• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

US Presidential Leadership. When it comes to the greatness of the presidents, Milkis hall of fame includes Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt for the reason that their presidency has less to do with power than with purp

Extracts from this document...


Leadership has been defined in many ways; as a matter of personality, as a power relation and as the process of which groups, organizations, and societies attempt to achieve common goals. Leadership is essential to the human condition and is both current and timeless. Too often our fixation on one individual obscures how other institutions interact with and constrain the presidency. Congress, courts, the bureaucracy and political parties each strongly influence events, leading to limits on the power of the White House. Pfiffner's argumentation of history's consequences combined with Nelson and Milkis' argumentation of the development of the executive branch creates the dynamic institution of a modern presidency. Pfiffner's core argument states that once a president is in office, his greatness was established by the fact that every past president left the Executive branch stronger and more influential than he found it. A president must always first get control of the government to accomplish hi policy objectives. Thus, the White House must organize itself, establish a cabinet, recruit presidential appointees, confront the established career bureaucracy, and devise a legislative agenda. ...read more.


Milkis and Nelson believes that great presidents are "conservative revolutionaries" who are able to teach the nation about the need for a great change as well as to how to reconcile change with American constitutional traditions and purposes in uncertain times. Furthermore, great presidents are leaders who are able to mobilize their party and build a majority coalition yet restrained by its demand for fidelity to party principles and organizations. Milkis and Nelson illustrate this with their top ranking presidents. Washington established his greatness by working systematically to transfer his enormous personal authority to the new and still fragile constitution. Jefferson helped democratize the constitution by creating the Democratic-Republican Party and being able to allow it to flourish as a real party. Jackson furthered the cause of democratization within the constitution by building the first mass based political party as well as teaching the Jeffersonians how to combine their zeal for states' rights and limited government with a strong attachment to the Union. Lincoln was in some ways the ultimate partisan; Lincoln's national stature at the time of his election owed to his being the nominee of the Republican Party. ...read more.


Ironically, it was Roosevelt, the last of the great presidents, whom Nelson and Milkis say closed the door to greatness for his successors. He did so by assaulting the authority of political parties in order to be free of external restraints on presidential leadership. Franklin D. Roosevelt's most enduring institutional legacy was the Executive Office of the President, which over the years has taken over the traditional party functions of linking the president to interest groups, staffing the administration, and developing policies. What Roosevelt did not foresee is that the same party weakness that unshackles presidents also leaves them bereft of reliable and strong organizational support when they need it. Presidential debates, which place the candidates in the spotlight as solo acts rather than as featured players in a party ensemble, accentuate the problem Roosevelt created. When Al Gore and George W. Bush debate each other as individual candidates, and when their commercials are all about them and their opponent instead of the party ticket, the message to the voters is that political parties are institutions of little consequence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Compare and Contrast the Democratic Successes and Failures of Andrew Jackson and Nelson Mandela

    Viewing his election as a mandate from the entire nation in favor of his leadership over government in contrast to the locally elected Congress, President Jackson strengthened the position of the presidency mostly through his stubbornness in applying his veto power to the renewal of the National Bank of the

  2. To what extent was Johnsons presidency (1963-69) a failure?

    Meanwhile, the opposition was growing, along with several critics, on the right, who argued that his aims for the programmes were much too expensive, failed to produce the results that were wanted and created an inefficient bureaucracy. On the other hand, the critics on the left were arguing about the best way to achieve Johnson's goals.

  1. Has Canada always been fair when it comes to immigration?

    Other safety measures could have been established to keep Canada safe, as it was not unnecessary to create this discriminating policy. Overall, Canada went against its moral values and this act made people question whether or not Canada truly was a free and democratic country.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    to four Palestinians being killed by an Israeli truck - Young rock throwing Palestinians hurled rocks, in what came to be known as the intifada, lasted for five years - Within a year of the intifada beginning, more than 150 Palestinians under the age of 15 had been killed -

  1. The Westeinde is one of the higher parts of The Hague, and the story ...

    He was a Counsellor of Charles the Bold and of Kaiser Maximiliaan; and he married a wealthy heiress named Beatrix van Dalem. And in the Council Chamber of the Grote Kerk, just a hundred yards away from the House of Assendelft, there is a fine marble tomb that contains the

  2. To what extent did Huey Long act as a threat to Franklin Roosevelts presidency?

    1934, he introduced his ?Share Our Wealth? plan to America on a nationwide radio broadcast.[6] Long promised to provide each family with at least a third of the national income average, which was set around $2000 a year. Long also wanted to place a limit of $5 million on inheritances.

  1. Executive Dysfunction: Franklin Delano Roosevelts Health and Effectiveness in His Final Term of Presidency

    On April 5, 1944, seven months before the November election, the President?s blood pressure was measured to be 218/120 (Bruenn, 1970). In both May and September of that year, the number had read 240/130 (Bruenn, 1970). These readings are well beyond those of a typical stage 2 hypertension (120/80 is the average for an adult male)(National Clinical Guidance Centre, 2011).

  2. The Effect of Polio on Franklin Delano Roosevelts Life

    Roosevelt's close confidante Howe said, "I'm not going to mention the word 'paralysis' unless I have to. If it's printed, we're sunk. Franklin's career is kaput, it's finished." Finally when it came out into the pubic, that he had polio, the doctor assured the press that it was a mild case and that he hadn't been crippled.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work