The American Constitution is, without dispute, one of the most significant political achievements of western civilization. The authors of the Constitution expounded the philosophy of their own political world, while at the same time leaving a legacy to protect, guide, and shape their country throughout all of history. Although there are many interesting aspects to this very complex document, this paper focuses solely on how the Founding Fathers theoretically envisioned the office of the American Presidency. My approach is not to merely compile a list of presidential powers, as a cursory reading of the constitution provides this information; but to briefly explore why the office was necessary and what role the Founding Fathers intended that a chief executive would fulfill.
The truth is that everyone was a little nervous at the idea of having a chief executive. The cause of this uneasiness isn't difficult to understand considering that America had just finished fighting for independence from a single executive in the person of the King of England. The reason a presidential office was written into the design of the Constitution, at all, was a matter of structural necessity.
To understand the need for an executive we mustfirst examine the theoretical foundation of the country itself. One of the founding fathers, the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, argued that American government should be modeled as a republic rather than a democracy. One reason for this distinction is that,
"In a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their
representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, must be confined to a small spot. A republic may extend over a large region."
More importantly, Madison argued that a democracy would be ineffective because factions would quickly control the government, leaving no protections for the weaker parties …