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Untrodden GroundHow Presidents Interpret the Constitution$
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Harold H. Bruff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226211107

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226211244.001.0001

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Independent of Both

Independent of Both

Jackson, Tyler and Polk

(p.83) Chapter Four Independent of Both
Untrodden Ground

Harold H. Bruff

University of Chicago Press

The Monroe Doctrine unilaterally set an enduring executive branch foreign policy. President Andrew Jackson increased presidential control of the executive by rotating officers and by dismissing a Treasury Secretary who would not accept his statutory interpretation. Jackson also transformed the veto when he used it to destroy the Bank of the United States, an action that presaged routine presidential participation in legislation. His Indian removal policy showed that neglect of the faithful execution duty can harm the powerless. His refusal to accept nullification held the Union together. The Whig presidencies showed that incentives require presidents to be strong even when the party’s political theory resists. John Tyler’s decision to assume the full powers of the presidency when he succeeded to office set another enduring precedent. James Polk promoted Manifest Destiny with strong executive actions, including provocative use of the military that led to the Mexican War.

Keywords:   Monroe Doctrine, Andrew Jackson, presidential veto, Bank of the United States, Indian removal, nullification, John Tyler, James Polk, Manifest Destiny, Mexican War

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