The President, Office and Powers: 1787-1957, History and Analysis of Practice and Opinion

By Edward S. Corwin | Go to book overview

Chapter VI
Commander-in-Chief in Wartime

T he United States has fought three more or less nearly "total" wars. The first was the Civil War, and partly because it was a civil war, in which the President's duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" was immediately involved, the principal result for constitutional interpretation was a complete transformation in the President's role as Commanderin-Chief. The constitutional result, on the other hand, of our participation in the First World War, thanks to the demands made on the nation's industrial resources in support of both our forces in the field and those of our "associates," is to be seen in a vastly enlarged conception of legislative power. Finally in the Second World War we were confronted with a magnified replica of the First. In consequence all resources of constitutional power ever previously uncovered were brought into requisition on a scale hitherto unparalleled, by a President who was happily free of any mistrust of power when it was wielded by himself.

But besides his power and duty to bring the energies of the nation to bear on an enemy, the President has as Commander-in- Chief the powers of a supreme military commander in the establishment of military rule over areas found by him to be "theaters of war," in the enforcement of martial law, in the enforcement of the laws of war, and in still other respects. What scope have these powers today attained under the stimulation of modern warfare? These, too, are questions requiring to be answered.

The Notes to this chapter begin on p. 448.

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The President, Office and Powers: 1787-1957, History and Analysis of Practice and Opinion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - Conceptions of the Office 3
  • Chapter II - The Apparatus of the Presidency 31
  • Chapter III - Administrative Chief 69
  • Chapter IV - Chief Executive 119
  • Chapter VI - Commander-In-Chief in Wartime 227
  • Chapter VII - Legislative Leader And "Institution" 263
  • Résumé 306
  • Notes 315
  • Table of Cases 497
  • Index 501
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