Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents

Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents

Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents

Presidents from Washington through Monroe, 1789-1825: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents

Synopsis

This work offers the best of both worlds: broad analysis of the first five presidential administrations and specific excerpts from original documents supporting and opposing the presidents' positions. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe speak for themselves as they argue for their positions on the key political, social, and economic issues of their time in excerpts from primary sources. Excerpts from opposing positions on each issue give the presidents' critics a voice. An explanatory overview of each issue will help students to understand the argument and the context of the issue and to apply critical thinking skills to their understanding. The section on each president includes entries on 4-5 key issues of his administration, from the president's title at the beginning of Washington's administration to American Indian removal at the close of Monroe's term.

Excerpt

When he was running for president in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that America needed “bold, persistent experimentation” in its public policy. “It is common sense to take a method and try it,” FDR said. “If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” At President Roosevelt’s instigation, the nation did indeed take a number of steps to combat the Great Depression. In the process, the president emerged as the clear leader of American public policy. Most scholars see FDR’s administration as the birth of the “modern presidency,” in which the president dominates both domestic and foreign policy.

Even before FDR, however, presidents played a vital role in the making of public policy. Policy changes advocated by the presidents—often great changes—have always influenced the course of events, and have always sparked debate from the presidents’ opponents. The outcomes of this process have had tremendous effects on the lives of Americans. The President’s Position: Debating the Issues examines the stands the presidents have taken on the major political, social, and economic issues of their times as well as the stands taken by their opponents. The series combines description and analysis of those issues with excerpts from primary documents that illustrate the position of the presidents and their opponents. The result is an informative, accessible, and comprehensive look at the crucial connection between presidents and policy. These volumes will assist students doing historical research, preparing for debates, or fulfilling critical thinking assignments. The general reader interested in American history and politics will also find the series interesting and helpful.

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