First Advisor

Melody Rose

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Political Science


Political Science




Institutional development, Government institutions, Political institutions, United States -- Office of the Vice President -- History, Vice-Presidents -- United States -- History, United States -- Politics and government -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 162 p.)


The ongoing disregard for the American vice presidency, and for those who would and do hold the office, in conjunction with the scarcity of academic research devoted specifically to the development of the institution, warrants the following study. Indeed, this study is relatively novel to the existent body of political science research which ventures to evaluate the vice presidency. Generally, research and publications on the vice presidency have tended to focus on variables such as ticket-balancing and home-state advantage; critiques of individual vice presidents; and more recently, specific policy spheres where modern vice presidents have been involved. In contrast, this project is devoted exclusively to isolating the institutional markers that have increased the broad utility of the position of vice president of the United States and, in the process, have augmented the development of the vice-presidential institution. These institutional markers include augmentation by precedent, statute, and constitutional amendment; increases in the resources made available to the institution; the addition of institutional identifiers; and the gradual accumulation of policy portfolios and responsibilities assigned to vice presidents. Underscoring each of the preceding institutional markers has been the vital role specific presidents have played in facilitating the development of the vice-presidential institution; indeed, the form and the substance of the vice presidency today is almost entirely the product of presidential initiative. In total, this study represents an interpretive synthesis of the historical record of the American vice presidency and how that record reflects the development of the institution. In the end, salient institutional markers have led to the development of a modern, utilitarian institution, one that is now fully integrated into the executive government. Of equal import, the standing of the vice presidency today, legitimizes the individual serving in the office, and furthers the influence of the vice president in the executive government. And, in telling the story of the development of the vice presidency, it is readily apparent that a combination of anecdotal and empirical evidence support the thesis of a changed institution, closely integrated with, and dependent upon, the presidency.


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Hatfield School of Government. Division of Political Science

Persistent Identifier