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US President's Education and Career Path: Anyone Can Be President

Introduction

This Presidential Election season has prompted me to wonder about the career paths that Presidential Candidates have taken. I have been told all of my life that anyone can be President. The charts in this hub are my first step in looking at the history of our presidents. The question marks in the table indicate areas that require further research on my part.

I have divided the presidents into two groups based on the advent of the camera. I have a notion that the camera heralded the beginning of the United States as I know it. Lincoln was not the first President to be photographed; but, camera use came into prominence during the civil war.

There seem to be a lot of self taught Presidents, which does not seem to be possible in today's regulated environments. Those Presidents did very well, so I am beginning to wonder why college degrees are so necessary in today's world. It seems to me the only function that a degree exclusively serves is to limit the amount of participants in the field.

Presidents Before Photography

PartyPresidentSchoolDegreeCareer

*

George Washington

No formal education

n/a

Farmer / Brewer/Soldier

F

John Adams

Harvard

?

lawyer

DR

Thomas Jefferson

College of William and Mary

?

Farmer/Inventor/Lawyer

DR

James Madison

College of William and Mary

?

Lawyer

DR

James Monroe

Princeton

?

Lawyer

DR

John Quincy Adams

Harvard

Law

Lawyer

JD

Andrew Jackson

No Formal Education

n/a

Lawyer/Army

JD

Martin Van Buren

Kinderhook Academy

?

Lawyer

Whig

William Henry Harrison

Hampden-Sydney College

History and Classics

Army/politics

Whig

John Tyler

William and Mary College

Law

Politics

JD

James Knox Polk

University of N. Carolina

Law

Lawyer

Whig

Zachary Taylor

No formal education

n/a

Career Army Officer - 40 Years

Whig

Millard Fillmore

No formal education

n/a

Lawyer

JD

Franklin Pierce

Bowdin College

Law

Politics

JD

James Buchanan

Dickinson College

Law

Politics

Presidents After Photography

If you notice the number of Presidents in the table does not match the number of Presidents, don't worry. Grover Cleveland was elected to two separate terms.

PartyPresidentSchoolDegreeCareer

R

Abraham Lincoln

No Formal Education

n/a

Lawyer

D

Andrew Johnson

Tailors Apprentice

Tailor

Tailor

R

Ulysses S. Grant

West Point

?

Army

R

Rutherford B. Hayes

Kenyon College, Harvard

?

Lawyer

R

James Garfield

Williams College

?

Professor of Classics

R

Chester A. Arthur

Union College

Law

Teacher/Lawyer

D

Grover Cleveland

?

?

Lawyer

R

Benjamin Harrison

Miami University in Ohio

?

Lawyer

R

William Mckinley

Alleghey College

Law

Teacher/Law

R

Theodore Roosevelt

?

?

Born into a Wealthy family. Rancher, adventurer

R

William Howard Taft

Yale

?

Lawyer/Judge

D

Woodrow Wilson

Princeton, University of Virgina Law School, Johns Hopkins

PHD

Professor

R

Warren G. Harding

?

?

Newspaper Publisher, entrepreneur

R

Calvin Coolidge

Amherst College

?

Law/Politics

R

Herbert Hoover

Stanford University

Engineering

Mining Engineer

D

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harvard University, Columbia Law School

Law

Politics

D

Harry S. Truman

?

?

Farmer, entrepreneur

R

Dwight D. Eisenhower

West Point

?

Army

D

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Harvard

Law Degree

?

D

Lyndon B. Johnson

Texas State University

?

Teacher

R

Richard M. Nixon

Whitter College/Duke University

Law

Lawyer

R

Gerald R. Ford

University of Michigan/Yale

Law

Lawyer

D

James Carter

Naval Acadamy

?

Navel Officer, Farmer

R

Ronald Reagan

Eureka College

Economics and Sociology

Sports Announcer

R

George H. W. Bush

Yale

?

Oil Industry

D

William J. Clinton

Oxford and Yale

Law

Lawyer/Politics

R

George W. Bush

Yale and Harvard

?

Energy Industry

D

Barack Obama

Harvard Law School

Constitutional Law

Professor of Constitutional Law at University of Chicago

Political Party Key

[*] - George Washington was opposed to political parties on the grounds that it would divide the country.

[F] - Federalist - In favor of a strong central government, anti slavery

[DR] - Democrat Republican - in favor of a weak central governments, pro slavery

[W] - Whig - Successor to Federalists, party dissolved and members migrated to Republican Party

[JD] - Jacksonian Democrat - States Rights, Southern Democrats split off from the Jacksonian Democrats to form a separate party called voted for succession from the union.

[R] - Republican - Party formed to prevent the spread of slavery to territories, supports a strong federal government

[D] - Democrat - Under New Deal Coalition assumed it's present day form, supporting a strong federal government

[?] - Still being researched.

Caution

These are only a synopsis of the political parties in the US. The actual history is much more fluid and complex. The intent of the table is to provoke thought and curiosity about the history of the US.

References

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Comments

Brian L. Powell (author) from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) on October 13, 2011:

Thank you Carcro. I am still researching the subject and hope to be expanding into another hub soon.

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on October 13, 2011:

I haven't seen that much presidential info in a long time, since school days, its interesting to see the various backgrounds, I wonder if that made any difference to how they performed as president. Interesting hub, thanks for sharing!

Brian L. Powell (author) from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) on October 13, 2011:

Sally,

You could adjust the title of your hub to relate it to the election process we are experiencing right now. It is a fun read and people are going to be thinking about presidents for a while. Good luck with the report cards.

PS - If you want to drive you students crazy, administer a multiple choice test where all of the correct answers are C. Even if they know the material, that pattern will give them second thoughts.

Truckstop Sally on October 13, 2011:

A link would be great, thanks! And mine is so old -- there is not much traffic, but I will link to yours too. You seem to have a better handle on tech stuff. So, I'll see what yours looks like, and then I will try to copy. I'm a red wine drinker -- but whiskey is sounding pretty good right about now. I have report cards to write this weekend.

Brian L. Powell (author) from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff) on October 12, 2011:

I will check out your hub. Mind if I link it to mine.

I actually found out about Washington researching an article about whiskey. I was writing it for Textbrokers. As I understand it, whiskey was sold for more money than grain, the shipping was easier, and whiskey does not spoil. And the British had blockaded the rum from the Caribbean islands. The colonists would have made rum, but couldn't grow sugar cane.

Truckstop Sally on October 12, 2011:

Very interesting hub! Lots of new information for me. Andrew Johnson, a tailor?? Wow. And George Washington, a brewer. Probably would come in handy considering politicians' problems today. Of course I knew LBJ was a teacher - to poor Mexican children. I wrote a hub on presidents several months ago. https://hubpages.com/politics/Fun-President-Facts...