Download Accidental Presidents: Death, Assassination, Resignation, by P. Abbott PDF

By P. Abbott

One of many in most cases said virtues of contemporary constitutional democracies is their skill to insure trustworthy and accredited equipment of political succession via election. This ebook specializes in one specific, notwithstanding now not unusual, trouble within the democratic mode of political succession: American vice-presidents who imagine place of work as a result dying, assassination or resignation of a president. 3 uncomplicated innovations via “accidental presidents” to set up and improve their legitimacy are pointed out and evaluated. whereas none are reliably profitable, each one presents a lens to check the character of presidential strength and authority in addition to to give a contribution to a democratic concept of succession.

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Extra info for Accidental Presidents: Death, Assassination, Resignation, and Democratic Succession (The Evolving American Presidency)

Sample text

Moreover, Tyler now enjoyed a cordial relationship with Clay, the passed-over candidate, and could be expected to solidify the Southern wing of the party. Like all vice presidential selections after the Twelfth Amendment, the choice of Tyler was an opportunistic one though not as crass as it might appear today. Tyler’s persona as a heroic opponent of Jackson did coincide with the raison d’etre of the Whig Party. Many members of this new party had only this position in common, and Southerners in particular were late in rallying to the charge of executive usurpation.

Fillmore thus appears to 44 Accidental Presidents have assembled a cabinet less on the basis of support for the Omnibus bill per se but on a general amenability to compromise. Taken in this sense, Fillmore’s first act as rex/dux is instructive. What he hoped to establish in a broad sense with his cabinet was substantially the same for his vision of the Whig Party and his own persona as president. If Fillmore could establish himself and his party as one of national reconciliation, even at the cost of immediate political advantage and personal conviction, he would have implemented a successful independent strategy.

Millard Fillmore 43 Fillmore had none of these attributes. He was a party regular. His persona was one of moderation bordering on indecision. His past antislavery positions made any action he took immediately suspicious to the South and, of course, he had not been directly elected. As with other accidental presidents, the control of the party rested with those whose interests were only tangentially similar to his own. Tyler’s fate too did not enhance his chances. Fillmore did enjoy a few advantages.

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