American Presidency

The topics for the first writing assignment are below. You may choose to write about either topic. This assignment should be no more than 750 words in length. You do not need to use references, but please cite any sources that you do use. You should briefly explain and defend an argument; you will not have room to say much, so I encourage you to stick to a single main point, and I strongly encourage you to get right to the point because there is no room for an introduction. The topic below is a guideline; you should write something closely related to it, but you do not need to answer the questions directly. The paper should be completed and submitted no later than midnight on Thursday of week 2. 1. Between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, who made more accurate predictions about how the presidency would work? You can consider contemporary or historical Presidents, but be sure to say something about the arguments made by at least one side during the ratification debates. Did the Framers design the office well, or should they have done something differently? 2. Are the arguments made by Tocqueville and Bryce accurate in contemporary America? Consider our last few Presidents; is the presidency during the last half-century the weak office that Tocqueville describes? Do the best leaders our nation has to offer run for President, and do the best candidates generally win? (Please consider more than a single President; no single example will do much to address these issues.)