US Presidents


1 Washington, George (1789-1797) Was a no-brainier for America’s first leader after leading the country through the Revolutionary War. During presidency visited each of the original American states. Didn’t really like being President and wasn’t really sure what his role should be. He created the Executive Branch of government. Had the best Presidential cabinet in American history with Alexander Hamilton at Treasury, Thomas Jefferson at State & Henry Knox at War. Hamilton set course of country by creating a National Banking System shared by all the colonies. Jefferson and Madison opposed this idea as their colonies had already paid off most of their war debt. To make the deal happen Washington offered Jefferson & Madison a comprise where in exchange for the deal, Virgina would get to host the new nation’s capital. Washington lead the project of making D.C. the nation’s capitol but would not live long enough to see it through. Was the only President to never serve in Washington D.C. In 1793 Britain and France went to war and America was called on to chose sides but Washington chose neutrality a decision that would come back to haunt the following Presidents.The Wisky Rebellion of 1794 had many residents against paying taxes on Wisky however, Washington’s stance was, these taxes weren’t put forth by Britain like in 1776 but by Philadelphia thus the colonies had to pay the tax. Had 12,000 volunteers march to PA as a show of force & to persuade the rebels to pay, which they did. Washington left after 2 terms to avoid being considered a King. Federalist
2 Adams, John (1797-1801) Had a miserable Presidency given the task of having to follow Washington. Was a very opinionated man and didn’t accept counsil very well. Sent a diplomatic team to Paris when the French wanted America to side with them against the British and started seizing American ships trading with Britain. In 1798 Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts making it a crime to speak out against certain office holders. This act was the downside of his Presidential term. Federalist
3 Jefferson, Thomas (1801-1809) Prior to Presidency: Wrote Deceleration of Independence, Visited France and meet with the King but left during the height of the French Revolution; Marked by sorrow throughout the course of his life with the deaths of his father, mother, best friend, wife, and two children before the age of 45. Promised after wife’s death never to re-marry which he never did, however, he did fall in love during time in France to a married woman. He never loved again after this. Biggest debates surrounding Jefferson would be his stance on slavery. Early in political career he mentioned Emancipation but dusted it under table after catching heat from locals. He was a slave owner his entire life and while he treated his slaves well he wrote how Blacks were below whites because they are less intelligent and smell. Jefferson envisioned a farm land country and hated cities. Alexander Hamilton visioned an urban, commercial America. Hamilton lead the Federalist Party and Jefferson lead the Democratic-Republican Party. Jefferson’s news paper blasted Hamilton, Adams and President Washington. After losing to Federalists resigned from Cabinet in 1793. His home in Monticello was always in construction and he never finished organizing projects. Jefferson is rumored to have fathered several children with an African-American mistress. Was re-elected for 2nd term of Presidency while Britain and France were in war. Jefferson had relegated the Navy to virtually nothing, forcing Jefferson to trade & embargo w/ Britain and France when facing hostile situations. His embargo was hated but Americans still wanted him to run for 3rd term, however, he rejected and left office in 1809 never returning to DC. He died the same day as John Adams. Democratic Republican
4 Madison, James (1809-1817) Was Secretary of State to Jefferson and Jefferson’s right hand man. Is President during the War of 1812. Asked Congress for Declaration of War on Britain for interfering with American ships trading with France. The War of 1812 did not go well at all in the beginning. In 1814 the British raided Washington and burned the President’s mansion driving Madison to retreat out of the city. Sent James Monroe to make peace England. Madison signed the treaty of Gent, however, before Madison received the news America had already won a huge battle against the Britains in New Orleans lead by General Andrew Jackson. Democratic Republican
5 Monroe, James (1817-1825) Before Presidency was sent to England to negotiate a peace treaty during the War of 1812 & was successful. Like the Presidents before him was a founding father and also a part of the Virginia dynasty. Was unopposed during campaign for 2nd term and 1st campaign was also harmonious. Missouri was becoming a state and their was uncertainty over whether or not Missouri would be a slave or free state. Proposed plan to return slaves to Africa. Florida was owned by Spain at the time but by 1818 Seminole Indiands were raiding white settlements in Georgia, getting motivation by the English. In response, Monroe sends troops lead by Andrew Jackson to invade Florida. In 1819 the Spanish gave Florida to America without a fight. Had a brief dispute with Russian over the territory of Alaska and also made a statement that America rejects European countries coming into the Western Hemisphere with the intent of taking properties. This later became known as the Monroe Doctrine, which was written by John Quincy Adams. Monroe was the last President to have been one of America’s founding fathers. Democratic Republican
6 Adams, John Quincy (1825-1829) John Quincy Adams won the Presidency in what many deemed to be a dirty move when Henry Clay, the 4th delegate in the Presidential running swayed his votes to Adams in exchange for being named Secretary of State (considered the Presidential runner-up in those days). Even his father didn’t approve John Quincy Adams’ campaign victory. He came in with many lofty goals such as Western expansion and educational reform however, he couldn’t get any cooperation from Congress to get anything accomplished. It is obvious that the Jackson supporters in Congress did whatever they could to block Adams proposals. Was very stubborn like his father and was disliked by many. In 1828 he ran again against Andrew Jackson who was out to get revenge. This election would end up being the dirtiest election campaign of all time as each candidate did whatever they could to smear each others name. Despite the harsh things said about Jackson & his wife, Jackson beat Adams in a landslide due to his popularity and cult like following as a war hero. Much like his father, Adams was not gracious in his defeat & refused to attend the inauguration. Two years later Adams joined the House of Representatives & became an outspoken leader against slavery Democratic Republican
7 Jackson, Andrew (1829-1837) As a 16 year old was taken as war criminal by British during Revolutionary War; Studied to become a lawyer; As a young man was known to be a drinker & prankster; In war with Native Americans adopted an orphan kid found at the battle scene & raised it as his son before dying at 15; In Jackson’s treaty gained 23 miles from Native Americans; Promoted from leading Tennessee militia to leading American troops in War of 1912 & won in New Orleans against a larger & stronger British army; Was given authority to fight Seminoles in an attempt to take over Florida in which Spain eventually gave up; Lost first presidential run to John Quincy Adams in controversial fashion.; In 2nd running he won presidency however, a month later his wife died of a heart attack & he blamed it on his opposition; Pushed the Indian Removal Act through Congress, however Supreme Court deemed in un-constitutional; The Trail of Tears begins with Native Americans being forced West, the last group to go is the Cherokee Indians who were forced West by force; Although Presidents before Jackson had the same stance on Indians, Jackson is viewed as the Hitler to Native Americans because of his enforcing of the issue; Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate Jackson at point blank range but both pistols misfired; Jackson’s handpicked replacement Van Buren took over Presidency but Jackson became enraged when Van Buren lost the re-election to William Harrison, a member of the Whig Party; At his death bed, Jackson said he hoped to see all in heaven both blacks & whites
8 Van Buren, Martin (1837-1841) Before Presidency was the leader of Andrew Jackson’s democratic party. He won the election based solely on the endorsement of Jackson. Was a great behind the scenes political mind but was a poor decision maker & wasn’t fit to lead a nation. Got a reputation as being an aristocrat who decorated the White House with elaborate decorations and sort of gained a pretty boy image. Had to deal with a country in horrible economic state and it only got worst after he inherited the Presidency from Jackson. Also was known as a President who swayed back & forth on tough issues incapable of making a decision such as the annexation of Texas. He also never really proposed a plan for the struggling economy. Democrat
9 Harrison, William Henry -1841 Harrison was nominated by the Whig Party to run for President. Like Andrew Jackson, Harrison was a General and had fought against the Indians & supported the chartering of the Bank of the United States. Harrison was the only President to study medicine and the last President to be born a British subject. After winning the Presidency he hoped to silence critics about his age and during his inauguration embarked in a 2 hour speech outside in cold weather without an overcoat. He ended up catching a cold which turned into pneumonia. He died on his 32nd day as President from complications from pneumonia, serving the shortest tenure in US presidential history. His death started a crisis as their weren’t any policies regarding Presidential succession. The 25th Amendment was created as a result. Whig
10 Tyler, John (1841-1845) Was playing marbles at home when he learned of the President’s death. Served in the House of Representatives, the Senate and was the governor of Virginia. The Whigs passed two laws regarding the National Bank and both laws were vetoed by Tyler, who was a member of the Whig Party. Despite belonging to the party he didn’t share a lot of their views. After the vetoes the Whigs held a meeting and expelled the President as a member of the party. Tyler signed a treaty with Great Britain that decided the border between United States & Canada, a British territory at that time. Tyler also signed the Annexation of Texas, a treaty with the new Republic of Texas, which was rejected by the Senate before eventually passing through Congress. Decided not to run for a second term once realizing that the Whig Party wanted no part of him and the Democratic Party didn’t trust him. Whig
11 Polk, James Knox (1845-1849) Polk wanted to mold his Presidency after that of Andrew Jackson’s. To achieve his economic goals he pressured Congress to lower the federal tariff & to establish an independent treasury, and succeeded. He also threatened Great Britain to gain the Oregon territory, or the 49th Parallel. Lead America into the Mexican American War; Polk’s entire campaign during election was centered around Western expansion into the Northern Territories, including areas of California & New Mexico. Polk offered deal to Mexico of 30 million dollars for the Northern Territory property. Polk had hoped that sending Americans into Mexican territory would provoke Mexicans thus allowing him to get approval from Congress to declare war on the Mexicans. A week later Mexican cannons bombarded Fort Texas. Santa Ana the previous Mexican president who was overthrown and ran off to Cuba tricked Polk into allowing him past the blockade by promising to persuade Mexico to sign a treaty. His real intent was to lead Mexico’s forces against the Americans. Polk was possibly the most accessible President of all-time and considered the hardest working President in history. Democrat
12 Taylor, Zachary (1849-1850) At this point in American history the country began to divide rapidly with the northern half of the country being more economically developed and the south having more political power. Taylor was a celebrity and a Mexican-American war hero but a political unknown. He never really seeked the Presidency, however, both major political parties reached out to Taylor and asked him to be their candidate strictly due to his popularity. He appealed more to the South as a Louisiana land owner and slave owner. He never registered to vote and didn’t even vote in his own election. He was second cousin to James Madison, a distant cousin to Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, Senator from Mississippi, was his son-in-law. He felt that the slavery issue should be decided by Congress and he would go along with whatever Congress decided. There was a lot of tension as both the North & South wanted to make their imprint in the West after the Western expansions. Taylor disliked the Compromise of 1850 and felt that California should be a free state and threatened to veto the compromise despite promising to go along with Congress on all issues. His solution on succession was to hang them, an odd stance given his son-in-law Jefferson Davis fell in this category. Taylor died from a stomach illness during the presidency. Whig
13 Fillmore, Millard (1850-1853) Was Taylor’s Vice President who took over after Taylor’s death. As a northerner, Fillmore was the opposite of Taylor and was picked to balance the ticket. Reversed Taylor’s stance on the Compromise of 1850 and signed the bill. Despite being a northerner, Fillmore supported slavery because he felt abolitionists would destroy the south’s economy and despised vocal abolitionist groups. Fillmore felt signing the Compromise of 1850 would end the anti-slavery controversy and keep the North and South both happy. Despite his wishes both sides hated the deal. After his one term the Whig’s chose not to re-nominate him. Fillmore’s presidency is one of the most forgettable in American history.
14 Pierce, Franklin (1853-1857) Was a northern democrat from New Hampshire with strong ties to the South. Pierce was nominated because he was liked by both the North and the South and many felt he was the perfect President during this difficult time. Was a very social person and considered an excessive drinker and possibly alcohol, however, was sober during most if not all of Presidency. Immediately after becoming President his 11 year old son was killed in a train wreck. Pierce’s two other children died years earlier from disease. Six weeks after Pierce’s inauguration his Vice President William Rufus King died. Pierce was bullied into siding with the Kansas-Nebraska Act which allowed Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves if slavery would be allowed. This enraged northerners, one being a little known politician from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln became so enraged about the new act passed through by Pierce that he signed a radical new party that went against slavery. This party was the Republican Party. In 1856 battles between slave owners and abolitionists took place all over the Kansas territory and the abolitionist strong hold of Lawrence, Kansas was burned to the ground. He had wanted to run for a 2nd term but was rejected by his own party. After the death of his wife, Pierce resumed heavy drinking and remained a recluse for the rest of his life. Democrat
15 Buchanan, James (1857-1861) A Democrat from Pennsylvania, Buchanan is often ranked as the worst President in American history. Prior to taking office, Buchanan was one of America’s most accomplished politicians of all-time. Buchanan never married and is often referred to as America’s only bachelor President, some even claim that Buchanan was America’s first homosexual President stemming from the fact that Buchanan lived with his good friend, and Franklin Pierce’s VP, William Rufus King, for 16 years. Buchanan endorsed the Constitution written by the pro-slavery settlers in Kansas, game Buchanan the image of a supporter to the South and traitor to the North. Northerners despised Buchanan because by supporting the Constitution written by the pro-slavery settlers in Kansas, he was allowing slavery in a territory made up of the majority of its people being against slavery. Every decision Buchanan made was strictly pro-southern and practically forced the country into Civil War. It wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated that the South would lose its ally in the White House. In anticipation of an anti-slavery President, South Carolina seceded from the Union. Buchanan denied the legality of the secession yet did nothing to stop it, and within weeks 6 more states left the Union  and 8 more slavery states sat on the fence becoming bordering states. One month before the end of Buchanan’s presidency, the Confederate States named Jefferson Davis its President. Buchanan was more then happy to turn the presidency over to Abraham Lincoln at the end of his only term. Democrat
16 Lincoln, Abraham (1861-1865) Abraham Lincoln transcended the Presidency, becoming an American icon. Lincoln originally only wanted to preserve & restore the Union but took more radical steps towards anti-slavery during the Civil War.His speeches were filled with jokes but behind the friendly image he would get depressed over tough decisions and despair. His originally intent was to halt the expansion of slavery into Western territories. Immediately after taking over Presidency Lincoln sent reinforcements to Union army at Fort Sumter, before they could get there Jefferson Davis ordered his Confederate Army to attack the fort. After the attack four more states joined the Confederate States and Fort Sumter was surrendered to the South. In order to take command over the Civil War, Lincoln gave himself a crash course on the art of war, having no prior war experience but with a year he was nearly a war expert. He nullified Freedmont’s Emancipation Proclamation in border state Missouri because he felt it incited the Confederates and gave Southern states more reason to join the Confederate cause. During Civil War, Lincoln’s 11 year old son died. He spent countless hours at the US telegraph office trying to get the latest news on the war. A year after Fort Sumter the Union had a major victory at the Battle of Shiloh. The death toll of this battle many say is what pushed Lincoln’s purpose from preserving the Union to abolishing slavery. On Sept. 22, 1862 Lincoln offered his Emancipation Proclamation to the public. The next two years the Union had great success in the West but continued to suffer defeats in the East.In the mist of a Confederate winning streak, Robert E. Lee, marched his troops to Pennsylvania, for a climax in Gettysburg. After the battle Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to commemorate the loss of American soldiers, where he inspired Union supporters with his Gettysburg Address. Lincoln chose to run for a 2nd term against George McClellan, who promised to negotiate an end for the war & possibly appeal the Emancipation Proclamation.The Sherman march that started in Atlanta gave the Union army and Lincoln some hope, giving Lincoln 56% of votes during the re-election. His second Inauguration address is possibly the greatest political speech of all time, according to many experts. Just weeks after his speech, Robert E. Lee surrendered his Virginia army to Ulysses S. Grant, bringing the war nearly to an end. Following Lee’s surrender Lincoln spoke of giving favorable terms to the south and allowing the process for America to heal itself, and mentioned giving blacks the right to vote. A few evenings later Lincoln was assassinated at Ford Theater by James Wilkes Booth. Republican
17 Johnson, Andrew (1865-1869) Took over the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination. Was target in the same assassination plot that took Lincoln’s life, but the man charged with the task of killing Johnson got cold feet and didn’t follow through. Was a southerner from Tennessee yet stayed with the Union during the Civil War. Lincoln brought him on as VP to broaden the ticket. Probably the most racist President in America’s history. Was charged with the task of reforming the nation after the ending of the Civil War that occurred during Lincoln’s presidency. Johnson, being a southerner, was very lenient towards the losing Confederates. He turned his head to the harshness blacks faced in the south after the end of the war and provided amnesty to many Confederate figures. Congress had vetoed Andrew Johnson 15 times, the most in Presidential history. The House of Representatives voted to Impeach Johnson despite having too little to go on. Johnson avoided conviction and removal from office on a single vote and was rather quiet for remainder of Presidency. Was voted into the Senate after his Presidency.
18 Grant, Ulysses S. (1869-1877) In the mid 1800s Grant was the most popular person in America and was virtually a shoe in for the next Republican president.In the first vote where blacks were allowed to vote Grant won in a landslide as nearly all of the black votes (an increase of 12%) went to him. Was a habitual cigar smoker, smoking 20 cigars a day and an adrenaline junkie, having drag raced horse carriages with Andrew Johnson and once got a speeding ticket while President. His campaign slogan was “Let Us Have Peace” but his cabinet, all close friends from his war days weren’t peaceful people in general. At this point in time the KKK emerged as the terrorist branch of the Democratic Party and took their hatred out on blacks. Also, many northerners were hostile against the south as they felt the southern states should be punished for the Civil War. In response to the KKK Grant launched the first “War on Terror” by rounding up troops and sending them to southern towns to round up clansmen. Grant successfully crushed the clan and 1872 became the most peaceful year since before the Civil War. Members in his cabinet became tied to the Whisky Ring and Indian fraud and this tarnished his image as President. His 2nd term was marred by re-emerging  violence in the south as KKK were taking over southern towns.The economic problems of the north prevented Grant from doing anything. Custer’s army was annihilated in battle versus Indians during Grant’s term & struggled to make peace with Native Americans during his presidency. Republican
19 Hayes, Rutherford Birchard (1877-1881) The Republican Party countered the corrupt presidency of Grant’s office with Rutherford B. Hayes. A figure with no great characteristics other than having very few enemies & liked by many. Hayes fought in the Civil War and was shot  5 times. Hayes barely beat New York governor Samuel Tilden as Hayes lost the popular vote and their were disputes in several states. Hayes had even told many news reporters that he had lost. An election committee was created to determine the presidency amidst all the controversy. Some feel Hayes made a background deal in order to get into the White House. Was a Harvard Law graduate and was the first to install telephones in the White House. Hayes’ wife banned alcohol in the White House. At this time Union soldiers were stationed in southern towns to prevent Democratic takeover. In the Compromise of 1877 is a controversial move where Hayes removed these troops and in response the last two states re-joined the Union some feel this was part of the back end deal Hayes struck to become President. Upon removing Union soldiers from south violence against blacks increased leaving Hayes feeling betrayed by the Confederates he struck a deal with. The next target for Hayes was Civil Service Reform, as many civil workers were corrupt politicians who would extort cash. Hayes removed the corrupt Head of the Custom House, Chester A. Aurthur. In final year in office Hayes became the first President to travel to the West Coast. He turned down a second term and retired to spend the rest of his life preaching education reform and black rights. Republican
20 Garfield, James Abram -1881 Garfield beat a reformed Ulysses S. Grant, who had returned to grace with Americans following a world tour, for the Republican nomination. Was stuck with Civil Service Reform still an issue and won a legal battle with the New York political machine. Garfield’s presidency only lasted 200 days. Only William Henry Harrison’s tenure was shorter. Was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau while walking through the Sixth Street Station of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad in Washington. Geiteau was a disgruntled federal office-seeker who had been upset he was rejected for the position of US consul in Paris, a position he had absolutely no qualifications for. Republican
21 Arthur, Chester Alan (1881-1885) Three years prior to becoming President he was removed from his post in NY by Hayes. No one ever thought he could resurrect his career and become President. Arthur was known as a New York City party animal, who liked to drink and celebrated his birth as President by going on a $700 shopping spree. Was not a hard worker at all, strolling into the oval office around 10am, having a few meetings, taking a stroll & a nap at 4, then dinner with his family. Upon becoming President he had the White House re-furbished as it was a step down from his usual living quarters in New York. In 1883 Arthur signed the Pendleton Act an important document in Civil Service Reform. By doing so it disgraced many of his former friends in civil service. At this point in time the US Navy was a complete joke with only 3 working boats so Arthur began building up the Navy. In 1888 the Navy was used significantly in the Spanish-American War and its use can be widely credited to Arthur’s expansion of the Navy. Having taken over the presidency following Garfield’s death, Arthur was never given the opportunity to win his own election, as the Republican party dismissed him as a candidate for the next election. Republican
22 Cleveland, Grover (1885-1889) Was known as “Grover the Good” while cleaning up corruption as the Governor of New York. His image was tarnished during his election campaign when it was exposed that Cleveland had an illegitimate child. Cleveland had the largest amount of vetoes before FDR and even had more vetoes then all the previous presidents combined. Grover Cleveland was the only President to get married while in the office. Cleveland objected pensions for injured Civil War veterans. This stance would come back to bite him during his re-election when the Republican Party nominated Benjamin Harrison, a Civil War veteran, to run against him. Cleveland won the popular vote but Harrison won in the electoral college. Democrat
23 Harrison, Benjamin (1889-1893) Was the grandson of former president William Henry Harrison. Was elected president almost exactly a 100 years after George Washington. His indifferent dimeaner caused the younger Harrison to lose the support of his people almost immediately as President. He alienated most of the Republican party. He gave a lot of assistance to the nation’s veterans but almost bankrupted the National Treasury in the process. His administration was the first to pro-side over a billion dollar Congress. Hefty pensions were given to Civil War veterans, hence many young single females went out targeting old war vets knowing that one day they would receive their pensions. Harrison also signed the McKinley tariff, the highest, most protective import tax in history, forcing many foreign manufacturers stopped exporting to America. With no foreign product, prices in America skyrocketed and monopolies were formed as US companies had little competition. Harrison was the first president to install electricity in the White House. Republican
24 Cleveland, Grover (1893-1897) Cleveland became the only president to win two, non-consecutive terms in office. He campaigned against the McKinley tariff, and was re-elected in a landslide. An economic disaster struck immediately after Cleveland’s re-election in the Panic of 1893. 1893 was the worst economic crash in the countries history, up to this point. In protest an army of people protested in Washington, a form of protest that had never taken place before. A debate over the counties monetary system complicated matters for Cleveland.Eastern industrialists insisted on gold, however, others supported bi-medalists, a system that supported silver & gold. Cleveland opposed bi-medalists which gave him an image of being in the pocket of the highly paid industrialists. As a result, Grover Cleveland was dropped from the Democratic ticket after his 2nd four year term. Was the last of the laid back 19th century Presidents. Democrat
25 McKinley, William (1897-1901) McKinley was a big money Republican. He was the last Civil War veteran to be elected President, and was extremely religious. Was the first president to really use the press to keep the public informed and pass news along. During his presidency news stories were abound about Cuban citizens suffering under a brutal Spanish regime. Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico & the Philippines were all Spanish territories at this time. McKinley’s experiences in the Civil War made him hesitant to get involved in the Cuban-Spanish situation. The Spanish treatment of the Cubans gave a humanitarian reason for America to get involved. Also at this time many politicians felt it was important for the US to start claiming territories to setup bases, such as those in the Caribbean & in the Pacific to ensure the prosperity of the young nation. Also, by getting involved Cuba would be sending their rich crops to America and not Spain. Teddy Roosevelt, commanding the Navy at the time, had a huge influence on McKinley’s decision involving Cuba, and strongly pushed the war against the Spanish. The mysterious explosion of the USS Maine in the Caribbean began the Spanish-American War and after winning the war the US took over Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. McKinley chose to run for re-election and selected Teddy Roosevelt to run as his VP. His 2nd term was cut short when he was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition by a Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist who had lost his job in the Panic of 1893. The public was told he would recover, however the prognosis was wrong & he died a few days later. Republican
26 Roosevelt, Theodore (1901-1909) The first “Modern President” who represented the people & not his party. A confident, energetic person with tons of brash & bravado;  Grew up in NYC but spent a lot of his pre-presidency years as a Western Cowboy; Worked for the Benjamin Harrison office; Made a real improvement while working with police commission; left to work in Navy department; Campaigned for William McKinley’s presidency run; Stepped down from roll in Navy department to go to war in Cuba; Traveled w/ the Rough Riders down to Tampa, FL for Spanish/ American war in Cuba; Led Rough Riders attack on Kettle Hill in Cuba for victory in 1 hour; Won the Noble Peace Prize; Was nominated as VP under McKinley but hated the fact he had no responsibilities; TR became President after the assassination of McKinley at the Exposition; Went after corporate America, namely J.P. Morgan; Invited Booker T. Washington at White House; Lead remodeling of White House & addition of West Wing; Became first President to successfully intervene in labor dispute (underpaid coal minors). Set aside 230 million acres in National Parks, forests, monuments and game preserves. Secured deal w/ Panama to secure region for the building of Panama Canal even if his tactics were heavy handed. Created acts to monitor food and safety of beef consumption; In 1909 stepped aside for friend, William Taft to take Presidency. After Presidency went on a year long safari in Africa. Led new political party called the Progressives where he advocated workers compensation, the women’s right to vote, a national minimum wage, unemployment insurance & child labor laws. Ran against Woodrow Wilson but lost due to Progressive Party being ahead of its time. Was not allowed to take part in WWI but rallied Americans & sent his sons into war, with one son dying. Republican
27 Taft, William Howard (1909-1913) Was brought in by McKinley but made a name for himself as Governor General for the Philippines. Taft went on to serve under Roosevelt and they became best friends. Taft enjoyed being Teddy’s right hand man and really didn’t care for being the President. Taft was a lawyer and had dreamed of being a Supreme Court Justice. Taft was largely overweight & would often joke about it. He once had to be pried out of the White House bathtub. He merely tried to uphold the Constitution rather than push bills like Roosevelt did. However, he did more to regulate monopolies than Roosevelt did during his term. Taft and Roosevelt battled for the Republican nomination after one term in an extremely ugly political battle between the former close friends. Roosevelt was extremely harsh in bashing Taft but the party chose Taft because of his more conservative approach to politics. In response, Roosevelt joined the Bull-Moose Party, splitting the Republican vote allowing Woodrow Wilson an easier path towards winning the presidency. Taft was happy to leave the White House and after doing so he lost weight and ended up becoming the Chief Justice of the United States, his dream position. Republican
28 Wilson, Woodrow (1913-1921) The campaign of 1912 was one of the biggest in American history with current President William Taft taking of former president Teddy Roosevelt and political up and comer Woodrow Wilson. Academic background as a PHD, Principal at Princeton, then Governor of NJ. In his first term Wilson focused on “The New Freedom”, which called for the Federal Reserve to manage the US currency system, which continues today. In 1914 World War I began in Europe and around the same time Wilson’s wife Ellen passed away. In WWI American’s wanted no part so Wilson pledged neutrality until German U-boats started targeting British passenger ships sometimes carrying Americans. In the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania, 128 American’s were killed. Despite the death toll on Lusitania, America wanted no part in the war.Wilson re-married while in office and was narrowly re-elected for a 2nd term. In early 1917 Germany declared American ships would not be spared in naval attacks forcing Wilson’s hand to enter the war. Later in the year US declared war on Germany in World War I and Wilson’s speech to get approval from Congress remains one of the greatest speeches in American history. Told staff to ignore Teddy Roosevelt’s plea to be allowed to fight in WWI. He delegated complete control of war effort out. Congress passed the Sedition & Espionage Act of 1918 which made it a crime to criticize the government.Germany surrendered only 19 months after Wilson declared war. Wilson became first president to travel to Europe when he went to Paris to negotiate peace, where he was looked at as a hero in Europe. The Treaty of Versailles was major step in putting Wilson’s brainchild, the League of Nation’s in motion. To get Republican controlled Congress to back his treaty he strenuously toured America to sell the treaty to the people. He suffered a stroke as a result of the strenuous tour creating a political gridlock which ended the hope of the treaty being passed. Without the US being involved, the League of Nations was in-effective and a 2nd World War may have been a direct result. Democrat
29 Harding, Warren Gamaliel (1921-1923) Promised a “Return to normalcy” during his campaign. Was known as a drinker, gambler and womanizer & once during a White House poker game he gambled away a set of presidential china from Benjamin Harrison’s administration. Harding’s best achievement was the Budget & Accounting Act of 1921, which gave the Executive Branch greater control over spending & required the President to submit a budget to Congress for the first time ever. He also agreed to a major arms reduction agreement with many other nations. On the way to Alaska, Harding suffered a heart attack in San Francisco and died shortly after. Harding’s death had a very small grief period, way less than Lincoln’s and McKinley’s death. A year after his death several scandals came out, one involving Albert Fall, Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, who was accused of improperly leasing oil reserves to oil men in exchange for a kickback. This scandal which was dubbed “Tea Pot Dome” was the most infamous Presidential scandal before Watergate. Two books published after Harding’s death further tarnished his image. One book was written by a woman who claimed to have had an affair with Harding and gave birth to their daughter. Another book insinuated that his wife had poisoned him. It is unknown how truthful these claims are but at the time they were widely accepted and Harding’s reputation was tarnished forever as a result. Harding will forever be known more for the scandals then for his accomplishments in office. Republican
30 Coolidge, Calvin (1923-1929) As the VP under Harding, Coolidge was at his father’s house when he learned of Harding’s death. His father, a Justice of the Peace, swore Calvin Coolidge in over the family bible. Coolidge was not very open or social. He rode a mechanical horse in the bedroom every day before dinner to stay fit and liked to play dress up for photo opportunities as either a Cowboy or Indian or any other odd character. During political dinners he was seen as anti-social and awkward around people. Yet, In 1924 voters decided to “Keep Cool with Coolidge” and elected him to his own term in office. He was sworn in by Supreme Justice William Taft, marking the first time a former president swore in a presidency. Coolidge was known to keep tight control on the federal budget and used vetoes to stop pay raises for postal workers & added bonuses for WW1 veterans, while also lowering taxes twice. His intention was to keep government small and business booming. Coolidge marked his presidency by sitting back and letting the booming industrial world run its course through America. His one major setback would be that he didn’t do enough to prevent the upcoming Great Depression that neither he nor the rest of America saw coming. In 1928 Coolidge decided not to run for re-election allowing Herbert Hoover, who worked in his cabinet to take over. Republican
31 Hoover, Herbert Clark (1929-1933) While Hoover is considered a failed president due to the Great Depression, his political career prior to the presidency was remarkable. After WW1 Hoover had organized a relief effort that saved millions from starvation in Belgium. He was the Food Administrator under Woodrow Wilson and Secretary of Commerce under Harding & Coolidge. As the largest political figure of the decade he was elected President to replace Coolidge who had stepped down. Hoover was also the first President born west of the Mississippi. Before politics he became a millionaire by building a mining company. He created “Hoover Ball” where political figures would pass a ball around to stay fit while also talking politics with Hoover on the White House front lawn. While Hoover was a big business owner he felt that many in big business were greedy. Hoover seemed destined for greatness as a President had it not been for the absolute tanking of the economy, forging America into the Great Depression, which forever tainted Hoover’s name. He wasn’t a very good depression president as his speeches were non-inspiring. His solution to the depression was asking corporations to volunteer to create better working conditions & wages. He ran for re-election but because it was in the middle of a depression he became a punch line. When desperate WW1 veterans went to DC to demand early payment of bonuses not due until 1945, Hoover asked General Douglas MacArthur to clear them out.MacArthur pressed them all the way back to an encampment in which he torched. MacArthur never took blame for this & Hoover’s political career was over. Republican
32 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (1933-1945) Won election over Hoover during Depression. Crippled by polio at age 39, however, his handicap was downplayed during presidency. The media kept photos showing his handicap from the public by choice. Was a master broadcaster on the radio & used it to his advantage. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Started the New Deal, a series of initiatives that gave a greater degree of security to all sectors of American life. Wife Eleanor would tour the country for FDR, as his eyes & ears. In ’35 Congress passed the Social Security Act. The New Deal didn’t bring end to the depression, but still won re-election in a landslide. In 2nd term FDR was worried the Supreme Court would rule against him so he added justice’s to tip the balance of the court, however it failed & his approval rating dipped. FDR saw the war coming before Americans did. In ’40 France fell to the Nazis & battle of Britain began. Became 1st president to be elected for 3rd term. Aided the allies while remaining “neutral” until Pearl Harbor attack on 12/7/41. Picked the best generals for war & rallied American. Sent 100,000 Japanese Americans for internment. White House knew of concentration camps in Nov. ’42. Ordered massive assault on Europe, D-Day.Was elected to 4th term. Meet w/ allies to discuss end of World War. Convinced Stalin to sign w/ United Nations. Died before end of WWII, 82 days into his 4th term Democrat
33 Truman, Harry (1945-1953) Took over presidency after Roosevelt’s death. At the time he had only been VP for 82 days. Was a complete unknown when he took over Presidency. Had an odd personality and was extremely shy. He was known for being “whipped” to his wife. Truman joined the army just before WWI. As a young politician he worked under Pendergas, a gangster affiliated politician. As a senator was very quiet and few paid him any attention. He never wanted to become President and his wife hated the white house & rarely stayed there. As president, was responsible for Germany takeover after the end of WWII. As president first learned of Manhattan Project (atomic bomb). At the Pottstown Conference he met with Joseph Stalin over unconditional Japanese surrender. Known for authorizing the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which saved 500,000 to a million American lives. Was the first president to face communism abroad & in America. Devised Communist Containment or the Truman Doctrine. The Marshall Plan was created to re-build Western Europe. Spoke out against discrimination & ended segregation in military. Won re-election in a shocker. In 2nd term lost former ally China to communism. This along w/ Soviet nuclear expansion caused hysteria in US. Truman was attacked for being soft against Communism by General McCarthy. N. Korea attacked S. Korea, forcing US into war. US had early success but reached stalemate after China put numerical might behind N. Korea. Involvement in Vietnam war began when US backed France & not communist N. Vietnam. Created the Department of Defense and established the National Security Counsel & the CIA. Left office as a failed President but in hindsight, his presidency was a great success having ended two wars & making bold steps against discrimination. Democrat
34 Eisenhower, Dwight David (1953-1961) Was viewed in US as a god-like figure before presidency as a general in WWII.Had little interest in politics but was pursued by Democrat & Republican party to run for President, but chose to join Republicans to campaign against previous Democratic party’s mistakes. In 1920 Eisenhower was sent to fight in Panama over the dispute to secure the area for the Panama Canal. General Eisenhower lead troops in World War II as the legendary mastermind of D-Day, becoming an American hero. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death makes Eisenhower the number one American however, he turns down the presidency. After spending time touring the nation as a war hero and doing speeches, Eisenhower decided to run for President and selects Richard M. Nixon as his VP running mate. Was known as a semi-retired President who did very little governing. Brought an end to Korean War. Fought for peace and downsized war effort & defense spending. He began to expand American travel by building federal funded highways in Federal Highway Act. In the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Eisenhower never offered his opinion publicly but distanced self from the ruling. Began sending money & supplies to Vietnam. Economy soared during 1st term, easily getting him a 2nd term. Unrest in south over blacks in universities. Reds win space race. In ’59 Castro took over in Cuba, another loss in Communist race. Eisenhower also started the arms race with the Soviet Union and authorized the flight over Soviet air space that got shot down. Despite Eisenhower’s failures as a President his image as an American never tarnished. Republican
35 Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1961-1963) At inauguration claimed to represent America’s youth & the new generation. Made major changes in only 3 year term. Had a sexual life that came out after his presidency. The CIA came to JFK to propose plan to send Cuban exiles to attempt to overthrow Castro’s regime. The Kennedy approved disaster became known as The Bay of Pigs. JFK accepted responsibility for the disaster & was accepted by America because of it. Created the Peace Core and plotted the War on Poverty & challenged America to do the imaginable, “Not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. His defining moment in office was The Cuban Missile Crisis, where he ignored advice to bomb Cuba and instead made a peaceful decision with Russia to end the crisis. Was president during racial riots in Birmingham. Kennedy approved the assassination of the president of South Vietnam to strengthen the country. 20 days later Kennedy joined VP Johnson in San Antonio to talk about the opening of a new space facility. The next day the president was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Democrat
36 Johnson, Lyndon Baines (1963-1969) Was vastly experienced politician first working w/ FDR; Became US Senate Majority Leader; Beat out by young JFK for democratic nomination; Appointed by JFK as VP running mate despite tiff w/ Robert Kennedy; Hated being VP & was sent by JFK oversees for most of VP years; Kennedy’s always gave him hard time; Bobby Kennedy sent telegram oversees saying not to take LBJ as a messenger for the President; As attorney general, Bobby Kennedy had to swear him in directly after his brothers death; As Pres. was considered illegitimate since beginning as rumors of conspiracies were abound; Sworn in on Air Force One immediately following Kennedy’s death; Addressed nation 5 days after JFK death & promised to finish what JFK started, however, he didn’t quite do that. He won leverage in meetings by holding them in unconventional places such as bathtubs. Came up with Great Society Proposal, which created Voters Right Act, Medicaid, Environmental Protection Laws, Food Stamps, Head Start, NPR, PBS, consumer protection laws & the civil rights act. Took over during civil rights era & found it tough being from the South; Expanded War against Poverty to distract from Vietnam; Won election during Vietnam War; Out of all Vietnam era Presidents he had easiest opportunity to pull out; In terms of legislation some experts say Johnson was most effective President in passing legislation; Granted blacks the right to vote, however, still didn’t get appreciation from urban Americans. Decided not to run for 2nd term due to pressure from Robert Kennedy & McCarthy Democrat
37 Nixon, Richard Milhous (1969-1974) He ran for office w/ campaign claiming he’d end Vietnam War. Had vast political career prior to presidency. Managed by using intimidation and was paranoid about “enemies”. He bypassed Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, so he & his National Security Ad visor, Henry Kissinger, could control Foreign policy. Ordered bombing of Cambodia & sending of Marines to invade Laos. When NY Times revealed the secret bombings Nixon began ordering wire taps of government officials & journalists. Forged positive relations with China to put pressure on Soviet Union & Vietnam. Signed Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty w/ Soviets. Was re-elected to 2nd term. North and South Vietnam signed a treaty, however, Nixon privately agreed to begin bombing the North if they broke from the treaty. The Black Panther movement and Chile overthrow took place during his presidency. Fought against the Pentagon Papers release and fought to hide Watergate incident. Before being impeached, Nixon resigned the presidency. Republican
38 Ford, Gerald Rudolph (1974-1977) Took the oath of office after escorting the Nixon’s to the helicopter, following Nixon’s resignation. During presidency Congress fought to regain power lost during Nixon’s campaign. Was a good fit to preside after Nixon, but spent half his time still dealing with Watergate. Granted Nixon a full pardon in order to move on and pay attention to more pressing matters, however, the general public did not like the pardon.North Vietnam broke the peace accord and launched an offensive on South Vietnam. He wanted to aide South Vietnam, but Congress denied him the ability to do so., thus Saigon fell to the communist. Survived two assassination attempts during his presidency. In next election, America voted for Jimmy Carter to get away from Vietnam and Watergate issues of the past. Republican
39 Carter, James Earl Jr. (1977-1981 Was virtually unknown before running for office. Probably the most honest & ethical President in history but lacked pedigree to run the country; Was a democratic one term Governor in Georgia; His brother made headlines as a heavy drinker selling “Billy Beer”. Was considered a weirdo in DC due to his heavy religious beliefs. Was very budget oriented & wanted to cut spending at all costs even turning off White House AC & heating; Criticized for handling of Lance affair & approval rating plunges; In ’77 announced US Energy Crisis & encouraged energy conservative by all citizens: His “Human Rights Policy” sometimes criticized countries that he felt violated human rights; Inflation became a huge issue; Moderated agreement between the Israeli & Egypt dispute & agreement made  got both countries leaders Nobel peace prize and made Camp David talks a major point in Middle East history but did little to help Carter’s standing. During presidency interests rates increase & gas prices doubled; Didn’t have same vision on poverty as most Democrats; American spirit was at an all-time low; Accepted resignation of his staff & Democratic party started pushing Ted Kennedy for presidency. Called for Desert 1 to save Iran hostage but operation failed; Barely beat Kennedy for Democratic nomination. Reagan dominated re-election campaign & Democratic party fell dramatically. The Iran hostages were freed almost minutes after Carter’s term ended. Through the Carter Center has continued his role as ‘Peacemaker’ as a great post-president winning Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 Democrat
40 Reagan, Ronald Wilson (1981-1989) Lost to Gerald Ford in primaries but in 2nd go around he won presidency over Carter re-run in a landslide; Tended to delegate heavily & president most likely to tell a dirty joke. His economic plans were an absolute bust; Inflation hit a new all-time high & unemployment was a huge issue; Backed forces in the Middle East and South America who were battling the Soviet Union; Was hospitalized after assassination attempt & was near death (wasn’t reported until years later); Many boycotted his financial backing of nuclear build-up; As governor sent in forces to fight against petitioners at Berkley saying he’d use Bayonets if needed; Had a daughter who attended rallies against his nuclear buildup; Started SDI (defense program to defend against missiles)/ a nuclear defense program; In ’83 Soviet Union shot down Korean plane that flew into its airspace, killing 140 passengers. Deployed missiles to England & Germany for holding closer to Soviet Union; Caught heat for joke about fake nuclear war with Soviet Union. In 2nd campaign race vs. Walter Mondale age became concern as he fumbled words during interviews; Made progress w/ Soviets over meetings w/ Gorbachev; Prestige hit high during re-lighting ceremony of Statue of Liberty; accused of trading arms for hostages in Iran (Iran-Contra affair) & caught tremendous heat thus firing staff & covering up until later admitting it happened but he didn’t know about it; Wife had tremendous input w/ advisers; Stock market crashed & tax revenue doubled & national debt tripled; AIDS epidemic occurred & Reagan ignored it completely Republican
41 Bush, George Herbert Walker (1989-1993) Bush became the first sitting VP to win President since Martin Van Buren. Was a two term congressman from Texas,  a UN Ambassador and head of the CIA. Was characterized as a wimp because of his preppy image despite being a WWII hero. Bush’s term was defined by the end of the cold war and the gulf war against Saddam Hussein. Bush was criticized for playing it cool during the fall of the Berlin wall. Rather than parade around the Berlin Wall’s fall he decided it was best to maintain a positive relationship with Gorbachev by not showing too much enthusiasm over the Soviet’s fall. In August 1990 Saddam’s Iraq invaded Kuwait. Bush gave the public many reasons why to go to war but insiders claimed the top reason was to protect the energy reserve of the Persian gulf for the west. Bush, regarded as a very good foreign policy if not one of the best, reached out to the UN and had 34 nations to eject Saddam from Kuwait. After 5.5 weeks of aerial bombardment the ground war began and within hours Iraqi forces left Kuwait. Bush could have sent the troops on to Iraq to topple the regime but decided against it.Leaving Saddam in charge in Iraq was a controversial decision by Bush. A decision that haunted America into the next millennium. Despite this Bush had an 84% approval rating after the war. Bush then raised taxes despite promising not to do so in his campaign but although it was probably best for the country it cost him the election to Bill Clinton. Republican
42 Clinton, William Jefferson (1993-2001) Bill Clinton was known as the Rock N’ Roll president. Was probably the most charming president of  all time. His management style was chaotic and work dress became casual in the White House. Hillary became the first First Lady to have an office in the White House. Clinton’s early years were marred by his battling cases such as Travel Gate, White Water, and filing of sexual assault case of Paula Jones. The Republican Party gained control of both houses for the first time in 40 years which upset Clinton greatly. Clinton was constantly battled by Newt Gingrich, head of the Republican party. Clinton was unsuccessful getting anything going for healthcare reform. Clinton was able to blame the government shutdown on Newt Gingrich. Clinton became the first president since Andrew Jackson to steer Congress to balance the budget. In August 1998, Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky became public which consumed the rest of Clinton’s presidency. Clinton became the second president in US history to be impeached but was not removed from office. He then ended the campaign in Kosovo and revived the faltering peace between Israel and Palestinians. Democrat
43 Bush, George Walker (2001-2009) The 2000 election between Bush and Gore became one of the most controversial all-time. Bush became the first son of a President to take the office since John Quincy Adams. George W. was more conservative than his father but shared a lot of the same views. George W. was a former prep school cheerleader and a cowboy. He was not known to be a very good public speaker. George W. lacked curiosity for details. Presided over the country during September 11th attacks and the efforts that followed thereafter. Bush, backed by the majority population, ran a military campaign to bomb the Taliban out of Afghanistan. He also centralized domestic security under a new federal bureaucracy, the Department of Home Land Security. In 2002 Bush widened his terror targets to North Korea and Iraq. Bush decided to invade Iraq before getting UN backing and getting all the details on whether Saddam truly held weapons of mass destruction. George W. Bush was then re-elected but spent most of his second term dealing with his decision to send troops into Iraq. Republican
44 Obama, Barack Hussein (2009-present) Barack Obama became the first African American president, campaigning around “change” , Universal Healthcare and healthcare reform, defeating John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin. Obama chose the long time politician from Delaware, Joe Biden as his running mate, which became a major factor in Obama’s victory as Biden was viewed as a far greater VP candidate then Sarah Palin. Obamas first year in office was dedicated almost entirely to passing healthcare reform. However, Obama faced tremendous opposition from the insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry and republicans. Republican voters began to despise Obama’s universal healthcare as they felt it provided bail outs forced on hard working citizens. During his presidency Obama faced the emergence of the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the Secret Service Prostitution Scandal. Obama ordered the Navy Seal mission that killed 9/11 architect and AL-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden. Obama was also the first president to openly endorse same sex marriage. Democrat

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