Presentation on theme: "Wealth and Power George Washington, the nation's first president, was a wealthy man. Mount Vernon, his Virginia plantation, was spread across 8,000 acres."— Presentation transcript:
Wealth and Power George Washington, the nation's first president, was a wealthy man. Mount Vernon, his Virginia plantation, was spread across 8,000 acres of prime farmland. His property holdings had been greatly increased by his marriage, at age 26, to a wealthy widow, Martha Dandridge Custis. Abraham Lincoln, the nation's 16th president, was born in a log cabin and owned a house in Springfield, Ill., where he worked as an attorney before entering politics. Wall St. (the study group etc…) has estimated the net worth of Washington, Lincoln and every other U.S. president, using historical sources. Many efforts to evaluate presidential net worth have come up with a wide range of estimates. Most sources have provided no hard figures. Finally, most efforts have focused on recent presidents, because it's easier to calculate figures when assets and incomes are a matter of public record. One of the most important conclusions of this analysis is that the presidency has little to do with wealth creation. Several presidents were wealthy when they arrived at the White House. Some lost most of their fortunes after leaving office. Others never had much money at all. Estimates of each president's net worth are based on 2010 dollars. Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early 19th century, made and lost fortunes within a few years, the figure for each man represents an estimate of his net worth at its peak. Wall St. took into account hard assets like land as well as estimated lifetime savings based on work history, inheritance and property ownership. Okay…guesses ?????
No. 5: James Madison Fourth president Net worth: $101 million In office: 1809 to 1817 Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Va. His land holdings consisted of 5,000 acres and the Montpelier estate. He significantly increased his wealth as secretary of state and president. Madison lost money near the end of his life due to the financial collapse of his plantation.
No. 4: Andrew Jackson Seventh president Net worth: $119 million In office: 1829 to 1837 While he was considered to be in touch with middle-class Americans, Jackson quietly became one of the wealthiest presidents of the 1800s. "Old Hickory" married into wealth and made money in the military. His Tennessee homestead, the Hermitage, included 1,050 acres of prime real estate. Over the course of his life, he owned as many as 300 slaves. Jackson went into considerable debt later in life.
No. 3: Theodore Roosevelt 26th president Net worth: $125 million In office: 1901 to 1909 Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Roosevelt received a sizable trust fund. He lost most of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas and became an author to pay bills. Roosevelt spent most of his adult years in public service. His 235-acre estate, Sagamore Hill, sits on some of the most valuable real estate on Long Island.
No. 2: Thomas Jefferson Third president Net worth: $212 million In office: 1801 to 1809 Jefferson inherited 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves from his father. Monticello, his home on a 5,000-acre plantation in Virginia, was one of the architectural wonders of its time. Jefferson made considerable money in various political positions before becoming president but was mired in debt toward the end of his life.
No 1: George Washington First president Net worth: $525 million In office: 1789 to 1797 His Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland, run by more than 300 slaves. His wife, Martha, inherited significant property from her father. Washington made significantly more than subsequent presidents: his salary in 1789 was 2% of the U.S. budget.