Executive Orders Phone Home

AP US Government and Politics

Which U.S. President issued the most executive orders ever?

  1. How accurate was your prediction? (Pro Tip: in the future, whenever you are asked to guess which U.S. president did the most of anything just answer FDR!)

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. How does President Obama compare to the average number of executive orders issued?

  4. Overall, how do the two major U.S. political parties compare to each other in using executive orders?

  5. What exactly is an executive order?

  6. And why do Presidents issue executive orders instead of getting Congress to pass laws?

  7. Explain where in Article II of the U.S. Constitution (see below) you will find executive orders.

  8. what gives the President the power to issue executive orders?

  9. Why do you think the early U.S. presidents almost never issued executive orders?

  10. Why do you think the use of Executive Orders has decreased so precipitously since the mid-20th century?

  11. What is a consequence of this decrease?

  12. Explain the connection between divided government and the use of executive orders.

  13. Here's a list of all of Barack Obama's executive orders. Explain which one you most agree with and which one you most disagree with:

  14. So far, how many executive orders has Trump signed?

  15. Explain which Trump Executive order you most agree with and which one you most disagree with:

  16. Explain how you think President Trump will compare to other presidents in the use of executive orders.

  17. What can President Trump do to any President Obama Executive Orders he disagrees with?

  18. In Federalist no. 70, Alexander Hamilton argues for a strong executive leader, as provided for by the Constitution, as opposed to the weak executive under the Articles of Confederation. He asserts, “energy in the executive is the leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks…to the steady administration of the laws, to the protection of property…to justice; [and] to the security of liberty….” What do you think ALexander Hamilton (The 10 dollar
    Founding father without a father…Got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter…By being a self-starter, by 14 they placed him in charge of a trading charter
    ) would say about the use of executive orders?

  19. In the comment section below, explain the general effect you believe that executive orders have on the U.S. political system:

Learning Extension

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Action Extension

Now that you know a little bit more about how executive orders work, Contact President Trump recommending an issue or topic you'd like him to issue or rescind an executive order on:

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