The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - Official exhibit site of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Traces the history and culture of the presidency from 1789 through 2000.
From the site:
Now that the Revolutionary War was over, and independence from Britain had been won, what would the United States do with their freedom? The Declaration of Independence acted as a guide to the values that the new American government should embrace, yet the form that the government would take was still unclear.
Having rebelled against King George III, the first inclination of Americans was to avoid a centralized authority, and place most of the power in the states. National authority would be limited by establishing a weak central legislature. However, the realities of building a nation that faced internal disputes and international affairs led many to reconsider the role of the national government and the need for strong executive leadership. Out of this debate emerged the American presidency.