The Presidency and Foreign Affairs

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  • The Presidency and Foreign Affairs
    • Constitution
      • Chief Diplomat, responsible for conduct and relations with other countries and C-in-C of the armed forces
      • Congress checks
        • Treaties require ratification by 2/3 of the Senate
        • Senior diplomats and senior appointees top the armed forces have to be confirmed by simple majority in the Senate
        • Only Congress can declare war
    • The Louisiana Purchase
      • Jefferson bought land claimed by France for $15million
      • Doubled the size of its territory and eventually became 13 new states
      • Congress failed to challenge him despite dears it was unconstitutional, went on to ratify and pay for the arrangement
      • Jefferson claimed there was no provision within the Constitution
    • The Civil War
      • SC didn't challenge Lincoln in his capacity as C-in-C when the Civil War broke out in 1862
      • He assumed emergency powers including suppression of publications and detentions without trials
      • SC tried to challenge with one case ex parte Merryman (1861) which ruled detention without trial was unconstitutional
        • Army ignored decision and followed the President's orders
    • The Prize Cases
      • In 1863 the owners of four ships that were captured and sold as prizes of war took the President to court
      • Congress had not declared war so this was unconstitutional
      • SC ruled that the nation was effectively at war even though Congress hadn't officially said so
      • Diluted the most significant check on the President's use of the military
    • Executive Agreements
      • Can use if fears that Senate will not support a treaty
      • Congressional Executive Agreement can be negotiated and require only a simple majority in both houses
      • SC upheld this in Missouri V Holland in 1820
    • Manifest Destiny
      • The nation's destiny, ordained by God, to eventually expand control over the whole of North and Central America
      • Compatible with giving the President the means to respond rapidly to any situation that provided an opportunity to fulfil the nation's territorial destiny, including military conquest
    • Conflicting Objectives
      • Manifest destiny suggested aggressive expansion
      • Legacy of being ruled from London meant the commercial links were with the UK and so they needed to find new markets
      • Foreign policy should be in line with what motivated the first settlers, promote freedom and democracy
    • National Interest
      • War against Britain in 1812, unsuccessful attempts to end restrictions on ports it could use and capture territory in Canada
      • Spain relinquished control of Florida in 1819
      • Starting wars with the native American nations in the 1830s and expelling from what is now Oklahoma
      • Threat of war with Britain in 1846 led to a treaty to control the north-west
      • Defeat of Mexico in war in 1846-1848 and the purchase of land in 1853 led to acquisttion of land from California to Texas
    • The Roosevelt Corollary
      • He asserted the right of the USA to ensure that the continent remain "stable, orderly and properous" in the event of "wrongdoing or impotence" amongst its neighbours, which require the USA to exercise "international police powers"
    • Monroe Doctrine
      • When Columbia refused permission for the USA to build a canal, a revolution was sponsored by the USA which led to the creation of Panama who supported the USA
      • Us decided to take control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rice and Hawaii
      • He warned the European powers that any unwelcome interventions in which the US perceived its "rights invaded or seriously menaced" would lead to "preparations for our defence"


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