Beginning with George Washington's 1816 presidential staff of three, the executive branch of the U.S. federal government has undergone a tremendous transformation. Today it is the largest institution in the world, employing over 3.1 million people, with an annual budget of over USD1.5 trillion. A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government chronicles its growth from its modest beginnings to its present state. Focusing on the federal executive branch and its constituent departments, agencies, commissions, and committees, the guide offers 180 historical accounts for each of these organizational entities. It addresses Congress and the Judiciary where they interact with the executive branch-for example, reviewing congressional oversight functions, examining the control wielded by the Supreme Court on government structure, and profiling the agencies under the administrative control of Congress. It examines the social, cultural, and intellectual movements that have influenced the way America is governed, and looks closely at American bureaucracy-what it is, how it is controlled, and how new technologies have influenced it.
The guide is accessibly written for a broad audience and arranged in convenient A to Z format.
"This book is informative, well written and current . . . Unlike some reference works which convey information in a dry and uninteresting fashion, these articles and entries . . . engage the reader."--Government Information Quarterly