Thomas Jefferson and Executive Power
Cambridge University Press, 2007 M07 9
By revisiting Thomas Jefferson's understanding of executive power this book offers a new understanding of the origins of presidential power. Before Jefferson was elected president, he arrived at a way to resolve the tension between constitutionalism and executive power. Because his solution would preserve a strict interpretation of the Constitution as well as transform the precedents left by his Federalist predecessors, it provided an alternative to Alexander Hamilton's understanding of executive power. In fact, a more thorough account of Jefferson's political career suggests that Jefferson envisioned an executive that was powerful, or 'energetic', because it would be more explicitly attached to the majority will. Jefferson's Revolution of 1800, often portrayed as a reversal of the strong presidency, was itself premised on energy in the executive and was part of Jefferson's project to enable the Constitution to survive and even flourish in a world governed by necessity.
The 1783 Constitution
The Diplomatic Mission
Power to Incorporate
Department3 Jack N Rakove is also right to say that
Without the president possessing the power of removal the executive
was made compatible with and even supportive of executive power
Throughout his political career Jefferson heard drafted wrote and read
address Taken together a declaration of rights and a limit
opened the possibility that majority rule is ﬂawed in that
Washington and Adams
ought to shape its administration31 As he had written to
just as Americans in 1776 needed someone to
The Aaron Burr Amendment?
was a general meeting of the friends of the discriminating
where equally with the others it acts in the last
encouraged a certain kind of citizen to act with the
Open Letters and Replies to Addresses
perhaps to the transcendent objects and national hopes Jefferson
system he helped create caused him to keep silent what
Arousing popular sentiment condenses it and makes it ascertainable which
In a strange twist it is possible that Lincoln was
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action Adams’s administration American appeal appointment argued authority bill of rights Bruce Ackerman Burr citizens Colvin conﬁdence conﬁrm Congress constitutionality council debate declarations of principle defense democratic difﬁculties doctrine draft duty election election of 1800 Electoral executive discretion executive power executive prerogative Federalist ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve Ford Gallatin governor Hamilton House Ibid impressed horses inaugural address James January Jeffer Jefferson believed Jefferson explained Jefferson to John Jefferson to Madison John Adams judge legislative legislature Library of America Lincoln Louisiana Purchase Madison to Jefferson majority Malone meant military necessity Neutrality Proclamation Notes oath of ofﬁce offered ofﬁce ofﬁcers ofﬁcials Paciﬁcus partisan party political prerogative power presidential power proclamation public opinion question ratiﬁcation reﬂected removal power Republicans Revolution of 1800 Second Inaugural Senate Special Message speciﬁc strict construction territory Thomas Jefferson tion treaty Twelfth Amendment University Press vice president Virginia Constitution vote Washington Wilkinson York
Página 142 - All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that, though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable ; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Página 56 - All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one.
Página 107 - All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Página 143 - Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none...
Página 107 - May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.
Página 140 - I despair did not the presence of many whom I here see remind me that in the other high authorities provided by our Constitution I shall find resources of wisdom, of virtue, and of zeal on which to rely under all difficulties. To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions of legislation, and to those associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the conflicting...
Página 106 - Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.
Página 264 - In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it.