SUNY Plattsburgh Imperial Presidency Discussion
For this assignment, please write an essay on the following prompt:
What is the meaning of the term “imperial presidency”? In the last twenty years, has the power of the presidency increased in line with the argument of the “imperial presidency”? What kinds of policies (either domestic or foreign) might President Joe Biden implement that would continue the “imperial presidency”? Put another way, what sorts of domestic policy actions would enhance the power of the presidency relative to the other branches of government? What kinds of actions would stall or end the imperial presidency? Given your assessment, will Biden’s successor inherit a more or less powerful office?
Note, I want your thesis/central argument to state that either (1) presidential power is increasing compared the other branches (the imperial presidency is real/strengthening/continuing) OR (2) presidential power is decreasing or staying the same compared to the other branches (the imperial presidency is no longer happening or never did). For either argument, you should be discussing the criteria that one would use to even assess the question. What evidence suggests that your thesis is correct?
The articles provided with this week’s reading will help with your argument:
Each of these makes a particular argument or arguments about the imperial presidency. I expect for you to read these and be able to use them to build your own argument about this concept that incorporates and synthesizes some of these existing ideas.
Nuts and bolts:
3 – 5 pages (900 – 1500 words), typed, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins
You do not have to do outside research. If you choose to do some outside research to support your argument, please provide a cite your sources with a full bibliography or works cited. If you only utilize class materials, you do not need to worry about this.
DUE DATE: Friday, April 22 at midnight
The prompt does ask you about the current president—this is to push you to apply your analysis to a novel case. It is NOT a question about whether you like or approve of Joe Biden or Donald Trump—that is not my interest. My interest is in you showing a depth of understanding about the basis of power in the presidency across time, party, and administration.
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