Term limits in the United States
Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution. According to the 22nd Amendment, the President of the U.S. can serve two four-year terms. George Washington did not set the precedent for a two-term limit for the Presidency until 1912.
About Term limits in the United States in brief
Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution. Term limits, also referred to as rotation in office, restrict the number of terms of office an officeholder may hold. According to the 22nd Amendment, the President of the U.S. can serve two four-year terms. George Washington did not set the precedent for a two-term limit for the Presidency until 1912. The tradition was challenged by Ulysses Grant in 1880, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1940 when he explicitly broke the tradition to avoid term limits in one form or another in his presidency. It was Thomas Jefferson who made many statements in 1808 calling for term limits, and George Mason who advised limits on reelection to the Senate and to the Presidency, because said Mason, “nothing is so essential to the preservation of a Republican as a periodic rotation in the hands of a periodic government” The ancient Roman Republic featured a system of elected magistrates—tribunes of the plebs, aediles, quaestors, praetors, and consuls —who served a single term of one year, with re-election to the same magistracy forbidden for ten years. According to historian Garrett Fagan, office holding in the Roman Republic was based on \”limited tenure of office\” which ensured that \”authority circulated frequently\”, helping to prevent corruption. The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1781, established term limits for the delegates to the Continental Congress, mandating in Article V that \”no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years\”.
In contrast to the Articles of. Confederation, the federal constitution convention at Philadelphia omitted mandatory term limits from the U S. Constitution of 1789. The debates of that day reveal a desire to study and profit from the object lessons offered by ancient democracy. Benjamin Franklin’s influence is seen not only in that he chaired the constitutional convention which drafted the Pennsylvania constitution, but also because it included, virtually unchanged, Franklin’s earlier proposals on executive rotation. Pennsylvania’s plural executive was composed of twelve citizens elected for the term of three years, followed by a mandatory vacation of four years. Richard Henry Lee viewed the absence of legal limits to tenure, together with certain other features of the Constitution, as “most highly and dangerously oligarchic’ in the early 19th century. He said: “There is no provision for a rotation of hands, nor the perpetuity of a government government, nor a provision for the rotation of office in the same hands for life; which will probably be done by a little well-timed bribery, or by a well- Timed bribery.” The historian Mercy Otis Warren, warned that “there is no. for anything to prevent anything to be done to prevent the same person from holding the same office for life”