The leaders of the independence in the Americas chose their institutions in a context of high territorial tensions, which moved them to create a potential anchor in the figure of a powerful central executive. Presidential regimes were endogenously shaped as elected monarchies by rulers who were army chiefs. The military-presidential nexus is not accidental, but constitutive and substantial. Some legacies of those choices include the frequency of military rulers as chief executives and long-standing attempts at life appointments or indefinite reelections by incumbent presidents.
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