever won the election in December, they can technically vote for whomever they chose. Electors do not vote according to the popular vote, as we have seen in past elections. This voting process has called in to question the necessity of an electoral college.

Presidents hold expressed powers, as stated in Article I, section 8 “specific powers granted by the constitution to Congress and the president” (Ginsberg, et.al.). The president also holds implied powers as well. These are powers that are not specific but implied by the interpretation of the “proper and necessary clause in article I, section 8” and of delegated powers.

The president is also referred to as the commander and chief because he/she has the “highest military authority in the United States” (Ginsberg, et. al.). The president has the power to declare war on another country only with the permission of the government or if American troops are under attack. During World War II many Americans were opposed to entering a foreign war. Although Winston Churchill who was Prime Minister appealed to President Franklin Roosevelt for help defeating Adolf Hitler (History.com). President Roosevelt could not offer support without permission from Congress. However, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the president was free to declare war on Japan and enter the fight against Nazi Germany (History.com). With the help of American troops, France was liberated from German occupation and Germany eventually lost the war(History.com).

In We The People; chapter 13 (Ginsberg, et.al.) President Obama’s accomplishments are discussed. For example, in 2014, insurance was offered to 32 million Americans that were uninsured at the time (Ginsberg, et.al.). President Obama also issued an executive order that would “provide a path toward residency and citizenship” (Ginsberg, et.al.). Although presidents hold the highest executive power they are still subject to checks and balances provided by the different branches of the American government.


We The People, (Ginsberg, et.al.) 2017.

Retrieved from

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/world-war-ii-history (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (2019).

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