Fresh from a battle against monarchy, the American Founders were wary of a strong executive, but they were equally conscious that unchecked legislative power risked all the excesses of democracy. Creating an effective executive who did not dominate the legislative body posed a significant challenge. In The Creation of the Presidency, 1775–1789, Charles Thach’s lucid analysis reveals how these conflicting concerns shaped the writing of the Constitution and the early clarification of executive powers.
Charles C. Thach, Jr. (1894–1966) was educated at Johns Hopkins University and received his Ph.D. in 1922. Specializing in political theory, he taught at the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins. He later became a Professor of Government at New York University, where he taught for over thirty years.
Forrest McDonald is Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Alabama and author of States’ Rights and the Union.