The American Presidency

The purpose of the final exam is to demonstrate that you have not only understood the fundamental ideas presented during the course of the semester, but are capable of making and defending a coherent argument using what you have learned.  The final exam is due on Friday, December 18 by  3:20 p.m. and it is to be uploaded to Canvas.  This will count as 35% of your grade for this course.  No late papers will be accepted.  What that means is that Canvas will not accept submissions beginning at 3:20 p.m. on that day. Nor will I, via email. If you are having difficulty uploading your paper to Canvas, you may email it to me prior to that time and date. If the time stamp on your email reads anything later than 3:20 p.m. on that day, it will be considered an F.  If I were you I would get it done and uploaded WAY before that time.  You may use any readings that we have done this semester, including readings not originally on the syllabus that were added during the semester.  That means Tocqueville is in play.  As is the Federal Court case on Canvas, Trump Inc. vs. Boockvar. Here is the catch:  The final exam is not a paper.  It is a three-page long, single-spaced, detailed outline complete with correct and proper citation format as outlined in class (see handout: “How To Write A Paper”), which is to be formally presented in class on the day of the final.  You will have seven minutes to do so, followed by Q and A.  Any presentation going under six minutes will negatively affect the final grade.  The thirty second warning will be given as usual to keep accurate time.  I highly suggest you practice your timing on a stopwatch before the day of the final exam. The order of presentations will be on a voluntary basis.  All students must remain in class for the duration of the final, and Q and A will follow each presenter.  I will be keeping track of all Q and A participants, and thus every one of you must ask at least one question at some point, regardless of presentation order.  The limit of questions to each presenter will be three.  Answer The Following Question: In this year alone, we have witnessed a unique Presidential Election, and a rare exercise, and/or non-exercise as the case may be, of power from the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch.  So, in your considered view, is the Executive branch of government really the most powerful of the three?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  What interrelationships are involved?  In your answer, include an explication how the Federalists believed the relative power of each branch might be and why, and then go to the readings to back up your argument.  Other than that, how you use historical analyses found in the textbooks is at your discretion. You must use at least five sources in your answer.  What is a source?  Pika is one source.  Nelson is one source. The Federalists Papers is one source.  The Constitution is one source.  The speeches collectively are one source.  Any individual Supreme or Federal Court case counts as one source, and you have no limit as to how many you may use.  (If you wish to expand your use of Supreme or Federal Court cases, you may do so, but they must be approved by me first, the only reason being to show the relevance of your chosen case, and I might be able to steer you in a more helpful direction, if necessary.)  The media, in all of its forms, collectively count as a single source, and there is no limit as to how many media outlets you may use, but choose wisely.  The Tocqueville reading counts as one source. That is eight total available sources, and you need only use five.   The best answers will clearly identify your own “So-What Factor”, and the top three arguments defending it.  This question may sound broad, but it is to examine how you analyze the Presidency in terms of not only the founding of the United States, but also if or how that has changed over time.  You may take any direction you wish, but the overall point is to be clear and ruthlessly organized.  STAKE YOUR CLAIM AND OWN IT.

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