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Perhaps the greatest concern shared by authors of the U.S. Constitution was how to prevent power from accumulating in the hands of one ultra-powerful individual. Nevertheless, the document they created was quite vague regarding such important issues as term limits, presidential succession and the State of the Union Address.
This eight-question short answer worksheet traces the evolution of executive power in the United States, from 1789 to the present. Students will learn how, for much of American history, presidential behavior was dictated more by tradition than constitutional requirement. Special attention is given to the impact of political partisanship, wars (foreign & domestic) and global politics in the development of these changes.
Perfect as a single-class activity, homework assignment or review sheet!
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