Has the power of the president increased or decreased in recent years? Why?
The original intent of the power of the President was that it was meant to be limited, and actually controlled more by the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. In response to move away from British monarchical government, the American founders believed that decentralizing the power of the nation away from one single person was in the best interest of the nation and democracy. However, the Presidential powers have expanded greatly since the time of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. The change in power dynamics came in the 19th century with Presidents like Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln controlling much more of the government and its functions than previous Presidents. Jackson was a very powerful president and fought against the National Bank, even using his Presidential powers in pushing the legislation of the Indian Removal Act. More positively, Lincoln defined his Presidency through his extended war powers during the Civil War. His powers were increased as a way to preserve the United States, suspending Habeas Corpus, and changing the way interstate commerce functioned during the war.
Since these presidencies, the role of Chief Executor has developed more and more power, leading into the ways that both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt would utilize the power of their position to protect consumers in Theodore’s trust-busting, and the way that FDR changed the post-war economy with his social programs. The way in which the world around the United States has changed has led to an increase in the powers of the President, and this can be seen in the wars that have been fought by the United States in the Middle east under the Patriot Act, extending the war powers of the President.