What is meant by the term imperial presidency?.
The Imperial Presidency is a term which has been used from the 1960s to describe the presidency of the United States and the President's aides. It was based on a number of observations and was coined by the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. The term "Imperial" President is meant to convey a president that is king-like, it also refers to the gradual accumulation of power gained by the president. This means that the president is authoritarian and may create war like activities. .
An imperial Presidency can be seen as a good thing in some respects, as in states of emergency a president may make a fast concise decision to protect the American society; rather than wait for congress to make a decision. This type of presidency can also be seen as negative because a President can declare war without putting it through congress first. This is violating the founding fathers will of having congress at the centre of decision making. To effectively stop what we are letting happen now.
The Imperial Presidency came about from the increasing number of staff that a president has. FDR had few staff and most of them were based in the capitol, but at the time of Nixon he had ten times as many executive staff, he even had the former presidential swimming pool covered over and converted into a press room,due to lack of space. The increasing number of staff meant that they were there to make decisions on the presidents behalf making him unaccountable for the actions of his staff. The growing number of staff also results in the Presidents aides having more involvement with vital decision making.
Many believe that the Imperial presidency has crept in since the times of FDR. It is often said that his creation of the New Deal was the start of the modern Imperial presidency as we know it. The power increased as FDR established a large federal bureaucracy over which the president presided.