Purpose: The primary goal of this weekly summative assignment is to examine one of the most important governmental institutions that embody the U.S. government, the Executive Branch.
Prepare: Review Chapters 5 to 7 in the course text.
Reflect: The role of human nature in the construction of political institutions is a very important dynamic in how those political institutions are created, how they evolve over time, and how they solve problems. In the past and today, many very important political institutions have faced and are still facing complex and multi-faceted challenges. Responding to these challenges often creates unintended side effects that change the very nature and capabilities of the institution. For example, the executive institutions of the U.S. government (also known as the Executive Branch), before the Civil War consisted only of the Departments of State, War, and Treasury. However, during the Civil War, thousands of new employees were added to the federal government and new Departments (i.e., Agriculture) and many new responsibilities were added to the central government. The nature and capabilities of the Executive Branch of government rapidly changed as a result of the Civil War.

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