The role of Congress is essential to any study of American government and politics. It would be impossible to gain a complete understanding of the American system of government without an appreciation of the nature and workings of this essential body. This is an introductory text aimed at undergraduate students studying American politics and American society. It looks at the workings of the US Congress and uses the Republican period of ascendancy, which lasted from 1994 until 2000, as an example of how the Congress works in practice. The book illustrates the basic principles of Congress using contemporary and recent examples, while also drawing attention to the changes that took place in the 1990s. The period of Republican control is absent from many of the standard texts and is of considerable academic interest for a number of reasons, not least the 1994 election, the budget deadlock in 1995 and the Clinton impeachment scandal of 1999. The book traces the origin and development of the US Congress, before looking in depth at the role of representatives and senators, the committee system, parties in Congress, and the relationship between Congress and the President, the media and interest groups.
Executive power--United States--History--18th century
A persuasive reassessment of the nature of the institution that was in the forefront of the American revolutionary struggle with Great Britain--the Continental Congress. Providing a completely new perspective on the history of the First and Second Continental Congresses before independence, the author argues that American expectations regarding the proper functions of a legitimate central government were formed under the British monarchy, and that these functions were primarily executive.Originally published in 1987.The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Federal government--United States, Interstate relations--United States, State governments--United States, Criminal law--United States--States, and Crime--United States
Congress in the latter part of the nineteenth century decided to enact a series of statutes facilitating state enforcement of their respective criminal laws. Subsequently, Congress enacted statutes federalizing what had been solely state crimes, thereby establishing federal court and state court concurrent jurisdiction over these crimes.Federalization of state crimes has been criticized by numerous scholars, U.S. Supreme Court justices, and national organizations. Such federalization has congested the calendars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals leading to delays in civil cases because of the Speedy TrialAct that vacates a criminal indictment if a trial is not commenced within a specific number of days, resulted in over-crowded U.S. penitentiaries, and raises the issue of double jeopardy that is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of each state.This book examines the impact of federalization of state crime and draws conclusions regarding its desirability. It also offers recommendations directed to Congress and the President, one recommendation direct to state legislatures for remedial actions to reduce the undesirable effects of federalized state crimes, and one recommendation that Congress and all states enter into a federal-interstate criminal suppression compact.
Legislative power--United States and Representative government and representation--United States
The U.S. Congress is by the far the least popular (and most misunderstood) branch of the federal government. Congress in Context de-mystifies the institution, giving students a comprehensive and practical understanding of Congress and the legislative process. This book takes a different approach to the study of Congress than other texts. Usually Congress is treated in isolation from the rest of the government. But the Framers of the Constitution explicitly intended for the branches of government to be interdependent. Congress in Context introduces readers to Congress's critical role in the context of this interdependent system. Using the metaphor of a board of directors, the authors explain the three key roles of Congress within the federal government (authorizing what government does, funding its activities, and supervising how it carries out the laws Congress passes) and shows students how Congress interacts with the rest of the government to exercise these powers. The thoroughly expanded and revised second edition features brand-new chapters on Congress and the courts and Congress and interest groups. It also includes expanded coverage of Congress's relationship with the executive branch, campaign finance, and today's major budget issues. Grounded in the latest political science literature coupled with contemporary examples, Congress in Context offers students an informed yet accessible introduction to how the legislative branch carries out its duties.
Constitutional law--United States, Separation of powers--United States--History, War and emergency powers--United States, and War, Declaration of--United States--History
Congress at War reviews the historical record of the U.S. Congress in authorizing, funding, overseeing, and terminating major military operations. Refuting arguments that Congress cannot and should not set limits or conditions on the use of U.S. armed forces, this book catalogs the many times when previous Congresses have enacted restrictions—often with the acceptance and compliance of wartime presidents. While Congress has formally declared war only five times in U.S. history, it has authorized the use of force fifteen other times. In recent decades, however, lawmakers have weakened their Constitutional claims by failing on several occasions to enact measures either supporting or opposing military operations ordered by the president. Concise, dramatically written, and illustrated with several summary tables, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in America's wars—past or present.
“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.'” How, then, asks Paul Finkelman in the introduction to Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation, did Lincoln—who personally hated slavery—lead the nation through the Civil War to January 1865, when Congress passed the constitutional amendment that ended slavery outright? The essays in this book examine the route Lincoln took to achieve emancipation and how it is remembered both in the United States and abroad. The ten contributors—all on the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship on Lincoln and the Civil War—push our understanding of this watershed moment in US history in new directions. They present wide-ranging contributions to Lincoln studies, including a parsing of the sixteenth president's career in Congress in the 1840s and a brilliant critique of the historical choices made by Steven Spielberg and writer Tony Kushner in the movie Lincoln, about the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. As a whole, these classroom-ready readings provide fresh and essential perspectives on Lincoln's deft navigation of constitutional and political circumstances to move emancipation forward. Contributors: L. Diane Barnes, Jenny Bourne, Michael Burlingame, Orville Vernon Burton, Seymour Drescher, Paul Finkelman, Amy S. Greenberg, James Oakes, Beverly Wilson Palmer, Matthew Pinsker
Corning, Trevor, Dodin, Reema, and Nevins, Kyle W.
Required reading for anyone who wants to understand how to work within Congress.The House and Senate have unique rules and procedures to determine how legislation moves from a policy idea to law. Evolved over the last 200 years, the rules of both chambers are designed to act as the engine for that process. Each legislative body has its own leadership positions to oversee this legislative process.To the novice, whether a newly elected representative, a lawmaker's staff on her first day at work, or a constituent visiting Washington, the entire process can seem incomprehensible. What is an open rule for a House Appropriations bill and how does it affect consideration? Why are unanimous consent agreements needed in the Senate?The authors of Inside Congress, all congressional veterans, have written the definitive guide to how Congress really works. It is the accessible and necessary resource to understanding and interpreting procedural tools, arcane precedents, and the role of party politics in the making of legislation in Congress.
United States Congress Versus Apartheid examines the role of the African Affairs Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in shaping United States foreign policy towards South Africa. This subcommittee emerged as one of the major battlegrounds where United States foreign policy towards South Africa was shaped during the Reagan-Bush era, 1981-1992 (the time-frame examined). This book demonstrates that Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush were more oriented toward strategic calculations in their formulation of United States foreign policy towards the African continent.Using a systems analysis approach, chapters in United States Congress Versus Apartheid focus on the political, social, economic, and cultural environment. Topics include the bargaining, conflict, cooperation, and lawmaking in the legislative process as well as demands, pressures, and support of the various groups within the political system.
Separation of powers--United States and Courts--United States--Finance
The primary audience of this work will be scholars who study judicial process and behavior at the federal level of government. The data cover in excess of 205 years of American history. No comprehensive work on this subject has ever been published.
Politics and war--United States--History--20th century and Korean War, 1950-1953--Political aspects--United States
Three days after North Korean premier Kim Il Sung launched a massive military invasion of South Korea on June 24, 1950, President Harry S. Truman responded, dispatching air and naval support to South Korea. Initially, Congress cheered his swift action; but, when China entered the war to aid North Korea, the president and many legislators became concerned that the conflict would escalate into another world war, and the United States agreed to a truce in 1953. The lack of a decisive victory caused the Korean War to quickly recede from public attention. However, its impact on subsequent American foreign policy was profound.In Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America's First Undeclared War, Larry Blomstedt provides the first in-depth domestic political history of the conflict, from the initial military mobilization, to Congress's failed attempts to broker a cease-fire, to the political fallout in the 1952 election. During the war, President Truman faced challenges from both Democratic and Republican legislators, whose initial support quickly collapsed into bitter and often public infighting. For his part, Truman dedicated inadequate attention to relationships on Capitol Hill early in his term and also declined to require a formal declaration of war from Congress, advancing the shift toward greater executive power in foreign policy.The Korean conflict ended the brief period of bipartisanship in foreign policy that began during World War II. It also introduced Americans to the concept of limited war, which contrasted sharply with the practice of requiring unconditional surrenders in previous conflicts. Blomstedt's study explores the changes wrought during this critical period and the ways in which the war influenced US international relations and military interventions during the Cold War and beyond.
The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment's notice. As a result, the young nation's political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session. By the time it met, the government had mobilized over 100,000 soldiers, battles had been fought, casualties had been taken, some civilians had violently opposed the war effort, and emancipation was under way. This set the stage for Congress to play catch-up for much of the conflict. The result was an ongoing race to pass new laws and set policies. Throughout it all, Congress had to answer to a fractured and demanding public. In addition, Congress, no longer paralyzed by large numbers of Southern slave owners, moved forward on progressive economic and social issues—such as the transcontinental railroad and the land grant college act—which could not previously have been passed. In Congress and the People's Contest, Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon have assembled some of the nation's finest scholars of American history and law to evaluate the interactions between Congress and the American people as they navigated a cataclysmic and unprecedented war. Displaying a variety and range of focus that will make the book a classroom must, these essays show how these interactions took place—sometimes successfully, and sometimes less so. Contributors: L. Diane Barnes, Fergus M. Bordewich, Jenny Bourne, Jonathan Earle, Lesley J. Gordon, Mischa Honeck, Chandra Manning, Nikki M. Taylor, and Eric Walther.
Finkelman, Paul, United States Capitol Historical Society, and Kennon, Donald R.
Slavery--Political aspects--United States--History--19th century, Slavery--Law and legislation--United States--History--19th century, Sectionalism (U.S.)--History--19th century, Slavery--United States--Legal status of slaves in free states, Fugitive slaves--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States, and Slavery--United States--Extension to the territories
During the long decade from 1848 to 1861 America was like a train speeding down the track, without an engineer or brakes. The new territories acquired from Mexico had vastly increased the size of the nation, but debate over their status—and more importantly the status of slavery within them—paralyzed the nation. Southerners gained access to the territories and a draconian fugitive slave law in the Compromise of 1850, but this only exacerbated sectional tensions. Virtually all northerners, even those who supported the law because they believed that it would preserve the union, despised being turned into slave catchers. In 1854, in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Congress repealed the ban on slavery in the remaining unorganized territories. In 1857, in the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court held that all bans on slavery in the territories were unconstitutional. Meanwhile, northern whites, free blacks, and fugitive slaves resisted the enforcement of the 1850 fugitive slave law. In Congress members carried weapons and Representative Preston Brooks assaulted Senator Charles Sumner with a cane, nearly killing him. This was the decade of the 1850s and these were the issues Congress grappled with. This volume of new essays examines many of these issues, helping us better understand the failure of political leadership in the decade that led to the Civil War. Contributors Spencer R. Crew Paul Finkelman Matthew Glassman Amy S. Greenberg Martin J. Hershock Michael F. Holt Brooks D. Simpson Jenny Wahl
Executive departments--United States, Civil service--United States--Personnel management, and Industrial efficiency--United States
With its creation of the U.S. Bureau of Efficiency in 1916, Congress sought to bring the principles of “scientific management” to the federal government. Although this first staff agency in the executive branch lasted only a relatively short time, it was the first central agency in the federal government dedicated to improving the management of the executive branch. Mordecai Lee offers both a chronological history of the agency and a thematic treatment of the structure, staffing, and work processes of the bureau; its substantive activities; and its effects on the development of both the executive and the legislative branches. Charged with conducting management and policy analyses at the direction of the president, this bureau presaged the emergence of the activist and modern executive branch. The Bureau of Efficiency was also the first legislative branch agency, ushering in the large administrative infrastructure that now supports the policy-making and program oversight roles of Congress. The Bureau of Efficiency's assistance to presidents foreshadowed the eventual change in the role of the president vis-a-vis Congress; it helped upend the separation of powers doctrine by giving the modern executive the management tools for preeminence over the legislative branch.
Law--United States--Sources and Legislators--United States--Correspondence
Three new volumes in this acclaimed series present letters written by and to members of the First Federal Congress and communications from other informed individuals at the seat of government in New York City by 1789. The letters bring the official record to life by providing details about the political process through which Congress began to accomplish its daunting agenda by establishing the first federal revenue system, fleshing out the executive and judicial branches outlined in the Constitution, drafting the Bill of Rights, and beginning to tackle the divisive issue of locating the permanent federal capital. The documents supply a rich source of information about the members'opinions on issues, lives in New York and concerns about their distant families, and the services they provided for constituents, as well as constituent opinions about issues. They also make available for the first time in English the frank and insightful letters of the French minister on the subject of the new federal government.