A savvy politician and experienced diplomat, Harriman urged the president to go to Congress while legislative support was there for the taking, arguing that if the war dragged on it would be better to have Congress implicated in the decision. In eighteenth-century Britain, the power to make war and negotiate peace was lodged in the monarch. In the nation’s “intercourse with foreign nations,” explained the eighteenth-century English jurist William Blackstone, the monarch was “the delegate or representative of his people.” The Virginia Plan proposed to solve these problems by freeing the central government from its dependence on states to raise armies and execute treaties. Contemporary presidents have preferred an expansive interpretation of the commander-in-chief clause that essentially grants the president an unrestricted authority to do with the armed forces whatever he deems in the national interest.