Stephen F. Knott: Demagoguery, Restraint, and the American Presidency Part 1 | BRI Scholar Talks
How does a constitutional presidency reflect admirable qualities and, alternatively, how can a "populist presidency" degrade the office? In a two-part series, BRI Senior Teacher Fellow Tony Williams is joined by author and professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College, Stephen Knott, to explore these questions by looking back at the most significant presidents in American history and how they defined their times in office. In part one of their discussion, Knott explains how the "populist presidency" originated in Thomas Jefferson and re-emerged in fiery leaders like Andrew Jackson while other presidents like Abraham Lincoln sought to preserve the constitutionalism and magnanimity of the Founders’ presidency. Knott is the author of "The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal."
About Stephen F. Knott:
Stephen F. Knott is a professor in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval War College. He co-chaired the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He has also taught teachers for many years at the graduate school program at the Ashbrook Center of Ashland University. He has written numerous books including "Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America" and "Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth."
Presidents and the Constitution
Presidents and the Constitution (Volumes 1 and 2) will allow students to explore how specific constitutional principles have applied in numerous situations in history. Volume I features fifteen lessons organized according to five constitutional themes: “The President and Federal Power;” “War and the Constitution,” “Slavery and the Constitution,” “The President as Chief Diplomat,” and “Electing the President.” Volume II features three new themes as well as second units on “War and Federal Power.” Presidents and the Constitution will help your students understand the powers delegated to the President in the Constitution, and with this knowledge, to be more informed citizens and critical students of history and current events. The curriculum is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities and Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr.
Did Abraham Lincoln Exceed His Presidential Powers during the Civil War?
Two scholars debate this question.
Reading Andrew Jackson’s Veto of the National Bank | A Primary Source Close Read w/ BRI
BRI Senior Teaching Fellow Tony Williams sits down with Dr. Todd Estes, professor of history at Oakland University and author of The Jay Treaty Debate, to give Andrew Jackson’s 1832 Veto Message a close read. In the veto message, Jackson argued that the bank corrupted politics and violated the Constitution. . What role do you believe the executive has in creating legislation? Why are checks and balances a vital part of our Constitution?