My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
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The twenty-second state admitted to the Union was Alabama--the Heart of Dixie. The year was 1819.

The twenty-second president of the United States was Grover Cleveland. (He was also the twenty-fourth president.)

The twenty-second amendment to the U. S. Contitution made it through the rituals of ratification in 1951. It was, in essence, a response to FDR's three and a quarter terms.

George Washington had sort of established the precedent of two terms only. More than that, according to George, would make the president more like a king, with a lifetime job.

FDR first came to office in 1932, at the depths of the depression. He promoted legislation that helped somewhat with the effects of a world-wide problem on the United States. City Park, in New Orleans, was a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project. And Union Terminal had (and I think still has, but it needs a lot of repairs) some spectacular art work.

He was re-elected in 1936 and continued to try to find the magic formula for getting the country out of the depression.

It was during that term that the Depression Problem began to have a solution. In Europe Germany had come out of its deep depression under the leadership of Hitler, who came to office in a totally legal manner. He defied the Versailles Treaty terms that limited things like re-arming. His actions were supported by legislation approved by a duly (and legally) elected legislature. His actions were not seen as totally threatening, at first. Breaking an arms ban was justified as necessary because of threats from neighbors. It was little by little.

The Austrian takeover (Anschluss) was just "Germany including Germans outside the national borders drawn by the Versailles Conference." And there was an election that approved the action. [There was an Austrian student in one of my history classes where this was discussed. He had some pretty interesting comments about how the Nazis kept Austrians away from the polls unless they were going to vote for re-union.]

Back to the two-term thing.

By 1940 much of the the world was at war. The United States wanted to stay out of it. Their WWI experience had not been a good one. Nevertheless, it was looking more and more like the U.S. would be pulled in.

And so the campaign motto for 1940 was along the lines of "Don't Change Horses in Mid-Stream." (Maybe that was the 1944 slogan--but 1940 was a time--according to FDR--for continuity.)

FDR was sworn in for a third term, and then in 1944 there wasn't too much thought about "changing horses"--the U. S. and its allies were battling in Europe and Asia.

FDR died in April 1945, and his vice president--a one-time senator from Missouri--held the office as the various wars ended. And the first and last (we hope) atomic bombs were used against an enemy.

A lot of people had resented FDR's abandonment of the two-term limit tradition, and began a move to enshrine a two-term limit in the Constitution.

The Amendment was passed by the Congress by the two-thirds majority in each House required in the Constitution. After ratification by 3/4 of State Legislatures it became the Twenty-Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution in 1951.

What if a Vice President succeeds to the presidency because of the death of said President? Can be elected on his own for two terms in addition to the one he fills out?

That depends. If he served more than two years as the "replacement" he could run on his own only once. In other words, he could not serve as President more than ten years.

And the interesting part (which I just double-checked) is that nowhere does it give an exemption if the terms served are not consecutive.

Such was the case with our 22nd President, Grover Cleveland. He served one term, lost the next election, then four years later got voted back in.

(BTW--today was an IUD on the home front.)

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