Presidential Essay 2011


Respond to one of the following essay prompts. Answer all three parts of the question in complete sentences and be as specific as possible in your answers. Take a minute to plan your essay before you begin writing. You may write your answer on the back of this sheet of paper or on another page. If you are the first student to stand up and do the chicken dance right now I might give you extra credit.

1. Presidents are generally thought to have advantages over Congress in conducting foreign policy and war because of the powers that are laid out in the Constitution.

a. Describe two constitutional powers of the President in making foreign policy.

b. Describe two constitutional powers of the Congress in making foreign policy.

c. Describe a current event in the world and explain how it is an example of the power advantage the president has over the Congress.


2. Throughout the past half-century the US has experienced divided government more and more frequently.

a. Define divided government.

b. What are two consequences of divided government for the presidency?

c. Choose one current event and explain the effect of divided government upon that event.

1. The Framers of the Constitution created a separation of powers that was intended to give the Congress more power than the president, yet today, many critics believe that the president has eclipsed the power of the Congress.

a. Explain whether you think the president is more powerful than the congress. Use at least three specific facts to support your contention.

b. Imagine you had the power to change the constitution. Describe one way you would change the constitution to give Congress more power than the president.

c. Describe one issue in the news today that illustrates a way that the president has more power than Congress.

2. In making a budget, war, and laws, the President and Congress share power.
a. Describe the specific powers of the Congress in each of those three areas.

b. Describe the specific powers of the President in each of those three areas.

c. In one of the areas described in part a and b, explain which branch has more power than the other.

d. Choose one specific current event to illustrate one of the shared powers of the Congress and President that you wrote about in parts a and b.

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