A Republic, If You Can Keep It: The Foundation of the American Presidency, 1700-1800

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Michael Riccards, 1987 - Political Science - 227 pages
Riccards has written a unique account of the creation of and early experience with the US presidency. The author first explores the English and colonial experience that was relevant to structuring executive authority at the constitutional convention (as well as the theories supporting this experience). He then turns to familiar subjects--the decision-making in Philadelphia that led to a presidency and the role of the executive article in the ratification debate. All this is accomplished with clarity and economy of writing. The longer second part of the book is an analysis of George Washington's presidency, showing that Washington followed a federalist or strong executive model. Several brief chapters discuss the man and his popularity among the American people, the condition of the executive and bureaucracy before Washington became president, and events and policies that occupied the first president. The last chapter is an epilogue that all too briefly sets the Washington presidency in comparative and historical context. . . . The book is a useful contribution to presidential scholarship. Choice

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About the author (1987)

MICHAEL P. RICCARDS is President of St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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