First Advisor

Jesse L. Gilmore

Term of Graduation

Spring 1975

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.)






Executive power -- United States -- History, Legislative power -- United States -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 87, [3] pages)


This thesis seeks to define the American President's role as legislative leader and to trace the origin and development of that role throughout the history of the office of the presidency. Presidents were not consistently active in this capacity until the middle of the twentieth century.

The first part of the thesis examines precedents set by strong presidents prior to and early in the twentieth century, as well as an important institutional change in the government, the creation of the Budget System, which smoothed the way for Presidential adoption of the tasks of legislative leader.

The middle sections of the work examine the three American Presidents who fully adopted and institutionalized the role of legislative leader within the presidency, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Finally, the conclusions section examines the implications of presidential adoption of this role in the American system of government with respect to the balance between the President and the Congress.

Research for this paper consisted of careful examination of primary sources, books and periodicals covering the history of the presidency, as well as examination of political commentary on the office and many of its occupants. In addition, communication with the Office of Legislative Reference in the Executive Office of the President provided helpful information.


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