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Separation of Powers

Selected and introduced by J. David Alvis


ɫɫ is happy to welcome Separation of Powers to its core document collection on American government. It joins Congress, American Presidency,Political Parties, The Judiciary, and The Supreme Court, and will be followed by Federalism. Together, these volumes will provide a wide-ranging, yet detailed account of the major institutions and ideas that constitute American government. Separation of Powers explores a fundamental but elusive concept that explains how the branches of our government work together to achieve our ends, but remain distinct to protect our freedom. As the editors note in their introduction, no less a student of government than James Madison thought that the concept of the separation of powers raised questions that “puzzle the greatest adepts in political science.”

Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • Thomas Jefferson, Summary Rights of British North America (1774)
  • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on State of Virginia (1785)
  • Abraham Lincoln, “Message to Congress in Special Session,” (July 4, 1861)
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Fireside Chat on the Plan for the Reorganization of the Judiciary” (January 8, 1937)
  • Ben Sasse, Speech on Executive Unilateralism (December 17, 2015)