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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

(p.64) 3 Thomas Jefferson
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses Thomas Jefferson's distaste for tyranny, and how, in spite of it, he was not opposed to the very different idea that a unitary and independent executive structure should be created. Leonard White notes that while the more extreme Republicans favored making heads of departments independent of the president, Jefferson, Madison, Albert Gallatin, and other more thoughtful members of the Republican Party fully recognized the need for a strong, unitary executive. Jefferson thus supported the idea of a strong executive branch directly responsible to the president and independent of legislative control, opposing what he perceived as an attempt by Alexander Hamilton to insinuate himself into the legislative activities of the House of Representatives.

Keywords:   tyranny, Thomas Jefferson, independent executive structure, Leonard White, Republicans, Madison, Albert Gallatin, unitary executive, Alexander Hamilton, House of Representatives

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