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.
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
To understand American politics and government, we need to recognize not only that members of Congress are agents of societal interests and preferences but also that they act with a certain degree of autonomy and consequence in the country's public sphere. In this illuminating book, a distinguished political scientist examines actions performed by members of Congress throughout American history, assessing their patterns and importance and their role in the American system of separation of powers.David R. Mayhew examines standard history books on the United States and identifies more than two thousand actions by individual members of the House and Senate that are significant enough to be mentioned. Mayhew offers insights into a wide range of matters, from the nature of congressional opposition to presidents and the surprising frequency of foreign policy actions to the timing of notable activity within congressional careers (and the way that congressional term limits might affect these performances). His book sheds new light on the contributions to U.S. history made by members of Congress.
While the president is the commander in chief, the US Congress plays a critical and underappreciated role in civil-military relations—the relationship between the armed forces and the civilian leadership that commands it. This unique book edited by Colton C. Campbell and David P. Auerswald will help readers better understand the role of Congress in military affairs and national and international security policy. Contributors include the most experienced scholars in the field as well as practitioners and innovative new voices, all delving into the ways Congress attempts to direct the military.This book explores four tools in particular that play a key role in congressional action: the selection of military officers, delegation of authority to the military, oversight of the military branches, and the establishment of incentives—both positive and negative—to encourage appropriate military behavior. The contributors explore the obstacles and pressures faced by legislators including the necessity of balancing national concerns and local interests, partisan and intraparty differences, budgetary constraints, the military's traditional resistance to change, and an ongoing lack of foreign policy consensus at the national level. Yet, despite the considerable barriers, Congress influences policy on everything from closing bases to drone warfare to acquisitions.A groundbreaking study, Congress and Civil-Military Relations points the way forward in analyzing an overlooked yet fundamental government relationship.