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“The eyes of America—perhaps of the world—are turned to this Government."

—George Washington

George Washington oval

About Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon

Kathleen Bartoloni-Tuazon brings a fresh perspective to the evolution of the Presidency and executive power in the United States. Her book, For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789, reveals a new nation under the untried Constitution grappling with the delicate balance between presidential power and the people’s sovereignty. Dr. Bartoloni-Tuazon has contributed her expertise to NPR, C-SPAN, The EconomistThe Boston Globe & more.

Expert and Thought Leader

In a letter to the Editor of The Economist (September 6, 2018), Dr. Bartoloni-Tuazon provides historical context on the concept of a president as an “elective king.”
Read her letter to The Economist

Dr. Bartoloni-Tuazon has offered expertise on aspects of the presidency for NPR’s All Things Considered and The Curiosity Desk; C-SPAN's The Presidency series; the Ben Franklin's World podcast, and Mount Vernon among others.

About For Fear of an Elective King

In the spring of 1789, within weeks of the establishment of the new federal government based on the U.S. Constitution, the Senate and House of Representatives fell into dispute regarding how to address the president. Congress, the press, and individuals debated more than thirty titles, many of which had royal associations and some of which were clearly monarchical.

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.”

Featured Review

“This delightfully well-written and meticulously researched book is by far the fullest and finest study of the legislative debate over a presidential title, and it is the only study of the public debate over the controversy. Bartoloni-Tuazon shatters several myths about the event.”

—Stuart Leibiger, from the review of For Fear of an Elective King in the Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 35, No. 3, Fall 2015