Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Chet Rogers

Second Advisor

Dr. Helenan Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This paper examines the executive-legislative relations on foreign policy formulation, debate, authorization, funding and implementation. The research shows that the founding fathers never intended one branch to totally control the "war powers." Inter-branch rivalry and conflict were intended.

The research establishes a pattern this inter-branch relationship has taken since the Constitutional Convention. This "pattern" clearly indicates the natural ability of the executive branch in handling foreign affairs especially those key events involving the use of force or where the potential for violence exists.

The paper also examines the surge of congressional authority (1970's) which attempted to apply restraint on what were considered foreign policy excesses by the executive. Historical practice and constitutional interpretation shows these are congressional overreactions, Particularly the War Powers Act of 1973, that now seriously impede effective foreign policy execution. These restrictions are unconstitutional and demonstrate that presidential prerogative should not be binded by congressional restraint.