Alexander Hamilton

Albert Gallatin

Up & Away Games > Founding Fathers
Founding Fathers

Because a card only holds so much.

Foreign-born Presidents
As everyone including Arnold Schwarzenegger knows, Article II of the United States Constitution clearly defines who can be president, actually, who cannot: "No Person except a natural born Citizen."

But looking through the Statesmen in the game, two of them do not qualify on this basis. Alexander Hamilton was born on Nevis in the Caribbean. Albert Gallatin was born in Switzerland. Yet there seems to be nothing forbidding either one of them from becoming President. What's up with that? Isn't a rule needed there?

For the answer, let's go back to the Constitution, or as I call it, the original rules book, and quote Section 1 in its entirety (emphasis mine):

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.
As both were in the new nation at the time of adoption, both Hamilton and Gallatin were eligible to become President. As it happened, Hamilton died much too early in his career. Gallatin almost ran for Vice President, but then ex-president Martin Van Buren talked him out of it. Maybe he thought Gallatin's foreign birth would be an issue, or maybe he just thought Gallatin had made too many enemies over the years. In any case, as a consequence, this particular opening has never been used and never will be, unless, maybe, cloning gets a lot better?

Founding Fathers

Created: 22 December 2014