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Myths and Misconceptions - Alexander Hamilton Couldn't Be President

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Misconception: Alexander Hamilton was not legally eligible to become President of the United States.

The Facts:

Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. It is believed by some that because he was not born in the United States, Alexander Hamilton was not eligible to become a US President according to the US Constitution. 

However, the US Constitution states in Article II, Section 1:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;

So according to the US Constitution, there are two ways someone can be qualified for the Presidency:

  1. If they are a natural-born Citizen (born in the territory of the United States)  -or-
  2. If they are a citizen of the US at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution (which occured on September 17, 1787).
Alexander Hamilton, who had immigrated from the Caribbean in 1772, was a US citizen (as a citizen of New York) in 1787 and thus falls into the second group of egibility.
 

Conclusion: Alexander Hamilton was legally eligible to become President of the United States.


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