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|Top > Society > History > By Region > North America > United States > Presidents|
Photograph of the Four Presidents (Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon) toasting in the Blue Room prior to leaving for Egypt and Sadat's Funeral, 10/08/1981 (National Archives)
Relative to many of the heads of head from around the world, who often hold largely ceremonial powers, United States Presidents are capable of a large degree of meaningful political action. They can veto any legislation passed by the two houses of Congress. (Overriding a President's veto requries a full two-thirds majority in each house of Congress.) They appoint the heads of the various government agencies. Although the Congress must approve the government's annual budget, it is prepared for them by the President. Though constrained by various other laws passed by Congress, the President's executive branch conducts most foreign policy, and his power to order and direct troops as commander-in-chief is quite significant. (The exact limits of what a President can do with the military without Congressional authorization are open to debate.)
There is a well-defined sequence of who should fill the Presidential office, upon the death, resignation, or removal from office (by impeachment) of a current President:
Thus, the Vice President will succeed the President. If the Vice President can no longer service as President, the Speaker of the House becomes and President. And so on.
Photograph of servicemen removing the flag from the casket of President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery, as the late President's widow and other mourners look on., 11/25/1963 (National Archives)
Four others died in office:
One president resigned from office:
Two Presidents have been impeached, though neither was subsequently convicted:
George Washington receiving French generals at Mount Vernon (National Archives)
The President's residence is the White House Presidents of course had homes other than the White House. This is a list of some of those homes:
Presidents of the Continental Congress
There were seven Presidents of the Continental Congress prior to the ratification of the Articles of Confederation. These men held very few powers that are now associated with the US presidency and cannot be considered to have been heads of state. Their primary duty was to preside over the Congress (hence the original meaning of "president"):
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
There were eight Presidents under the Articles of Confederation. These men held few powers that are now associated with the US presidency and cannot be considered to have been heads of state or the "Chief Executive". These men were simply heads of government with Congress holding all executive powers:
How They're Acting and How They Feel - 11/05/1912
(National Archives) This cartoon depicts Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and William Howard Taft before the 1912 Presidential Election. The divided cartoons reveals the confident public persona each candidate projects--how they're acting-- versus the nervousnous each candidate undoubtedly feels.
President Bush walks up the South Lawn towards the Oval Office with his son, George W. Bush, 04/29/1992 (National Archives)
Character in Time: The U.S. Presidents - Project seeks to produce quality one-act plays that capture the character of each President. Site includes synopsis of each play, along with profiles of the playwrights involved in the project.
American Presidents: Life Portraits - Site complements CSPAN television series of the same name. Includes brief facts about each president, plus video clips from the series.
Presidents - Index contains biographies, sketches, writings, and speeches.
Presidential Letters - Excerpts from personal letters allow readers to catch a glimpse into the private lives of some of America's best-known presidents. From the United States Postal Service.
Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies - Find pictorial records of the first families from the Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division.
4President - Guide to the Presidency from 4anything.com - The lives, issues, and legacies of George Washington and his successors. Includes text of Inaugural Addresses.
Complete Resource for Presidential Information - Includes biographies, presidential campaign and election links, and historical papers.
Program in Presidential Rhetoric - Comprehensive archive of well-known presidential speeches from Texas A&M.
Masonic Presidents Tour - Identifies U.S. Presidents who were Masons. Includes a portrait of each, along with his signature and a record of his Masonic career.
Grolier Online: The American Presidency - A history of presidents, the presidency, politics and related subjects. Includes biographies for every president.
JWhiz's Home of Presidential Facts - Trivia as well as standard information about the various Presidents of the United States
U.S. Presidents Lists - Sorts presidents according to a wide variety of criteria ranging from religion to military rank to number of children.
Portraits of the Presidents - Online exhibit from the National Portrait Gallery featuring likenesses of former presidents as well as a brief summary of major events occuring during their administration and information about the works of art.
U.S. Presidents: Lists and Records - Collection of presidential facts and trivia in list form.
Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies - Collection contains an Illustrated reference aid with 156 portraits.
The Tennessee President's Trust - Contains historical information on all U.S. Presidents with a focus on those from Tennessee as well as a directory of presidential resources on the web.
The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - Official exhibit site of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Traces the history and culture of the presidency from 1789 through 2000.
The American President - Official site for the PBS series includes presidential biographies, historical documents, essays, an overview of the election process, a campaign simulation game, and related lesson plans.
Pets in the White House - Introduces pets that have joined their masters in America's highest office in recent years.
The American Presidency - An informal reference guide including bibliographies, biographies, quotes, trivia and sundry other source materials from the world wide web.
The Presidents of the United States - Short history of the U.S. Presidency, along with biographical sketches and portraits of all the presidents to date. From the official White House site.
Trivia One - Interesting and unusual facts about United States Presidents, in the form of a trivia quiz.
Dead Presidents - Visits to the gravesites of the U.S. Presidents, with links for more information on their lives.
The Great Presidential Outline Archive - Contains outline-format biographies for each president from Washington to Ford.
Presidents and First Ladies - Original articles, discussions, answer to questions, and links to other sites on the subject of presidents, vice-presidents, and first ladies.
The Hall of Forgotten Presidents - Arthur, Tyler, and Polk are identified and chronicled as forgotten, yet important, Presidents.
Our Political Drama: Conventions, Campaigns, Candidates - Anecdotal history of American presidential campaigns, conventions and inaugurations, with six chapters about the development and use of political cartoons in presidential politics.
Public Papers of the Presidents - Material compiled and published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration.
Presidential Factfile - A comprehensive collection of photographs, biographies, quizzes, and trivia from Infoplease.com.
The Importance of Assuming Full Power - A comparison of the leadership skills of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams to two modern American business leaders.
A Presidential Exploration - The Oval Office - ThinkQuest site provides fast facts about the men who have occupied the Oval Office, as well as in-depth looks at their administrations.
President of the United States - Article from Encarta Encyclopedia provides on overview of the higest government position in the United States.
Voices of The Presidents - Sound files from the Archer Audio Archives.
History of Camp David - A look at the history of Camp David, the mountain retreat of U.S. presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt through George W. Bush.
HistoryChannel.com: Impeachment - Explains how crimes and misdemeanors in the White House are dealt with. Includes detailed information on Watergate and the Starr report.
U.S. Presidents and the Presidency - Tells about the office of president, the history of the presidency, and the office of vice president. Includes portraits of first ladies and interactive quizzes. From the publishers of World Book Encyclopedia.
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