Political family

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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[edit]

In the United States, many political dynasties have arisen. Peter Schweizer describes the Bush family as "the most successful political dynasty in American history."[1] 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 Director of Central Intelligence (George H.W. Bush), and 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 candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination[2] Their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is a reporter who campaigned extensively during her mother's unsuccessful 2008 bid for president.

Second U.S. President John Adams was the father of sixth U.S. President John Quincy Adams.

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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joseph Curl (January 20, 2005). "Rise of 'dynasty' quick, far-reaching". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19.
  2. ^ 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>.
  3. ^ "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>.