No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
Some Internet writers say that the exception to the natural born citizen rule ( “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution“) was placed there specially for folks like George Washington who were born British Subjects before there was any United States. Others say that the clause was for the benefit of Alexander Hamilton who was not born on the American continent.
As I wrote in my article: George Washington, first in war, first in peace, and first presidential usurper, George Washington came from a state that had not ratified the Constitution at the time the Constitution went into effect, and therefore was not a “Citizen of the United States” at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution. That story was joke because the United States existed under the Articles of Confederation before there was a Constitution, and many would contend that the United States existed since the 13 American colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Continue Reading →