Treaties, the Treaty Power, and Executive Agreements

Louis Henkin

in Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682193 | DOI:
Treaties, the Treaty Power, and Executive Agreements

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For the Constitutional Fathers, the foreign relations of the new Republic depended heavily on treaties being concluded (or not concluded) with other countries; therefore, who should have the power to make treaties, and the status of treaties when made, were questions of special concern to them. The Framers were eager to abandon treaty-making by Congress, which, under the Articles of Confederation, determined whether to negotiate and with whom, appointed negotiators, wrote their instructions, followed their progress, and approved, modified or rejected their product. Because they took treaties and international obligations seriously, the Framers were not eager for the United States to conclude treaties lightly or widely, and were disposed to render it difficult to make them. They were concerned to end the anarchy that prevailed under the Articles of Confederation and to assure that treaties made by the United States would be honoured by the individual states.

Keywords: foreign relations; treaties; Congress; Articles of Confederation; United States

Chapter.  24802 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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