The Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers

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This book, The Trailblazers: Chief Executives Who Transformed the Constitution, presents a summary view of American history over the first forty years under the United States Constitution. During this time many events took place and a few distinct personalities added their personal touch in determining the destiny of the United States. Each of these early chief executives left a legacy although, as always, it has been subject to vast interpretations according to onea€™s individual viewpoint. However, the collective existence of this nation speaks volumes for each of their particular influences during their time at the helm. The trail that they blazed has enabled the Presidency to undergo great change as each succeeding chief executive has added power and substance to the office. The first elected Constitutional President of the United States, George Washington, came into being when he took office on April 30, 1789. Since his time we have had over forty different personalities who have occupied the office with the transference of power passing to the successor in an orderly mannera€”even in the midst of our civil war. A lot of credit must be given to the system of government that we have in which the executive rolea€”the ultimate authority and enforcement figurea€”is assumed in a simple ceremony that only involves an oath of office to be administered to that person. This smooth transition of power is due in large part to the manner in which Washington established the handing over of the Presidency to his successor. This book of the early chief executives covers a period of 40 years, from 1789 to 1829, during which 20 Congresses convened and adjourned. The trailblazers, starting with George Washington, transformed the country from mere words that stated the intent of the Constitution into a system of government with a firm foundation. In the process, these trailblazers expanded the scope of the Presidency and added to the existing precedents that were established through the Articles of Confederation under the guidance of the chief executives of the Continental Congress. In this effort, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams made their contributions in a decided manner. In the process, they greatly strengthened the core of the central authoritya€”a necessary force in keeping the nation together as a single continuing union. George Washington set many of the precedents under the United States Constitution as the first chief executive under the new government. He put down a rebellion, worked for strong financial institutions, expanded the implicit powers of the President, and was at the helm when the New York Stock Exchange was formally established. His strong leadership set the tone of the office of the Presidency, including its elevated social status and its accessibility to the citizens of the country. John Adams, as the first intellectual in the office, promoted the judicial evolution and in the process created a stronger national government. His abilities as a statesman kept a lid on what could have erupted into a full-scale war between America and England when the young nation was ill prepared to fight again. Although his support of the Alien and Sedition statues went against the grain of freedom, he was still able to fend off another rebellion and keep the country together in its infant years. He also promoted a strong military preparedness and sought to improve the caliber of both the army and the navy. Thomas Jefferson became the first President from the opposition partya€”the Democratic-Republicansa€”and in doing so set the precedent for a peaceful transfer of power from one party to another. Under his term, the country doubled in size due to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France. He also took actions that were for the most part in line with a very narrow interpretation of the presidential powers under thyears, he was fired from his position in May 1798, over the running dispute concerning the roof of the Capitol building. ... He studied architecture and made his way to America where he designed several buildings in Charleston, South Carolina. ... 13 Benjamin Henry Latrobe was born on May 1, 1764, in Yorkshire, England. ... by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, as Architect of the Capitol, and he constructed the original House wing of the Capitol and the interior of the Senate wing.

Title:The Trail Blazers
Author: Bob Navarro
Publisher:Xlibris Corporation - 2004-05-13

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