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Table of Contents
The executive order is a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law. Executive orders are not legislation; they require no approval from Congress.
See the fact file below for more information on the executive orders or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Executive Orders worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
HISTORY OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS
- The first executive order was issued by George Washington on June 8, 1789. It was to the heads of federal departments, instructing them to inform him with a precise and distinct idea of affairs in the U.S. in their fields.
- Throughout history, only President William Henry Harrison didn’t issue an executive order.
- The most famous executive order was by Abraham Lincoln when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.
- Presidential executives’ orders remain in force until they have been canceled, revoked, or expired.
- Until the early 1900s, most of the executive orders issued were undocumented and only known by the agency it was written for.
- In 1907 the U.S. Department of State instituted a numbering scheme, starting retroactively with U.S. executive order number one, issued on October 20, 1862 by President Lincoln.
- President Franklin Roosevelt issued the first executive order of his 3,728 orders on March 6, 1933, declaring a bank holiday.
- In 1936 the Federal Register Act became more thorough with documentation of executive orders.
- Wars have been affected and fought through executive orders signed by past presidents.
- Congress can overturn an executive order by passing legislation, however, the president retains the power to veto their decision. Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds majority to end an executive order.
RECORD EXECUTIVE ORDERS SIGNED
- Franklin D Roosevelt made 3,522 executive orders.
- Woodrow Wilson made 1,803 executive orders.
- Calvin Coolidge made 1,203 executive orders.
- Theodore Roosevelt made 1,081 executive orders.
- Herbert Hoover made 968 executive orders.
- Harry S Truman made 907 executive orders.
- William Howard Taft made 724 executive orders.
FAMOUS EXECUTIVE ORDERS
- The most famous executive order was signed by President Abraham Lincoln when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring freedom to millions of slaves.
- President Roosevelt signed executive order 6102, which forbade the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates, in 1913.
- President Roosevelt, with executive order 8807, gave unlimited resources for research in response to the race against creating the atomic bomb.
- In 1941 the executive order 9066 delegated military authority to remove any or all people into a military zone. This order targeted the Japanese American, Non-citizen German, and Italians.) It was signed by President Roosevelt.
- President Harry S. Truman issued executive order 10340 to nationalize all American steel mills, giving control to the Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled this unconstitutional.
- In 1957 Eisenhower signed an executive order to desegregate public schools.
- John F. Kennedy signed an executive order in 1961 requiring government contractors to take affirmative action in the hiring and treatment of employees, concerning race, creed, color, or national origin.
- When President Richard Nixon got impeached during 1973-1974, Vice President Gerald Ford, in one of his first acts in office, signed the Proclamation 4311 issuing an unconditional pardon to Nixon.
THE EXECUTIVE ORDER DOCUMENTATION
- The format of the document of the executive order has varied throughout history. Today executive orders have a strict documentation system.
- The White House issues the first order, which gets published in the Federal Register. The permanent documentation orders are recorded, under Title 3 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
- All formats of the executive order have basic components that are essential to the document.
- First, a heading that labels, numbers, and dates when the order was issued. This is followed by a title, telling us about the intended executive order.
- The introductory phrase is, ‘The effect of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,’
- The body of the order is grouped into sections and subsections. The sections spell out the orders, including definitions of the order.
- The last thing on the executive order is the president’s signature.
EXECUTIVE ORDERS INVOLVED IN WAR
- Wilson Woodrow affected World War I (1914-1918).
- Franklin Roosevelt affected World War II (1939-1945).
- Harry S. Truman was involved with four wars: the atomic bomb of Japan in 1945, the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the United Nations’ Marshall Plan in 1948, NATO in 1949, and the Korean War, from 1950-1953.
- Lyndon Baines Johnson escalated involvement in the Vietnam war during 1954-1975.
- George H.W. Bush involved America in the Persian Gulf War I with Iraq in 1990.
- William Jefferson Clinton was involved with the Persian Gulf War II With Iraq in 1999.
- George W. Bush set in motion the Afgan War against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Executive Orders Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the executive orders across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Executive Orders worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the executive order which is a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law. Executive orders are not legislation; they require no approval from Congress.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Executive Order Facts
- Create An Executive Order
- Name the President
- True and False
- Write a Limerick
- Quote the President
- Odd one out
- Find the President
- Oval Office
- Fill in the Blanks
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.