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A political family (also referred to as political dynasty) is a family in which several members are involved in politics and businesses, particularly electoral politics. Members may be related by blood or marriage; often several generations or multiple siblings may be involved.

A royal family or dynasty in a monarchy is generally considered to not be a "political family," although the later descendants of a royal family have played political roles in a republic (such as the Arslan family of Lebanon would be). A family dictatorship is a form of dictatorship that operates much like an absolute monarchy, yet occurs in a nominally republican state.

Contents

United StatesEdit

In the United States, many political dynasties (having at least two generations serving in political office) have arisen since the country's founding:

PresidentialEdit

 
Four noted U.S. political families — Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt, Bush — have had two members that served as President of the United States

Four noted U.S. political families — Adams, Harrison, Roosevelt, Bush — have had two members that served as President of the United States.

  • The first dynasty with presidential connections was the Adams family. John Adams served as the second President (after serving as the first vice president), and his son John Quincy Adams served as the sixth president. John Quincy's son Charles served as U.S. ambassador (then called minister) to the United Kingdom and as a U.S. congressman. A fourth-generation member of the family (John Quincy Adams II) served as a state representative in Massachusetts, and his son Charles was mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts and secretary of the Navy in the Hoover administration.
  • Another early political dynasty was the Harrison family, of which six generations served in public office from the late 18th through mid 20th centuries. Benjamin Harrison V was one of the early governors of Virginia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His son William Henry Harrison was the ninth U.S. President. William's son John Scott Harrison served in the U.S. House of Representatives, while his son Benjamin Harrison became the 23rd President (marking the first and only grandfather and grandson to serve as president). Benjamin's son Russell Benjamin Harrison served as a state representative and state senator from Indiana in the 1920s, and Russell's son William served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1950s and '60s.

OtherEdit

Other notable U.S. political dynasties include:

InternationalEdit

  • In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the son of the late Pierre Trudeau, who also served as prime minister.
  • The French Front National Party is led by Marine Le Pen, who succeeded her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in early 2011.
  • Uhuru Kenyatta has been president of Kenya since 2013. He is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the Republic of Kenya, who left office in 1978.
  • Landsbergis of Lithuania: Vytautas Landsbergis, leader of the State in 1990-1992, is the son of Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis, a member of the government in the 1940s. Grandson Gabrielius Landsbergis is current leader of the Conservative Party. Another ancestor, Jonas Jablonskis, was an independence activist.
  • In India, three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family (Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi) have served as Prime Minister of India.
  • In Portugal: the minister of welfare state is married with a member of parliament involved in a scandal related with an ONG financed by the welfare state; The daughter of the same minister is the presidency minister; The interior minister is married with the sea minister; the justice minister husband was nominated for a public commission by a co-minister.

Hoping to prevent political dynasties, the Indonesian parliament, who represent the third largest democracy in the world, passed a law barring anyone holding a major office within five years of a relative.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ KQED, General Article: The Kennedys in Politics, <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/kennedys-politics/>
  2. ^ Joseph Curl (January 20, 2005). "Rise of 'dynasty' quick, far-reaching". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19.
  3. ^ Feldmann, Linda. "Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush? Why Political Dynasties Might Make Sense. (+video)." The Christian Science Monitor 23 July 2014
  4. ^ Solomon, Andrew (2015-07-18). "What's Wrong with Dynastic Politics?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-02-05.