The idea of a dynastic power structure in US politics is something most Americans would see as tantamount to having an American royal family, the Founding Fathers certainly seemed to think so.
They wholeheartedly rejected the idea that power should come from one’s blood and not the ballot box, clearly stating in the Constitution that “no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States.”
One such dynasty, the Kennedys, went to great lengths to distance themselves from the idea of the political family by instead suggesting their New England clan were a sort of idyllic Arthurian Camelot instead of a lineage that rose to power based on the clout of their name alone.
No sooner was the Declaration of Independence signed, the family business of American politics reared its head, with more than 16% of congressional seats being filled by men whose relatives had sat there before them in the year 1848 alone.
Little has changed in the 21st century as a study conducted in 2006 would highlight. It revealed that members of Congress who serve more than one term have a 40% chance of having a member of their family also gain a Congressional seat at some point in the future.
The age of nepotism is something that has not been consigned to the pages of history as dynastic political families still wield an incredible amount of power and influence in today’s politics. So, here we look at the families who have gripped the reigns of power in American history and steered the country in the direction that best benefits them and their ilk.