Background

Presidents and the Constitution

Presidents and the Constitution (Volumes 1 and 2) will allow students to explore how specific constitutional principles have applied in numerous situations in history. Volume I features fifteen lessons organized according to five constitutional themes: “The President and Federal Power;” “War and the Constitution,” “Slavery and the Constitution,” “The President as Chief Diplomat,” and “Electing the President.” Volume II features three new themes as well as second units on “War and Federal Power.” Presidents and the Constitution will help your students understand the powers delegated to the President in the Constitution, and with this knowledge, to be more informed citizens and critical students of history and current events. The curriculum is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities and Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr.

 

Volume 1 – Table of Contents

The Bill of Rights Institute Councils………………………………………….. ii
Acknowledgements ………………………………………….. iii
Preface………………………………………….. iv
Teaching Suggestions………………………………………….. v
Introductory Essay: “The Creation of the American Presidency” by David Marion, Ph.D. ……….. vi

UNIT ONE – POWERS HEREIN GRANTED: THE PRESIDENT AND FEDERAL POWER
Constitutional Connection: The Presidency and Federal Power………………………………………… 2
“The Presidency and Federal Power” by David Marion, Ph.D. ………………………………………….. 4
James Madison and the Bonus Bill …………………………… 8
Theodore Roosevelt and the Bully Pulpit …………………………… 18
Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan: Two Views of Federal Power …………………………… 24

UNIT TWO – COMMANDER IN CHIEF: WAR AND THE CONSTITUTION
Constitutional Connection: War and the Constitution ………………………………………….. 34
“War and Civil Liberty” by Robert M. S. McDonald, Ph.D. ………………………………………….. 36
John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts …………………………… 40
Abraham Lincoln and Habeas Corpus …………………………… 48
Woodrow Wilson and the Espionage Act …………………………… 56

UNIT THREE – ALL OTHER PERSONS: SLAVERY AND THE CONSTITUTION
Constitutional Connection: Slavery and the Constitution ………………………………………….. 66
“Slavery, the Constitution, and the Presidency” by Stuart Leibiger, Ph.D. …………………………. 68
James Buchanan and the Dred Scott Decision …………………………… 72
Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation …………………………… 80
Andrew Johnson and the Civil War Amendments …………………………… 86

UNIT FOUR – ADVICE AND CONSENT: THE PRESIDENT AS CHIEF DIPLOMAT
Constitutional Connection: The President as Chief Diplomat …………………………………….. 92
“The President as Chief Diplomat” by Gleaves Whitney ………………………………………….. 94
George Washington and Jay’s Treaty …………………………… 98
Woodrow Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles …………………………… 106
Jimmy Carter and the Panama Canal Treaty …………………………… 114

UNIT FIVE – THE ELECTORS SHALL MEET: ELECTING THE PRESIDENT
Constitutional Connection: Electing the President………………………………………….. 118
“Selecting the President” by Marc Landy, Ph.D. ………………………………………….. 120
John Quincy Adams and the Election of 1824 …………………………… 124
Rutherford B. Hayes and the Disputed Election of 1876 …………………………… 132
George W. Bush and the Supreme Court Case of Bush v. Gore (2000) …………………………… 140

Answer Key ………………………………………….. 156
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence ………………………………………….. 165
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States ………………………………………….. 168
Appendix C: The Bill of Rights ………………………………………….. 178
National Standards Correlations ………………………………………….. 179
Special Thanks and Image Credits ………………………………………….. 180

Volume 2 – Table of Contents

Acknowledgements………………………………………………… i
Bill of Rights Institute Councils………………………………………………………..ii
Preface……………………………………………………………………………………..iii
The Bill of Rights………………………………………………………………………..iv

UNIT ONE – POWERS HEREIN GRANTED: THE PRESIDENT AND FEDERAL POWER
Constitutional Connection: The President and Federal Power ……………………….. 2
“The Presidency and Federal Power” by Marc Landy, Ph.D………………………… 4
Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase ……………………….. 8
Grover Cleveland and the Texas Seed Bill Veto ……………………….. 16
Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Great Depression ………….. 24

UNIT TWO – COMMANDER IN CHIEF: WAR AND THE CONSTITUTION
Constitutional Connection: War and the Constitution ……………………….. 36
“Commanders in Chief at War” by Gleaves Whitney ……………………….. 38
War in the Early Republic ………………………………………….. 42
Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the War Powers Resolution ……………..48
George W. Bush and the War on Terror ………………………………….. 58

UNIT THREE – FAITHFULLY EXECUTE: THE PRESIDENT AS ENFORCER OF THE LAW
Constitutional Connection: The President as Enforcer of the Law ……………………….. 66
“The President as Enforcer of the Law” by David Marion, Ph.D. ……………………….. 68
George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion ……………………….. 72
Andrew Jackson and Indian Removal ……………………….. 78
Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis ……………………….. 86

UNIT FOUR – HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: IMPEACHMENT AND THE CONSTITUTION
Constitutional Connection: Impeachment and the Constitution ……………………….. 102
“Impeachment and the Constitution” by Stuart Leibiger, Ph.D. ……………………….. 106
The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson ……………………….. 110
Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal ……………………….. 118
The Impeachment of Bill Clinton ……………………….. 126

UNIT FIVE – TOGETHER WITH THE VICE PRESIDENT: PRESIDENTS AND THE TRANSFER OF POWER
Constitutional Connection: Presidents and the Transfer of Power ……………………..134
“Transfer of Presidential Power” by Robert M. S. McDonald, Ph.D. …………………….136
The Election of 1800 ……………………….. 140
The Election of 1860 ……………………….. 146
The Resignation of Richard Nixon ……………………….. 158

Answer Key ……………………………………………………………. 164
Appendix A: The Declaration of Independence ……………………….. 173
Appendix B: The Constitution of the United States ……………………….. 176
Appendix C: The Bill of Rights ……………………….. 186
National Standards Correlations ……………………….. 187
Special Thanks and Image Credits ……………………….. 188

 

 

Header photo provided by The National Park Service

Give Feedback

Send us your comments or questions using the form below.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Close