This comprehensive guide is the definitive source for researchers seeking an understanding of those who have occupied the White House and on the institution of the U.S. presidency. Readers turn to Guide to the Presidency for its wealth of facts and analytical chapters that explain the structure, powers, and operations of the office and the president’s relationship with Congress and the Supreme Court. The work is divided into eight distinct subject areas covering every aspect of the U.S. presidency.

Chapter 35 Biographies of the Presidents

Chapter 35 Biographies of the Presidents

Chapter 35 Biographies of the presidents
Daniel C. Diller and MichaelNelson

The constitution requires only that a president be at least thirty-five years of age, a natural born citizen or a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and a resident within the United States for fourteen years. Although these constitutional requirements disqualify few Americans, the forty-two persons who have become president have come from a relatively narrow slice of American society.

Presidents have shared several important characteristics. First, all have been men. Second, until Barack Obama's election in 2008, every president descended solely from northern European ancestors. Moreover, only five trace their roots to continental Europe rather than the British Isles. The ancestors of Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt, ...

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