Political family

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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.

United States[edit]

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


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 III served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1950s and '60s.
The Trumps


Other notable U.S. political dynasties include:


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 also[edit]


  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.