Set the precedent fro the concept of a strong chief executive. Built the first modern political-party with a spoils system and patronage jobs, which allowed him to appeal directly to the public and circumvent elected representatives.
1861 - 1865
Built on Andrew Jackson's model by using political patronage.
1913 - 1921
Followed Theodore Roosevelt by pursuing more foreign-policy objectives. Woodrow Wilson became the first president to propose and draft legislation.
1933 - 1945
Reshaped presidential power to fit modern times.
1945 - 1953
In 1952 when a court ruled against presidential power, the Supreme Court ruled that Truman had no legitimate power to nationalize steel mills during the Korean War
1953 - 1961
With Eisenhower, Congress continued to defer and the president grew more involved in global affairs
1961 - 1963
Kennedy asserted that he had full authority as commander-in-chief to take military action.
1963 - 1969
The run of unchallenged imperial presidency power ended during Johnson's administration
1969 - 1974
1981 - 1989
Democrats fought the president's efforts to spend more on defense without raising taxes
George H. W. Bush
1989 - 1993
Increased partisanship and an assertive Congress battled the administration
1993 - 2001
Fought a Republican majority in Congress, but was impeached because of the scandals surrounding his personal behavior
George W. Bush
2001 - 2009
Entered office in a time when presidential clout was on the wane. Bush was the leader of the first unified Republican government in half a century. Tried to rekindle the imperial presidency by battling Congress over war powers and advocating aggressive use of power.
2009 - 2017
American Civil War
1861 - 1865
During the Civil War, Lincoln asserted that the president was entitled to assume “war power” and did not need specific constitutional authority to act at home or on foreign soil.
Roosevelt adopted the imperial president model after the Spanish-American War led the US to pursue more foreign policy objectives.
World War 1
1914 - 1918
Congress granted Woodrow Wilson expanded war powers during World War 1
The Great Depression
1929 - 1939
Roosevelt won huge victories as Congress ceded authority in fiscal policy, banking, housing, and agriculture during the Great Depression.
Emergency Banking Relief Act
The Emergency Banking Act was presented during the "Bank Holiday." Roosevelt helped reopened banks that were solvent and assisted those that were not, ending the bank crisis. It gave the president the ability to control over the national finances and foreign exchange during an emergency.
World War Two
1939 - 1945
During WW2, Roosevelt gained unprecedented emergency authority to dispense economic relief and to pan military actions.
Hirabayashi v. United States
The Supreme Court upheld Roosevelt's Executive Order, which led to curfews against members of a minority group
Korematsu v. United States
The Supreme Court applied the strict scrutiny standard to racial discrimination by the government and held that the government met that standard.
The Cold War
1947 - 1991
Since the Cold War, Congress has been working to decrease the president's power partly by blocking him from assembling permanent working majorities in either the House or Senate
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer
Limited the power of the president (Truman at the time) to seize private property in the absence of either specifically enumerated authority
1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gave Johnson de facto power to fight in Vietnam, but Congress still refused to accept the decision to send troops
1973 War Powers Resolution
Forced the president to obtain congressional blessing for extended military engagements
Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities
Established by the U.S. Senate and looked into the events surrounding Watergate. It was the most dramatic check on the president exercised by Congress when it began impeachment proceedings against Nixon
1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act
Gave Congress its own economic forecasts and deficit estimates, which sometimes challenged the White House.
The imperial presidency starts to decline around here.
1985 - 1987
Congress use investigations and inquiries to assert its power and undercut the president. It greatly diminished Reagan's public standing and ended his conservative revolution.
Gives the president increased powers to wiretap suspected terrorists without judicial supervision. Possibly violates the Fourth Amendment, which makes it very controversial
September 11 Attacks
After the terrorist attacks, George W. Bush used an almost “top-down” management style that envisioned minimal consultation with Congress - viewed as an attempt to re-establish the imperial presidency that prevailed during WW2 and the Cold War
Iraq War Resolution
Authorized George W. Bush to use the military "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend... the United States against... Iraq"
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
The Supreme Court ruled that the executive branch does not have the power to indefinitely hold citizen without basic due process protections enforceable through judicial review.