The United States has had 50 different presidents, including the country’s chief executive. Therefore, it makes sense to learn about the history of these men who held the position. Read on for more details on the history of U.S. presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama.
George Washington served as the first President of the United Washington was born on February 11, 1731, in Virginia was born in the present-day state of Virginia and grew up on his family farm. In his youth, he read many books, including those that explained how to grow crops, run a business, and manage a plantation.
Washington completed his education at a school run by the Church of England. He studied mathematics, geography, and law, and also practiced land surveying. Washington also spent a lot of time hunting and fishing.
When he was 22 years old, Washington became a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia militia. In 1753, he married Martha Dandridge Custis, the daughter of a wealthy tobacco plantation owner. Martha shared her husband’s love of books and reading.
John Adams was the second President of the United States. He served as the nation’s chief executive from 1801 to 1809. Adams, a member of the Federalist Party, was the first Vice President to become President. He also became the first President to live in the White House, which was then located in Philadelphia.
Adams was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1735. Both of his parents died while he was young, and he and his brother were raised by their wealthy grandfather, John Adams Sr. After attending schools in Massachusetts, Adams studied law under the tutelage of Rufus King and became his attorney. He met, courted, and later married Abigail Smith in 1759. They had six children, three of whom (John Quincy, Thomas, and Abigail) survived to adulthood.
Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States. He served as the chief executive from 1801 to 1809, succeeding John Adams. Jefferson was born in 1743, in the then-Virginian colony of Virginia. His mother, Jane Randolph, died when he was seven, and his father died when he was 12.
Jefferson was raised by his stepmother, who was a strong influence on the development of his belief system, which was shaped by his education at the College of William and Mary. Jefferson became a lawyer after studying law under George Wythe and then under Wythe’s son-in-law, John Marshall.
Marshall was a member of the House of Burgesses and had a great influence on Jefferson’s political beliefs, especially his views on how the British Parliament was trying to violate the colonists’ rights. Jefferson was married twice, both times to wealthy, white women. In his first marriage, he had two children, one of whom died young. In his second marriage, he had three children with his wife, Martha.
James Madison served as the fourth President of the United States, from 1809 to 1817. He was born in Virginia in 1751 and became a tobacco planter and slaveholder. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates and as an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
After the war, he settled in the newly formed state of Virginia. After studying law under Thomas Lewis and George Wythe, Madison practiced law with his friend Thomas Pain. Madison was a member of the House of Delegates in 1783 and 1784. In 1788, he was elected to the Virginia state senate, where he served until 1791.
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States. He was the only president who was the head of government while the nation was still an independent republic. Monroe was the first President born in the 13 colonies. He was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Monroe learned about the Revolutionary War from his father, a colonel in the Revolutionary Army. After the war, he became a planter, slaveholder, and member of Virginia’s House of Delegates. In 1795, Monroe married Elizabeth Kyser, who was from a wealthy family.
They had two children, both of whom died before they were a year old. Monroe was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1799 and 1802, but he never served in the Senate because Virginia had not yet permitted its members to serve in the upper chamber of Congress.
Andrew Jackson was the sixth President of the United States. He served as the chief executive from 1829 to 1837, after serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. He was a successful military leader in the War of 1812 and the Creek War.
Jackson’s greatest victory came in the Battle of New Orleans, in which he defeated the British at the end of the war. Jackson was born on April 29, 1767, in South Carolina. His father was an Anglican planter, and his mother was a Scottish immigrant. Jackson attended the College of South Carolina in Columbia, where he studied law and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first honor society for students in the field of letters.
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the seventh President of the United States. He served as chief executive from 1837 to 1841. His presidency was overshadowed by his unsuccessful attempt to become the Democratic candidate in the 1836 election.
Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782, in Kinderhoven, Holland. Van Buren immigrated to the United States in 1805 and settled in New York. He attended Columbia College, where he joined the Philolexian Society, the school’s honor society. Van Buren practiced law and became a state judge in 1817. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1827 and to the vice presidency in 1836.
William Henry Harrison
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States. He was the first chief executive to die in office. He was the first president to be elected from the Western frontier. Harrison was born on January 9, 1773, in Berkeley County, Virginia. Harrison volunteered for the Revolutionary War, in which he fought at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
He later settled in the Northwest Territory and practiced law. After winning the election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Harrison was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1841. He was the first president to be elected from outside the Eastern states.
James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th President of the United States. He served as the president from 1845 to 1849. He was the first President to be elected from the Western frontier, and he was from the same state as his successor. Polk was born on November 2, 1795, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee to pursue a law career and soon won the election to the state senate.
He served as a speaker of the senate from 1827 to 1829. After failing to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1824, Polk was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1827 and the U.S. Senate in 1829. He was elected president in 1844 as a war hero who had defeated the Mexican army at the Battle of Lake Hidalgo.
Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States. He served as the chief executive from 1850 until he died in office in 1866. Taylor was born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1784. At the age of 16, he moved to Ohio and became a military veteran of the War of 1812.
Taylor served as a militia officer during the War of 1812 and in a militia regiment during the Black Hawk War, which occurred as Taylor was preparing to run for president. He was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. While serving in Congress in 1849, Taylor was elected the first President of the new Republican Party, which opposed slavery.
Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. He served as the chief executive from 1853 until 1857. Although he was the first President of the Democratic Party, he was not a member of the party. Pierce was born in rural New Hampshire on October 10, 1804.