By the end of the Revolutionary War, the Continental dollar had depreciated to the point of worthlessness. The viability of the federal government was threatened by political unrest in several states, efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts, and the inability of Congress to raise revenue to pay off the public debts incurred during the war. The Congress also appeared unable to become a forum for productive cooperation among the States encouraging commerce and economic development. In response, the Philadelphia Convention was convened, ostensibly to devise amendments to the Articles of Confederation, but which instead began to draft a new system of government that would include greater executive power while retaining the checks and balances thought to be essential restraints on any imperial tendency in the office of the president.
Individuals who presided over the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary period and under the Articles of Confederation had the title "President of the United States in Congress Assembled", often shortened to "President of the United States". However, the office had little distinct executive power. With the 1788 ratification of the Constitution, a separate executive branch was created, headed by the "President of the United States". This new Chief Executive role no longer bore the duties of presiding over Congress in a supervisory role, but the title "President" was carried over nevertheless. This title was a major understatement of the actual role empowered to the office by the Constitution, and this choice of words can be seen as a deliberate effort by the Founding Fathers to prevent the head of state position from evolving toward becoming a monarchical position, with the accompanying potential for abuse of such power.
A president's executive authority under the Constitution, tempered by the checks and balances of the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, was designed to solve several political problems faced by the young nation and to anticipate future challenges, while still preventing the rise of an autocrat.
LIBERTY OR DEATH!!!
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