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Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power


  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521127387

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About the Authors
  • By revisiting Thomas Jefferson's understanding of executive power this book offers a new understanding of the origins of presidential power. Before Jefferson was elected president, he arrived at a way to resolve the tension between constitutionalism and executive power. Because his solution would preserve a strict interpretation of the Constitution as well as transform the precedents left by his Federalist predecessors, it provided an alternative to Alexander Hamilton's understanding of executive power. In fact, a more thorough account of Jefferson's political career suggests that Jefferson envisioned an executive that was powerful, or 'energetic', because it would be more explicitly attached to the majority will. Jefferson's Revolution of 1800, often portrayed as a reversal of the strong presidency, was itself premised on energy in the executive and was part of Jefferson's project to enable the Constitution to survive and even flourish in a world governed by necessity.

    • Only book-length examination of Jefferson and executive power
    • Makes use of Jefferson sources that other Jefferson scholars have overlooked
    • Shows how Jefferson's thoughts were altered by events and how the presidency was changed by the interaction of the two
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521127387
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'The execution of laws is more important than the making of them': reconciling executive energy with democracy
    2. Executive power and the Virginia executive
    3. Executive power and the constitution of 1787
    4. 'To place before mankind the common sense of the subject': declarations of principle
    5. The real revolution of 1800: Jefferson's transformation of the inaugural address
    6. To 'produce a union of the powers of the whole': Jefferson's transformation of the appointment and removal powers
    7. The Louisiana Purchase
    8. To 'complete their entire union of opinion': the twelfth amendment as amendment to end all amendments
    9. 'To bring their wills to a point of union and effect': declarations and presidential speech
    10. Development and difficulties.

  • Author

    Jeremy D. Bailey, University of Houston
    Jeremy D. Bailey is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. He was the co-winner of the 2004 APSA E. E. Schattschneider Award for best dissertation in American politics written in 2002 or 2003 and has received fellowships from the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

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