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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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What Must Be Done

What Must Be Done

Franklin Roosevelt

(p.223) Chapter Eight What Must Be Done
Untrodden Ground

Harold H. Bruff

University of Chicago Press

President Franklin Roosevelt produced another transformation of both the Constitution and the office of the presidency. The outpouring of legislation during the hundred days altered the presidential role within Congress and initiated new levels of federal involvement in the lives of citizens. A permanent expansion of the executive branch challenged the supervisory capacities of Roosevelt and later presidents. The second New Deal created today’s social safety net. Roosevelt established the modern institutional presidency. He battled the Supreme Court over constitutional interpretation and failed in his court-packing plan. He did not entrench his constitutional vision by seeking amendments. He did not adequately protect civil liberties, notably in the Japanese-American internment in World War II. In foreign policy, he guided the nation to abandon neutrality in favor of international involvement. As commander in chief, he set strategy in World War II. His third term broke the traditional two-term limit.

Keywords:   Franklin Roosevelt, hundred days, New Deal, court-packing, civil liberties, Japanese-American internment, World War II, neutrality, commander in chief, third term

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