Paper Assignments

If you choose this option, you'll need to do two papers, each of roughly eight pages, using material from the course and the outside readings assigned.


1.) The historian William Leuchtenburg has published a book arguing that postwar US Presidents as live in the "shadow of FDR." Do you agree? Discuss, analyzing the administrations of at least two postwar Presidents.

2.) One theme of the course is the relationship between personality and public policy in a study of the presidency. But just how important is the personality factor in determining presidential history? Discuss, using examples from three of the four following Presidents: Lincoln, FDR, LBJ, and Nixon.

3.) If the 2000 election proved nothing else, it suggested that the tenor of the election campaign does not necessarily dictate the policies the next President will pursue. Has this pattern existed historically as well? Discuss, with reference to three 20th century Presidents, and referencing in some way the Skowronek argument as well.

4.) "In the end, the presidency as an institution has not evolved gradually over time, but grown in spurts, most frequently associated with wartime eras." Do you agree? Use three presidencies in your response.