Pitiful Giants pp 135-170 | Cite as

Leaving Presidents and the Mechanics of Transition

  • Daniel P. Franklin
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


In this chapter I will examine the mechanics of the actual transition from the perspective of the leaving administration. It was often the case in the nineteenth century between the time that the framers’ generation passed and the governing of the United States became more of a federal responsibility that the incoming and outgoing presidents rarely or never met. For example, the one and only time that President Buchanan met Abraham Lincoln was on the day of the inauguration. In fact, in the nineteenth century many of the presidents, especially from the other party, hardly knew one another. Furthermore, in the nineteenth century there was precious little contact between the outgoing and incoming administrations both because of the difficulty of communications and the limited need for coordination. In addition, prior to the ratification of the 20th Amendment (shortening the transition) the outgoing administration had some fairly consequential responsibilities and the means to carry them out.


Foreign Policy Office Space Hostile Takeover Presidential Transition Transition Team 
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© Daniel P. Franklin 2014

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  • Daniel P. Franklin

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