War Powers of Congress and the President

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This resource is an Inquiry Pack to accompany the Presidential Powers Timeline on LegalTimelines.org, which explores the shifting powers of the chief executive throughout American history.

Built around primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections, this Inquiry Pack facilitates a deep dive into an important aspect of the history of suffrage and voting rights in the United States.

Each Inquiry Pack includes a background reading, several primary sources (documents, articles, images), discussion questions about the sources, an inquiry question, and an inquiry extension question.

This pack includes the following components:

  • Introduction: War Powers of the President and Congress
  • Enumerated Powers of Congress – Article 1
  • Express Powers of the President – Article 2
  • Presidential Power to Proclaim Neutrality
  • Declaration of War
  • Taking Over Industry for War Materials
  • War Powers Resolution
  • Authorization of Military Force
  • Inquiry Question: How should the president’s power as commander-in-chief of the armed forces be balanced with Congress’ power to declare and fund war?
  • Inquiry Extension Question: If the War Powers Act is invoked and then tested in the Supreme Court, should the War Powers Act be found constitutional?
  • Inquiry Question Graphic Organizer

© 2023 Street Law, Inc.

This resource was developed with funding provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.  

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