In Defense of the Senate: A Study in Treaty Making

In Defense of the Senate: A Study in Treaty Making

In Defense of the Senate: A Study in Treaty Making

In Defense of the Senate: A Study in Treaty Making

Excerpt

This study has an interest both for the student of American government and the student of international relations. The United States was the first important state to associate a portion of the legislature with the executive in treaty making, and although such an association is now found in most national constitutions, its effect in the United Sattes is exceptional because of the independent position of the Senate and of the President under a system of checks and balances, and because of the two-thirds rule in the Senate. The first condition has led to disagreement and occasional acrimonious controversy between the two branches of the government, as a result of which public attention has been frequently attracted to the subject. The second condition has rendered party responsibility and control ineffective in treaty making and has given an unusual influence to a minority. For this reason it has been both attacked and defended.

Mr. Dangerfield has made an important contribution both to the understanding and to the evaluating of the American procedure in treaty making by a statistical analysis covering every treaty which has been negotiated under authority of the United States since its independence. The effect of Senate participation and of the twothirds rule is here disclosed so far as it can be disclosed by statistical methods. Mr. Dangerfield recognizes that the Senate's power may exert certain psychological influences upon the executive in initiating or conducting negotiations not susceptible of statistical measurement.

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