Tag Archives: Jefferson

Term Limits in the Constitution

WashTrumbullThe United States Constitution did not provide for any mandatory term limits within the federal government. The earlier Articles of Confederation which had governed the colonies provided for term limits. Several state constitutions had incorporated term limits. Even a century later, the Confederate States of America mandated only one six-year term of office for its president.
A committee appointed to examine forms of government in 1789 recommended that term limits be imposed on federal offices. They were ignored. Thomas Jefferson supported limits “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress…
Fortunately, George Washington set the informal limit of two terms of office for the President. (Pic – Washington with his servant Billy Lee on the banks of the Hudson – 1780  – by Trumbull)  It was not until 1940 that Franklin Roosevelt was elected for a third term as President. The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution which mandated a limit of two terms for the office of President was ratified in 1951. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives and the Senate have no such limits. Tomorrow, More on the Presidents. Rita Bay

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