One of the most important jobs in the world is that of president. This position carries many responsibilities and has been held by men and women from all walks of life. The 10th Amendment states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Today, America is a different place than it was when these presidents were president. Here are 10 things you didn't know about past U.S. presidents.
A Brief History of the United States
The United States of America was founded on July 4, 1776. On that day, the Declaration of Independence created a new nation and the United States Constitution was adopted to govern it. For over 200 years, presidents were elected by universal suffrage. Since 1824, the United States has held an indirect presidential election through an electoral college voting system. This system consists of electors from each state who vote for the president in their respective states. The candidate who receives a majority (270 out of 538) wins the presidency without the need for a direct election in each state.
The 10th Amendment
The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defines the situation in which federal powers are not specifically reserved to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to the states, but rather are retained by the states.
The 10th Amendment also states that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Washington and Adams
George Washington was the first president of the United States. He served two terms, from 1789 to 1797, making him the only person to be elected president more than once.
John Adams was the second President of the United States and served a single term, from 1797 to 1801. He was a Founding Father and also a son of President John Adams. Two presidents were adopted children: John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush.
Jefferson and Madison
Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. He served from 1801 to 1809 and is best known for his role in creating the Louisiana Territory and developing plans for the University of Virginia.
James Madison was the fourth president of the United States. He served from 1809 to 1817, during which time he helped pass the Missouri Compromise and establish a national bank.
John Adams was our second president, from 1797 to 1801. He is famous for advocating for U.S. independence from Britain and for signing the law that changed the name of the British colonies to the United States of America on July 4, 1776.
The Monroe Doctrine is a foreign policy of the United States developed in 1823 by President James Monroe. It states that European nations will no longer be allowed to colonize land in North or South America without the permission of the United States.
This is one of the most important things you didn't know about past American presidents. George Washington's decision to pass this law allowed the United States to maintain its independence from European powers and to send the message that no power could take over America without American approval. The Monroe Doctrine is considered one of America's earliest examples of successful foreign policy.
Pierce and McKinley
Presidents James K. Polk and William McKinley were both assassinated before the end of their terms.
Lincoln, who was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, was the only president to be assassinated while in office. Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce is the only president to serve two non-consecutive presidential terms. He served first from 1853 to 1857 and then from 1859 to 1861. George Washington
George Washington has been featured on a $1 bill since 1928. His portrait has appeared on all U.S. currency since 1976, when it replaced Thomas Jefferson's on the $5 bill.
Lincoln and Roosevelt
Lincoln and Roosevelt have much in common. They were both born in Kentucky and became presidents at the age of 42. In addition, they each served only four years without being re-elected. They also had differing views on slavery. Lincoln freed the slaves while FDR supported slavery until his death in 1945.
Wilson and Truman
Both have served two terms
Many people do not know that Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman both served two terms as president. Other presidents, like George Washington, served only one term.
Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Barack Obama
The American presidency is an office with great power. Presidents are elected to hold the highest office in the nation, and it is a prestigious position that has been held by men and women from all walks of life. The 10th Amendment states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." These 10 facts about past U.S. presidents will show how we have changed as a country since they held office.
- John F. Kennedy - Born into wealth and privilege - Educated at Harvard University - Held numerous jobs before becoming president - Married Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in 1953 - Assassinated while campaigning for re-election in 1963.
- Lyndon B. Johnson - Served as Senate Majority Leader before becoming President of Texas and then President of the United States - Served as Senate Minority Leader from 1931 to 1937 - Led Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.