President of the United States

President of the United States
Seal of the President of the United States.svg
Flag of the President of the United States.svg
Donald Trump official portrait (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Donald Trump

since January 20, 2017
Executive branch of the U.S. Government
Executive Office of the President
StyleMr. President
(informal)[1][2]
The Honorable
(formal)[3]
His Excellency[4][5][6]
(international correspondence)
StatusHead of State
Head of Government
Member ofCabinet
Domestic Policy Council
National Economic Council
National Security Council
ResidenceWhite House
SeatWashington, D.C.
NominatorPolitical parties or self-nomination
AppointerElectoral College of the United States
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentUnited States Constitution
FormationMarch 4, 1789
(229 years ago)
 (1789-03-04)[7][8]
First holderGeorge Washington
April 30, 1789[9]
Salary$400,000 annually[note 1][10]
Websitewww.whitehouse.gov

The President of the United States, fully President of the United States of America (POTUS s/ POH-təs)[note 2] is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures and as the leader of the only remaining global superpower.[12][13][14][15] The role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military that has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president also leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP. The president possesses significant domestic and international hard and soft power.

Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances.[16] The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, and takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress.[17] In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article One of the United States Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation. Since the office of president was established in 1789, its power has grown substantially, as has the power of the federal government as a whole.[18]

Through the Electoral College, the registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term. This is the only federal election in the United States which is not decided by popular vote.[19] Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term death or resignation.[note 3]

The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any United States citizen from being elected president for a third term. It also prohibits a person from being elected to the presidency more than once if that person previously had served as president, or acting president, for more than two years of another person's term as president. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms.[20] Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice; as the 22nd and 24th presidents.[21]

The current president, Donald Trump, was elected as the 45th president in 2016. He was inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

Origin

During the American Revolution in 1776, the Thirteen Colonies, acting through the Second Continental Congress, declared political independence from Great Britain. The new states were independent of each other as nation states[22] and recognized the necessity of closely coordinating their efforts against the British.[23] Congress desired to avoid anything that remotely resembled a monarchy and negotiated the Articles of Confederation to establish an alliance between the states.[22] Under the Articles, Congress was a central authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions, determinations, and regulations, but not any laws, and could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens.[23] This institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire.[23] The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some formerly royal prerogatives (e.g., making war, receiving ambassadors, etc.) to Congress; the remaining prerogatives were lodged within their own respective state governments. The states agreed to a resolution that settled competing western land claims. The Articles took effect on March 1, 1781, when Maryland became the final state to ratify them.

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies. With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs.[22] By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another. They witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, and their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest.[22] Civil and political unrest loomed.

Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, Maryland, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms. When the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia. Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia.[22][24]

When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rhode Island did not send delegates) brought with them an accumulated experience over a diverse set of institutional arrangements between legislative and executive branches from within their respective state governments. Most states maintained a weak executive without veto or appointment powers, elected annually by the legislature to a single term only, sharing power with an executive council, and countered by a strong legislature.[22] New York offered the greatest exception, having a strong, unitary governor with veto and appointment power elected to a three-year term, and eligible for reelection to an indefinite number of terms thereafter.[22] It was through the closed-door negotiations at Philadelphia that the presidency framed in the U.S. Constitution emerged.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: ABŞ prezidenti
Bân-lâm-gú: Bí-kok chóng-thóng
башҡортса: АҠШ президенты
беларуская: Прэзідэнт ЗША
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Mî-koet Chúng-thúng
Bahasa Indonesia: Presiden Amerika Serikat
Kiswahili: Rais wa Marekani
latviešu: ASV prezidents
Dorerin Naoero: President (Eben Merika)
norsk nynorsk: President i USA
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: AQSh Prezidenti
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Predsjednik Sjedinjenih Američkih Država
татарча/tatarça: АКШ президенты
українська: Президент США
Tiếng Việt: Tổng thống Hoa Kỳ
文言: 美國總統
吴语: 美國總統
粵語: 美國總統
中文: 美国总统