Why American presidents should be born in the U. S?
#1
Two reasons: They are Santa Anna and Adolph Hitler. Both born in foreign countries. Santa Anna was born in Spain instead of Mexico where he ruled. Adolph Hitler was born in Austria instead of Germany..
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#2
I think it had more to do with the former Colonials' aversion to British policy. They wanted leaders who were emotionally invested in the USA, and that would be more likely if they were born here.
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#3
What? They didn't see into the future and predict Santa Anna and Hitler? :laugh:

I think badlands means that those are examples of outsiders who rose to power in an adopted country. But of
course the reason stated by many of the founders was simpler - they feared some ambitious adventurer (like
*cough* Hamilton :jester: ) might head to America from Europe in hopes of creating a new empire.

Most of them had been educated in England, or taught by men who had been, and they copied much of the structure
of the English government. Nevertheless, being British citizens didn't prevent them
from having their own minds. But they wanted to make sure that Frenchmen like Lafayette
and Rochambeu (not necessarily *them* but charismatic people like them), Germans like DeKalb and
von Steuben, Poles like Pulaski, etc. wouldn't be in the running - even though they too
were opposed to King George's policies.
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#4
You may be overlooking George's family history. Several "English kings" were, in fact, not English. Sometimes they were conquerors. Sometimes they were imports.

The founders wanted a specifically American point of view in the White House. I must confess, I find my interpretation of history to be quite ironic today.
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#5
Oh, I know - he was a German prince from the Kingdom of Hanover. A fair % of the population of the area where I live are descended from Germans he gave land in American to, and their
culture still lingers in the prevalent mustard sauce for barbecue found around here. Wink

But of course, that doesn't have anything to do with an aversion to British policy, since he was of German heritage. If there were any actual Britons left - most were a mix of Saxon invaders from Germany, and
Norman invaders from France, who were in turn a mix of Nordic invaders from Scandinavia, and Frankish invaders from... Germany. :laugh:

Unsure if there was at that point any specifically American point of view, although simply being "from here" might have been all they wanted/needed. Even before the Constitution, Jefferson wanted us to align closely with France and their interests, while Hamilton wanted us to be our own version of a European monarchy, just with Americans.
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#6
Michael Wrote:You may be overlooking George's family history. Several "English kings" were, in fact, not English. Sometimes they were conquerors. Sometimes they were imports.

The founders wanted a specifically American point of view in the White House. I must confess, I find my interpretation of history to be quite ironic today.

A lot of this discussion boils down to "define English". In one sense, if English is defined as predominantly Anglo-Saxon descent, by some measures there hasn't been a really "English" King since Harold!
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#7
Haha - so very true!

But no, I think the original premise was that a leader from outside a country has a tendency to become a dictator, but I doubt that
notion was an influencing factor. Then it was suggested that it was a way to avoid English political ideas. I just can't see that, though,
since until the Revolution, the founders/framers considered themselves to be English, justified their rebellion under English law, and set up
their legal system as a near carbon copy of England's. (And their are still many state laws on the books that date to colonial times.) Plus, they didn't
add a clause saying "but a president born in France, Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, or Norway would be just fine," and they were quite happy for English-born
immigrants to influence the US as Senators, Representatives, Governors, judges and military commanders.

The standard reason explained in everyone's memoirs and taught from middle schools to grad schools for the last two centuries is a fear of a European-born
opportunist coming to America to establish an empire. (And honestly, England was the least likely source of anything like that.) Unsure where the bloodline thing came in.
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#8
badlands Wrote:Two reasons: They are Santa Anna and Adolph Hitler. Both born in foreign countries. Santa Anna was born in Spain instead of Mexico where he ruled. Adolph Hitler was born in Austria instead of Germany..

Then there was Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsican rather than "properly" French (Corsica having long been ruled by various Italian powers since Roman times). Joseph Stalin wasn't Russian but Georgian. "Stalin" wasn't his actual family name, but the Russian word for "steel" he took when he joined the Bolsheviks and became one of their chief propagandists and apologists. Of course the Soviet Union didn't claim to be a nationalist regime, but it was always dominated by Russians.
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#9
Yeah, see now that is a fascinating coincidence that some dictators were indeed all from outside their adoptive countries. And there are probably others that I can't think of.
Maybe, if you want to stretch it, Alexander, who wasn't wasn't Greek but rather Macedonian. But at that point, none of those people were dictators yet, and Napoleon was all of seven.
Although since he did put some relatives and cronies in charge of allied/conquered countries, someone like him coming into the country to establish a power base was a fear.
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#10
I think the founding fathers wanted the future leaders of this nation to be raised in a society that had eschewed monarchical governments and lack of accountability. They turned the whole thing in a great experiment. In fact, when I was a teenager, historians were kind of debating what the real "revolution" of the American Revolutionary War was (probably because of the Bicentenniel celebrations in 1976). The revolution didn't really begin, they said, until the constitution was written. I think that was an extreme point of view. The Committees of Correspondence were a revolutionary first step toward our representative form of government. In fact, the chief reason why I feel American foreign policy fails to export "American democracy" to other nations is that they don't grow it from the grass roots the way we did. Our ideas are the products of trial and experimentation (and we can still have very corrupt governments, like in Chicago, which has produced 1700 federal prosecutions in the last 40-50 years).

Given that they were inventing a whole new way of thinking about government by experimenting with ideas that had been put forth for 100 years or so but not really acted upon, I think the founders realized that it could only succeed if someone who was born in America and lived the experience were to lead the nation. Maybe someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger (if you look past his political views) proves that a foreign-born citizen can be a high-level elected official and preserve the constitutional principles upon which the nation was founded. Arnold was elected Governor of California twice and many people wanted to change the constitution so he could run for President (something Sylvester Stallone joked about in "Demolition Man"). I don't think Schwarzenegger would make himself a dictator (but I'm not advocating for changing the constitution). Maybe he's an exception but he never struck me as a political adventurer. And the current Congress boasts about 13% immigrants according to a recent news headline.
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