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Key Roles of Executive Branch

Law enforcement (through cabinet), sign or veto bills, commander in chief of the military, make treaties (with consent of Senate), appoints federal judges

Removal from office

resignation, death or impeachment. Only 2 presidents have been impeacched so far (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton)

Vice President

First in line for presidency, president of Senate (but only casts tie breaking votes when needed and doesnt debate about legislation), some ceremonial duties, specific duties almost entirely depend on the administration in questions

Constitutional Requirements for office

native-born american citizen, lived in the US for the last 14 years, minimum of 35 years old

Historic "qualifications"

white, male, protestant, wealthy, tall, endorsed by the democratic or republican parties

Steps to elect a new president

1. parties choose the candidates through the primary and caucus system (long process, begins in January of the election year) 2. general election in november

Step 1

Candidate selection: process run by the parties, rules vary by start and btw parties as well, 2 main methods: 1. Primaries 2. Caucuses


members of a registered party (any citizen who chooses to register) vote among candidates in their own party


citizens meet in order to debate about who the candidate ought to be

General Election/Electoral College

Number per state determined by combining the number of representatives a state has plus the nuber of senators. the number is re-determined every 10 years

Hilary Clinton

Secretary of state, chief foreign affairs advisor to the president, diplomatic ties with foreign nations, travel extensively, current message: more international and multilateral than the previous administration


cooperation between many nations

Janet Napolitano

secretary of homeland security, created in 2002 which required massive reorganization of the federal bureaucracy, protection against terrorist attacks, responding to natural disasters, responsible for the borders, immigration, & customs, does NOT include CIA or FBI, does include: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Coast Guard (during peace time), TSA (Transportation Security Association)

Department of Defense

Secretary: Robert Gates, oversees the army, navy, air force, and marines, purpose is to strengthen American military resources and work with allies around the world, home in the pentagon

Justice Department

Eric Holder: headed up by attorney general, goal is to enforce the law and ensure equal justice for all americans, represents the US in all legal matters, enforces immigration laws, maintains the federal prison system, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), ATF (Alcohal, Tobacco, & firearms), FBI, US parole commission

Department of Energy

responsible for energy policy, responsible for nuclear safety (including the maintenance of our nuclear weapons and reactor safety)

Department of Treasury

Manages federal finances, prints money, collects taxes through the Internal Revenue Service

Other important departments

interior, agriculture, commerce, labor, health &human services, housing & urban development, transportation, education and veterans affairs

Other important offices (not officially in the Cabinet)

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Director of office of management and budget, USTR (United States Trade Representative), Director of office of national drug control policy, vice president

Theodore Roosevelt

(1) republican, high energy, teddy bears named after him, came to power in 1901 when McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist, 5th cousins with FDR, active in navy during SpanishAmerican war, began conservation by the federal government, anti-trust efforts, "Square Deal" (progressive republican)

William Howard Taft

(2) Republican, chief justice after presidency, trust-busting, 16th & 17th ammendments to Constitutions (taxes & direct election of senators), "Dollar diplomacy" (aid to Asia and Latin America)

Woodrow Wilson

(3) democrat, progressive taxation, segragationist (saw KKK as just), second term all about WWI (wanted to stay neutral), 19th ammendment (women voting), league of nations/idealist, federal drug prohibition, Mother's day

Warren G. Harding

(4) republican, died of heart attack/stroke, VP: coolidge, first presidential campaign to recieve extensive media coverage/involve celebrities, established Dept of Veterans Affairs, wanted little gov regulation of economy, spoke about why lynching was wrong, scandal plagued (affairs + criminal cabinet members)

Calvin Coolidge

(5) Republican, small-gov conservative, continued harding's legacy of calling for restrictions on immigration and promoting and anti-union agenda, "roaring twenties" - a prosperous time, saw hardings victory as a rejection of the league of nations

Herbert Hoover

(6) republican, wall street crash, laissez-faire approach to the economy, smoot-hawley tarrif act, massive opposition to prohibition, presidency first elected office, secretary of commerce, progressive technocrat, humanitarian

Franklin D. Roosevelt

(7) democrat, 3 VPs: truman last, new deal- 25% unemployment, farm prices down 60%, stock market down 90%, 2 million homeless, no bank insurance & 32 states closed banks, US entered WWII, internment at home, creation of UN, suffered from polio (or another paralytic illness), expanded and liberalized the court, died of a brain hemmorrhage

Harry S. Truman

(8) democrat, kept very distant from FDR (didnt know about manhatten project), concluded WWII (atomic bombings + peace treaty), beginning of Cold War, major domestic issues as the economy was re-converted into peacetime activity, taft-hawley act passed over his veto, de-segregated the military, korean war

Dwight D. Eisenhower

(9) Republican, VP: Richard Nixon, 5-star army general, allied commander in europe WWII, "space race", ceasefire in Korea, interstate highway system, desegregated DC schoolsin Brown vs. Boar and used National guard to integrate in Arkansas

John F. Kennedy

(10) democrat, VP: LBJ, Obly catholic president, 2nd youngest, "space race", vietnam war, Cuba/bay of pigs/cuban missile crisis, peace corps, helped to engineer Baath victory in Iraq, assassinated, Pro-civil rights but FBI pestered

Lyndon B. Johnson

(11) democrat, "Great Society" (medicare, medicaid, war on poverty, major civil rights legislation, federal funding for education, massive escalation in Vietnam, urban riots, lost support for domestic policies in riots and credibility issues

Richard Nixon

(12) republican, 2VPs: ford last, man on moon, opened relations with China, detente with Russia, escalated/ended vietnam appeal to "silent majority" of conservatives, expanded gov programs, resigned, watergate: crimes and abuses, campaign fraud, political sabotage, illegal breakins...

Gerald Ford

(13) republican, terrible economy, powers of president curbed during his administration, signed Helsinki Accords that re-affirmed the USSRs post WWII borders, eased cold war tensions

Jimmy Carter

(14) democrat, camp david accords, SALT II Treaty, panama canal treaties, iran hostage crisis, stagflation, created department of energy to search for oil alternatives, Carter center

Ronald Reagan

(15) republican, VP: GHW bush, strong religious overtones but more willing to compromise than modern day neo-conservatives, supply-side economics/reaganomics/ called for massive tax cuts, iran-contra, end cold war, anti-union, war on drugs, high debt

George H W Bush

(16) republican, former director of CIA, oil company founder/owner, foreign policy (panama, gulf war), raised taxes eventhough said he wouldnt, more centrist than his son, NAFTA negotiation

Bill Clinton

(17) democrat, VP: al gore, "third Way" politics of centrism, DADT, NAFTA ratification, attempt at health care reform failed, reduced deficits, monica lewinsky, somalia, yugoslavia, sanctions on iraq

George W Bush

(18) republican, neo-conservative, foreign policy dominated by war on terror, No child left behind, tax cuts, high deficits, major economic problems, proposed privatizing social security, opposed stem cell research/pro-life/carbon reductions/ international law, but wanted more domestic drilling to alleviate oil dependence, major contributions to HIV/AIDs

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