Information about the Presidents of the United States is taken from "The American Presidents" published by Grolier Incorporated, Danbury, Connecticut. For more information on Grolier Incorporated check out their Web Site

In the course of over 200 years, the presidency of the United States of America has become the most powerful office in the world. The duties and responsibilities of the office are immense. Unlike many of the democratic governments of Europe and elsewhere that have both a chief of state and a head of government, the United States, system of government has only one chief executive --- THE PRESIDENT. The holder of that office serves not only as head of government but also in the primarily ceremonial post of chief of state. As chief of state, the president performs many of the public and ceremonial duties undertaken by the king of queen of the United Kingdom, other monarchs, and the governor-general of Canada and other Commonwealth nations.

The role of the president has expanded considerably beyond that envisaged by the Founding Fathers in the constitution. During such crises as the Civil War, World War I, and II, and the great depression of the 1930's, Congress and the nations both turned to the executive for leadership and guidance. The president as leader of the nation is confronted with a multiplicity of problems and tasks. As the only executive official elected by the people at large, the president represents the nation to the world. He is the chief policy maker for domestic and foreign affairs. Article II, Section 2, of the constitution states that the president is "commander in Chief of the Army and Navy ... and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." He selects the key figures in the military establishment, including the secretary of defense, the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the military chiefs of staffs.

Qualifications: The person has to be a Natural-Born citizen of the United States of America, at least 35 years of age, and at least 14 years of resident of the United States of America. Candidates are usually nominated at national party conventions held in the summer of the election year. Although only men have served as president, women are eligible to hold the office.
Election: By a majority vote of the Electoral College.
Term: 4 years. A president may not serve more than 2 terms (plus 2 years of an un-expired term).
Salary: $200,000 plus allowances for expenses, travel and official entertainment totaling $150,000. Provided with White House, household help, transportation, health care. Lifetime pension of $97,500 annually.
Removal: may be impeached (accused of serious wrong-doing) by a majority of the House of Representatives; must then be tried by the Senate and convicted by a two-third vote.
Succession: If the president dies or is disabled in office, the line of succession is:
Vice President of the United States,
Speaker of the House,
President Pro Tempore of the Senate,
Secretary of State,
Secretary of the Treasury,
Secretary of Defense,
Attorney General,
Secretary of the Interior,
Secretary of Agriculture,
Secretary of Commerce,
Secretary of Labor,
Secretary of Health and Human Services,
Secretary of Housing and Urban-Development,
Secretary of Transportation,
Secretary of Energy,
Secretary of Education,
and Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


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