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American Constitutionalism from Hamilton to Lincoln to Trump

  • Murray Dry
Chapter

Abstract

What would Alexander Hamilton, the founders’ leading exponent of executive power, and Abraham Lincoln, the first president to have developed the concept of executive power along lines suggested by Hamilton, say about the Trump presidency? In this essay, I consider how Hamilton and Lincoln understood the relationship of the government to the people. I then describe their actions to define, enhance, and maintain that government. While Hamilton and Lincoln could imagine the possibility of an unscrupulous “man of the people,” such as Donald Trump, arising, their standard was a strong president serving the well-being of the country and not his personal ambitions. They both knew that our constitutional republic, even with its checks and balances, relies on, even requires, the good character and intelligence of the president and the country’s primary officials to protect and maintain good government.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray Dry
    • 1
  1. 1.Middlebury CollegeMiddleburyUSA

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