“The nation’s founders originally intended the presidency to be a narrowly restricted institution,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica about the highest political office in the United States.
Those founders would, to say the least, be surprised if they could see what has happened to the presidency since then.
The office, whose occupant the article goes on to say is “arguably the most powerful elected official in the world,” has undergone significant changes since George Washington took the oath in 1789. Today, as Americans prepare to elect the country’s 44th chief executive, you can get extensive background on the presidency and its history from Britannica, and, if you have a Web site of your own, provide those same resources to your readers with links to Britannica’s material.
- “presidency of the United States of America,” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. An extensive treatment on the office of the presidency, its powers and duties, its history, and transformation in the 20th century.
- “Encyclopaedia Britannica Profiles the American Presidency,” a special Web site that focuses on the institution as well as on presidential campaigns and elections. It includes bios of the presidents, vice presidents, and first ladies; vote tallies from every election; photos of campaign memorabilia; and special essays by presidential scholars. It’s fun to browse this site, and you’ll probably learn some things you didn’t know. Did you realize, for example, that Ulysses S. Grant’s main opponent in 1872 was newspaper mogul Horace Greeley? That the Prohibition Party was a significant presence in the election of 1928 (and that the Prohibition Party still exists)?
- Articles on the three remaining major candidates in this year’s election: Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama.
You can link from your own site to any of these features, or download this widget, with a collection of Britannica articles on the presidency, and post it on your site. Your visitors will be able to click on the links and access the articles in their entirety.