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The Presidency


As head of the executive branch of government, the President of the United States has one of the most influential jobs in the world today. But much has changed since George Washington was sworn in as our nation's first president on April 30, 1789 While Article ll ofthe Constitution providesa basic job description for the chief executive-including powers, qualification, terms of office, and the election process, the explanation of how the president is able to carry out these duties is surprisingly vague. The Framers of the Constitution left it up to the individuals elected president to determine their specific role in national and world affairs. But presidential powers are not unlimited. The legislative and judicial branches, through the system of checks and balances, also play an important part in defining the job of the president. This Focus ]ackdaw traces the evolution of the Presidency from its beginnings to the present day. A wide variety of primary sources -such as campaign memorabilia, letters, diary entries, photographs, and government documents -will help students understand the official role of the president as well as offer them a glimpse into bow this powerful position has shaped the private lives of those who have served as chief executive. Historian: Robyn Griswold.

The contents of this Focus Jackclaw feature:

Support Materials

  • Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
  • Timeline
  • Critical Thinking Questions with Response Key
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Presidential Trivia

Historical Documents

  • Excerpt from George Washington's letter to Catherine Macaulay Graham, ]anuary 9, 1790.
  • Letter sent by Benny Pierce to his mother, ]une 11, 1852.
  • First and last pages of the Articles of Impeachment of Andrew Iohnson, 1868.
  • Republican Ballot from the Election of 1876.
  • Campaign Button Poster
  • Presidential Election Process flow chart poster.
  • Entry from President Harry Truman's Personal Diary, July 28, 1974.
  • Memo to Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon ]aworski, August 9, 1974.
  • A Day in the Life of President Gerald Ford, April 28, 1975.
  • Sections 2-4 of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, October 16, 2002.


Price: $36.50



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