The Presidency (True Books, Government)

What I Learned Section 1 -- Answer the Following Questions:
1. In May, 1787, how many delegates met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the Constitutional Convention?

Fifty-five. George Washington was a delegate to and the President of the Constitutional Convention. Other famous delegates were Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.

The Constitutional Convention lasted four months in the sweltering heat of a Philadelphia summer. Inside the State House, the discussions were also heated. The delegates engaged in many disagreements and compromises before a final agreement was reached.

On September 17, 1787, the plan for the new government was signed by thirty-nine of the remaining forty-two delegates. It was called the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution was ratified in 1788. Did you know Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution? Ratify means to accept.

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2. What are the three requirements for becoming President of the United States?
Every president must be born a citizen of the United States, must have lived in the United States for at least fourteen years, and must be at least thirty-five years old.

Anyone meeting the above requirements can become president regardless of race or gender.

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3. Who was the first President of the United States?
George Washington. The word "president" comes from the word preside, which means to "hold the position of authority." Washington served two terms as president from 1789 to 1797.

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4. How many years does a president serve during one term?

The XXII Amendment of the Constitution states a person can only serve two terms as president. It was ratified in 1951. Did you know this is called term limits?

After a new president is elected, he or she has about ten weeks between the election and inauguration. During this time, he or she is called the president-elect. The president-elect uses this time to chose a cabinet, organize a staff, and prepare to move into the White House.

The president lives and works in the White House which is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The White House has 132 rooms, a gym, movie theater, swimming pool, tennis court, and bowling alley. Did you know President John Adams, the second president, was the first person to occupy the White House? He moved there in 1800.

The president works in the Oval Office in the West Wing of the White House. This office gets its name from its oval shape. The president also spends time at Camp David, a vacation home in Maryland. Did you know it only takes thirty minutes to travel from the White House to Camp David by helicopter?

When the president flies on an airplane, it is called Air Force One. Today, Air Force One is a specially equipped 747.

The president is in charge of the executive branch of the government. The executive branch has three parts: 1) the Executive Office of the President; 2) the Cabinet; and 3) Independent Agencies.

The president's Cabinet is in charge of government departments. They include the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Education. Cabinet members report directly to the president.

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5. What day is the president inaugurated?
January 20. Every president is inaugurated (or sworn into office) at noon January 20, following the election. The inauguration is the ceremony that formally begins a president's term in office.

In 2000, George W. Bush was elected President of the United States. He was sworn in as president at the inauguration on January 20, 2001.

The president repeats the Oath or Affirmation of office:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

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6. Name ONE of the jobs of the President of the United States.
In general, the president's job is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Here is a list of some of the specific jobs of the president:

The president makes sure the laws of the country are followed.

The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Although the president is in charge of all military actions, only the Congress can declare war. This is an example of "checks and balances." The president is the only person who has authority to use nuclear weapons.

The president can make treaties with other countries, as long as two-thirds of the Senate also agree. This is another example of "checks and balances."

The president can veto bills passed by Congress. However, the Congress can override a presidential veto if two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate vote to override the veto. This is another example of "checks and balances."

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What I Learned Section 2 -- Define the following words:
Cabinet: Advisors to the president who head government departments

Constitution: Plan of government by which the country is ruled

Election: Voting people into office

Inauguration: Formal beginning of the president's term in office

Incumbent: Person who is currently in office

Veto: Reject

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Bonus Questions (Answer 1 of the Following Questions for Your FREE Bookmark):
a. Which of the following Articles of the U.S. Constitution establishes the Executive Branch?
a) Article I
b) Article II
c) Article III
d) Article IV
The Constitution of the United States is made up of seven Articles. The first three Articles describe the three branches of government. Article I describes the legislative branch. It consists of the U.S. Congress which contains both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Article II describes the executive branch. It consists of the President and Vice President. Article III describes the judicial branch. It consists of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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b. When is Election Day held?
It is the first Tuesday in the month of November.

Presidential elections take place every four years. They begin with caucuses or primaries. In a caucus or primary, states hold their own elections to vote for a Republican candidate and Democratic candidate for president. Then the Republican Party and Democratic Party hold its own convention in which they nominate a candidate from their own party for president and vice president. The United States has other political parties, including the Reform Party and the Green Party.

The presidential and vice presidential candidate then hit the campaign trail giving speeches, participating in debates, and meeting people until election day.

Election day is always the first Tuesday in the month of November. In 1996, the presidential election took place on Tuesday, November 5. In 2000, the presidential election took place on Tuesday, November 7.

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c. What is the Electoral College?
The Electoral College is a group of people called electors who make the final choice of who becomes president.

The number of electors from each state is equal to the number of senators and members of the House of Representatives from that state. Every state has two senators. The number of Representatives varies for each state because it is based on population. For example, California has two Senators and fifty-two Representatives; therefore, California has fifty-four electors. Delaware has two Senators and one Representative; therefore, Delaware has three electors.

The electors then vote for president. Their votes are determined by which candidate their state voted for on election day. A presidential candidate must receive 270 out of the 538 electoral votes in order to win.

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d. Who protects the President of the United States?
The Secret Service. Since 1901, the Secret Service protects the president, the president's family, the vice president, and the vice president's family.

Four Presidents of the United States have been assassinated: Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963.

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e. List the 43 U.S. Presidents in chronological order.
George Washington (1789-1797)
2. John Adams (1797-1801)
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
4. James Madison (1809-1817)
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
9. William Henry Harrison (1841)
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)
11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
20. James A. Garfield (1881)
21. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)
22. Grover S. Cleveland (1885-1889)
23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
24. Grover S. Cleveland (1893-1897)
25. William McKinley (1897-1901)
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
27. William H. Taft (1909-1913)
28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
29. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
31. Herbert C. Hoover (1929-1933)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
33. Harry S Truman (1945-1953)
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
36. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
37. Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)
38. Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)
39. James E. Carter (1977-1981)
40. Ronald W. Reagan (1981-1989)
41. George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993)
42. William J. Clinton (1993-2001)
43. George Walker Bush (2001-present)

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f. Use five of the words in Section 2 in a sentence.
Answers will vary. Here are sample sentences from our young readers:
Colin Powell is a cabinet member.

I am studying about the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution in my history class.

My parents vote on Election Day.

President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" during his Inauguration.

President Bush is the incumbent president.

A president has the power to veto a bill.

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g. Have a parent or friend give you a spelling test with EACH of the words in Section 2.

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More Valuable Information about U.S. President:
IMA Hero™ U.S. Government Bookstore
IMA Hero™ White House Photos & Links
IMA Hero™ Constitution of the United States Links
IMA Hero™ U.S. Government & Washington, D.C. Links

Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids (Government Printing Office)
The White House
The White House for Kids
Presidents of the United States (The White House)

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