Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon brings a fresh and informed perspective to the evolution of presidential power in the United States. Her study of the presidential title controversy of 1789 reveals a new nation grappling with the delicate balance between executive power and the people’s sovereignty under an untried Constitution. She is the Visiting Scholar at the First Federal Congress Project in Washington, DC.
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For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789
The presidential title controversy of 1789 was the first battle over the role of an increasingly formidable American president, whose office grew in power and prestige despite, and more significantly because of, the dispute’s outcome in favor of the modest title of “President.”