39. James Carter
41. George H. W. Bush
42. William J. Clinton
43. George W. Bush
44. Barack Obama
45. Donald Trump
46. Joe Biden
- Thomas Jefferson Quiz
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- Warren Gamaliel Harding Quiz
- Andrew Jackson Quiz
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- List of Presidents of the United States of America
Originally posted 2017-03-26 03:38:16.
2 thoughts on “List of Presidents of the United States of America”
There have been two USAs–the USA of the Articles of Confederation and the USA of the present constitution. Washington was the first president of the second USA. There were a number of presidents of the first USA. Who was first? There is evidence that John Hanson was the first president–at least the first to be elected president under the procedure set forth in the Articles. However, it can be argued validly that since Samuel Huntington was presiding at the Continental Congress on the day that the Articles of Confederation were ratified it makes him the first person to serve as president. So, depending upon our definition of first there may be several first presidents. (We have to exclude Peyton Randolph since when he served as president of the Continental Congress in 1774 the colonies were still part of Britain—they had not declared their independence yet so there was no USA.)
A president is a presiding officer of a legislative body–which is exactly what the presidents were under the Articles. A president presides—it’s where the word comes from. The president in USA(2) does not preside over a legislative body–he is merely the CEO of the executive branch. So it is really inaccurate to call the president of USA(2) a president. Governor or chief executive would be more accurate. Interestingly, the vice-president of USA(2) actually does preside over the Senate and has the title of President of the Senate. So it is more accurate technically to call Mr. Biden a “president” than Mr. Obama.
In the US, at least, “president” is now largely taken to mean the chief executive officer of an organization–not the person who presides over a legislative body. And this new definition of “president” has now largely superseded the old, original definition.
The interesting thing is how the USA(1) of the Articles is largely ignored in the school textbooks–some think it best to ignore the terrible mess the Founding Fathers made of their first attempt to create a USA. We perhaps ought to keep in mind that the Founding Fathers—I prefer to call them the “Rebellious Sons of England”–were rookies in creating federal governments (a very difficult thing to do) and they managed to do better on the second try.
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