Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive

Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive

The little-known story of the dramatic political maneuverings and personalities behind the creation of the office of the president, with ramifications that continue to this day.   On June 1, 1787, when the Federal Convention first talked of establishing a new executive branch, James Wilson moved that "the Executive consist of a single person." To us this might sound obvious, but not so at the time. Americans had just won their independence from an autocratic monarch, and they feared that a single leader might commandeer power or oppress citizens. Should the framers even flirt with one-man rule? For the first and only time that summer, there was silence. Not one of the loquacious delegates da

Ray Raphael
Alfred A. Knopf

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