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presidential history



  • Our Last Insurrectionist President

    by Daniel N. Gullotta

    John Tyler's post-presidential second act, as a secessionist, yielded something worse than historical condemnation: irrelevance. 


  • Four Myths of Presidential Power

    by Daniel Farber

    History looms large in arguments about the Constitution these days. But there are widespread misunderstandings of what history tells us about presidential powers, from making war to being impeached. 



  • How Previous Presidents have Ended American Wars

    With the U.S.'s longest war coming to an end, Here & Now's Scott Tong speaks with Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, to look back at how other U.S. presidents have handled ending conflicts.



  • End the Imperial Presidency

    by Stephen Wertheim

    Congress has not issued a declaration of war since Pearl Harbor. President Biden should force Congress to shoulder its constitutional duty by withdrawing troops from any conflict in six months unless Congress debates and formally declares war. 



  • Is Kamala Harris Really the Least Popular VP in a Half-Century?

    The right has seized on the argument, which is based on shoddy interpretation of polls and ignores the fact that net favorability ratings for current officials are much more affected by partisan polarization than for their predecessors decades ago. 


  • America's First Peaceful (Just Barely!) Transfer of Power

    by Akhil Reed Amar

    While the selection of Thomas Jefferson as the third president in 1801 (after an electoral college deadlock) is touted as a crucial peaceful transfer of presidential power from one party to another, the transition was far more fraught with peril than most realize. 



  • Are We Entering a New Political Era?

    A group of younger progressive activists is seeking to push the Democratic Party to see a new political alignment where active government and public programs are no longer considered impossible. Some members of the group of historians and scholars who met with President Biden in March also relayed that message.



  • Fritz Mondale and Decency

    by Kai Bird

    Jimmy Carter thought the vice presidency was "a wasted national asset." He gave Walter Mondale the charge and the freedom to redefine the role. 



  • 100 Days is a Ridiculous Way to Judge a Presidency

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    FDR's 100 Days was a historical aberration; not least because of the lack of partisan opposition that is delaying the seating of Joe Biden's cabinet and the staffing of his administration.