Americans tend to pay much attention to the president than to any other government official, blaming him when things go wrong, even in areas over which the president consists of little control and crediting him with successes which stem from the legislature rather than the executive. In many ways, the president serves as the symbolic figurehead of both the government and the nation, with the effect that the executive frequently overshadows the other branches of government. Review the powers and duties which the Constitution grants to the president. Then describe how presidents from, George Washington through Abraham Lincoln, have wielded and expanded such powers.
How did the responsibility of the president change from 1789 to 1865? Which presidents were most responsible for those changes? How did the judiciary and the legislature encourage or seek to curtail the expansion of executive power?