A political family or political dynasty is a family in which several members are involved in politics, 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.
Examples in the United States
In the United States, many political dynasties have arisen. Peter Schweizer describes the Bush family as "the most successful political dynasty in American history." The family has produced two Presidents (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the forty-first and forty-third, respectively), a Governor of Texas (George W. Bush), a Governor of Florida (Jeb Bush), a U.S. Senator from Connecticut (Prescott Bush) amongst other prominent members, including U.S. Representatives, bankers and industrialists.
The family of forty-second U.S. President Bill Clinton has been described as a dynasty. His wife, Hillary Clinton, is a former U.S. Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator and is a presumptive candidate for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is a reporter who campaigned extensively during her mother's unsuccessful 2008 bid for President.
Thirty-second U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the fifth cousin of twenty-sixth U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. FDR's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was Theodore Roosevelt's niece, which made FDR and Eleanor fifth cousins, once removed.
- Joseph Curl (January 20, 2005). "Rise of 'dynasty' quick, far-reaching". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19.
- Feldmann, Linda. "Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush? Why Political Dynasties Might Make Sense. (+video)." The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2014/0325/Hillary-Clinton-vs.-Jeb-Bush-Why-political-dynasties-might-make-sense.-video>.
- "Question: How Was ER Related to FDR?" Question: How Was ER Related to FDR? George Washington University, n.d. Web. 23 July 2014. <http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/q-and-a/q6.cfm>.
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