Survey Says Majority of Americans Think Alexander Hamilton was a Former President
A survey conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found out that majority of Americans thinks Alexander Hamilton was a former president of the U.S., per Newser. A total of 326 participants were told to pick out the presidents they know in a list of 123 names with 41 actual presidents and 82 others individuals like Benjamin Franklin and Hamilton.
Who is Alexander Hamilton?
According to PBS, Hamilton is one of the Founding Fathers as well as the founder of the Bank of New York. He is also known as the father of the U.S. Coast Guard, the first Secretary of the Treasury and famously appeared on the $10 bill. He died at age 49 on July 12, 1804, a day after he lost a pistol duel with Aaron Burr at Weehawken, New Jersey.
Alexander Hamilton over Benjamin Franklin
"Our findings from a recent survey suggest that about 71 percent of Americans are fairly certain that Alexander Hamilton is among our nation's past presidents. I had predicted that Benjamin Franklin would be the person most falsely recognized as a president, but Hamilton beat him by a mile," said Henry L. Roediger III on Washington University's official website.
Roediger, a human memory expert at Washington University, is very interested in how those people who answered Hamilton showed confidence during their research. He added that Hamilton got more votes than six other former U.S. presidents.
Poor Former Presidents
The study published in the journal of Psychological Science also found out that Hamilton is more famous and recognized by Americans than former U.S. presidents Franklin Pierce and Chester Arthur. Both Pierce and Arthur were recognized for less than 60 percent of the survey, but many still can name 88 percent of the past presidents found in the survey list.
Roediger and his co-author K. Andrew DeSoto also found out that prominent names from American history such as John Calhoun, Hubert Humphrey and surprisingly, Thomas Moore, were also recognized in the survey as former presidents.
Calhoun was a former senator and vice president for seven years, while Humphrey served as vice president for Lyndon B. Johnson and ran for president in 1968. On the other hand, Moore only served in the U.S. House of Representatives but not as famous as other names on the list, per WUSTL.edu.
"Our best guess is that the Anglo-Saxon structure of his name, the frequency of both parts of the name, and possibly his confusability with Sir Thomas More, the counselor to King Henry VIII, may have contributed to the name's familiarity and false recognition," Roediger on why Americans thought Moore was a former president.
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