Ashbrook Center to Host Constitution Day Lecture

Ashbrook Center to Host Constitution Day Lecture

9/2/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Dr. Stephen Knott, a professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College, will speak on the topic of “The Founders’ Presidency vs. the Progressive Presidency” at the Ashbrook Center Constitution Day Lecture on Friday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. in the Ashbrook Center, located on the eighth floor of the Library on the Ashland University campus.

Knott will lead an in-depth discussion comparing the Founder’s conception of a “Constitutional Presidency” with the current conception of a “personalized presidency.” He will argue that by restoring the conception of a Constitutional Presidency the country would not neuter the Presidency but rather enhance its stature. More importantly, it might even restore Congress to the role intended by the Founders.

Knott says the “Constitutional Presidency” created by the Founders’ provided for an energetic executive capable of checking popular excess and defending the national security interests of the United States. This presidency, primarily the brainchild of Alexander Hamilton, established boundaries for the office that protected but also energized the presidency.

Knott will explain that later, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson overturned the “Constitutional Presidency” thereby heightening expectations of what a President could be expected to achieve. Unfortunately, this conception of the presidency, adopted wholeheartedly by Democrats and eventually by Republicans, produced a massive expectations gap – a long train of heightened expectations followed by dashed hopes.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jennifer Nixon at (419) 207-6094 or

Knott is a professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Prior to accepting his position at the War College, Knott co-chaired the Presidential Oral History Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

His books include: The Reagan Years; Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth; Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency; At Reagan’s Side: Insiders’ Recollections from Sacramento to the White House; Rush to Judgement: George W. Rush, the War on Terror, and His Critics; and Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance That Forged America.

The Ashbrook Center, located on the campus of Ashland University, seeks to restore and strengthen the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government. Through undergraduate, graduate and civic programs, the Ashbrook Center aspires to be the leading national educator in the enduring principles and practice of free government in the United States. ###

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