• 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. 'More than a Mutiny, less than a War of Independence' - Do you agree ...

    There were many social grievances felt by the Indians against the British: at a low level the experience of arrogant racism could not fail to give offence, even when it took a quiet form in the separation of the British into cantonments and clubs from which most Indians were excluded.

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

    United States, demanding his removal of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River, and his stern handling of the Nullification Crisis. Also viewed as the symbolic embodiment of greater democracy in South Africa, President Nelson Mandela, the first black leader of South Africa following the first multi-racial elections of 1994,

  1. Andrew Jackson - American politics in the 1820s and 1830s.

    Thus in 1836, Jackson decided to issue the Specie Circular, which required buyers of government lands to pay in gold or silver coins called specie. With a high demand for specie, many banks collapsed because they did not have enough of the "specie" to exchange for their notes.

  2. Lenin's legacy

    Among such depression, rapid industrialization seemed to only add to the mounting pressure creating overcrowding, poor conditions in urban areas. (Wikipedia) Imperialistic conflicts were not the only areas in discussion anymore as temperatures started to rise and blood began to boil within Russian boundaries.

  1. u.s. constitution

    had with Britain, they modeled their new government after the British Empire. 8. -1791- No excessive bail & fines or cruel & unusual punishment. a. Inspired by the English Bill of Rights, the United States' found fathers established that the punishment or fine shall fit the crime.

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

    of Karmeh, thousands of young men volunteered to be Fatah fighters and Arab states made financial contributions. By the end of the year, Arafat featured on the cover of 'Time' magazine - An El Al plane was attacked at Athens in December 1968.

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

    On young Gerrit's wedding day Duke Albrecht gave him the title of "Lord of tile Assumburg". Assumburg Castle was later burned down and in it, according to the gossip of the time, the van Assendelfts claimed to have lost all the documentation that proved their noble origins.

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