Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli , persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President. As early as 1350, the British Parliament approved statutes recognizing the rule of jus sanguinis , under which citizens may pass their citizenship by descent to their children at birth, regardless of place. Similarly, in its first naturalization statute, Congress declared that "the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens." 1 Stat. 104 (1790). The "natural born" terminology was dropped shortly thereafter. See, . , 8 . § 1401(c). But the question remains whether the term "natural born Citizen" used in Article II includes the parliamentary rule of jus sanguinis in addition to the common law principle of jus soli . In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Supreme Court relied on English common law regarding jus soli to inform the meaning of "citizen" in the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the natural-born–citizenship requirement of Article II, and noted that any right to citizenship though jus sanguinis was available only by statute, and not through the Constitution. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court's discussion in Wong Kim Ark , a majority of commentators today argue that the Presidential Eligibility Clause incorporates both the common-law and English statutory principles, and that therefore, Michigan Governor George Romney, who was born to American parents outside of the United States, was eligible to seek the Presidency in 1968.
Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught lawyer, legislator and vocal opponent of slavery, was elected 16th president of the United States in November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Lincoln proved to be a shrewd military strategist and a savvy leader: His Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for slavery’s abolition, while his Gettysburg Address stands as one of the most famous pieces of oratory in American history. In April 1865, with the Union on the brink of victory, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth; his untimely death made him a martyr to the cause of liberty, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in . history.
Rome's ongoing reformation, begun at the Council of Trent, has aimed to purify and strengthen its catholicism by intensifying, in ever-stronger ways, the medieval concept of the role of the Pope as the central person on Earth who guards and interprets the Christian faith and order. The ongoing reformation of the Anglican churches has been to uphold the catholic faith and order by dispersing the Pope's role and authority among the bishops, clergy and laity. This represents their ongoing effort to restore the ecclesial life of the early church, as they understand it. In this sense, Roman Catholics and Anglicans represent opposite attempts to reform and uphold the faith of their common roots. In other words, the basic difference between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism remains "No Pope."