Essay:Oxyaena's Take on Best and Worst US Presidents
Here is Oxyaena's take on the best and the worst US Presidents of history, in order of appearance of course.
- 1 George Washington
- 2 John Adams
- 3 Thomas Jefferson
- 4 James Madison
- 5 James Monroe
- 6 John Quincy Adams
- 7 Andrew Jackson
- 8 Martinan Buren
- 9 Bill Harrison
- 10 John Tyler
- 11 James K. Polk
- 12 Zachary Taylor
- 13 Millard Fillmore
- 14 Franklin Pierce
- 15 James Buchanan
- 16 Abraham Lincoln
- 17 Andrew Johnson
- 18 Ulysses S. Grant
- 19 Rutherford B. Hayes
- 20 James Garfield
- 21 Chester A. Arthur
- 22 Grover Cleveland
- 23 William McKinley
- 24 Theodore Roosevelt
- 25 William H. Taft
- 26 Woodrow Wilson
- 27 Calvin Coolidge
- 28 Herbert Hoover
- 29 FDR
- 30 Harry Truman
- 31 Ike Eisenhower
- 32 JFK
- 33 LBJ
George Washington was actually a pretty decent POTUS, granted he had his bad sides like repeatedly fucking over the Native Americans of the Northwest Territories, but he was human after all. Probably the highlight of his administration was his Farewell Address, wherein he warned Americans of partisanship and of foreign interventionism. He also refused to run indefinitely, and instead established the tradition of term limits, which only had to be codified into the US Constitution due to FDR's antics. Other highlights of his Presidency include pardoning all the participants of the Whiskey Rebellion. He also freed all of his slaves after his death, which is more than can be said for most.
Well, he was an abolitionist, and he limited American involvement in the slave trade, but he also picked a stupid fight with France over petty fucking bullshit and instated the Alien and Sedition Acts. In short, mediocre president.
Thomas Jefferson was a mixed bag, he did outlaw the slave trade in the US and bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon, but he also instated the first policies that would eventually lead to the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans under Andrew Jackson so meh, I guess. Oh yeah, he also kicked the Barbary Pirates' collective asses and put a stop to their pirating ways. He also owned slaves, and unlike Washington, refused to let them go free after they died. Fuck him.
Kickstarted a war that accomplished nothing except to further fuck over the Native Americans, so boo.
Little remembered president, but he did some noteworthy things, the Monroe Doctrine probably being the highlight of his career as POTUS. On the other hand, he did support the American Colonization Society, whose role was to ship off newly freed slaves to places like Liberia. So mixed as usual.
John Quincy Adams
Won the Presidency due to a fuck up with the Electoral College, otherwise was a pretty unremarkable president.
Whoo boy, where to begin. Andrew Jackson was essentially the 19th century version of Trump, complete with populist underpinnings. Some good things he did were to expand suffrage to universal white male suffrage, so that's progress I guess, previously you had to be a property owner in order to be able to vote. He also fist fucked South Carolina over the Nullification Crisis, which prevented the American Civil War by another three decades. On the other hand there's the aforementioned ethnic cleansing bit with the Native Americans, so fuck him. Another positive is that he refused to annex Texas, knowing that'd start a war with Mexico, an example his successor Polk should have probably followed. Generally an all around jackass of a president, but he does have his stopped clock moments. He also brought the hammer down hard on political corruption here in the US.
General idiot. So incompetent that his opponents called him "Martin Van Ruin."
Treasonous scumbag who joined the Confederate House of Representatives during the Civil War. Nothing else needs to be said.
James K. Polk
The good thing about him was that he peacefully settled the Oregon dispute with Great Britain, the end result being Britain (and therefore Canada) got British Columbia, and the US got Oregon. He refused to run a second term since everything he wanted to accomplish he did in his first term. He also basically started a war of conquest using the dispute over the annexation of Texas as a bullshit pretense against Mexico, not so coincidentally a bunch of Californians had just revolted and declared California an independent republic, the so called "Bear Flag Revolt", so make of it what you will.
A president so hilariously incompetent he demolished his own party, enabling the rise of the so-called Radical Republicans. He forced Japan to open itself to foreign markets, causing a decade or three of chaos and the end of the long period of peace that the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw. He managed to win only one state in his reelection bid, should show you how popular he was.
Utter dumbass who thought it was a good idea to let the citizens of Kansas to duke it out over whether or not Kansas would be a free or slave state. The whole shenanigan is known as "Bleeding Kansas", and can essentially be seen as a foreshadowing of things to come.
Another shitty president in a long list of them leading up to the Civil War. Endorsed the horrible and atrocious SCOTUS case Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) and his handling of the secession crisis that would lead to the Civil War was so mindbogglingly incompetent that he himself refused to run for reelection, knowing he was a shit president.
Lincoln was one of the greatest, if not the greatest, President of all time. He personally abolished slavery here in the US and saved the Union, in fact he also ordered the Union Army to help protect escaped slaves, and his finest moment was either delivering the Gettysburg Address or ramming the Thirteenth Amendment through Congress' throat, abolishing slavery entirely. However, there was that little incident in Maryland involving the suspension of habeus corpus, but my take is that he was perfectly justified to do so given that the whole nation was literally tearing itself apart. He also defused a potential war with the UK, preserving trans-Atlantic peace and preventing the European powers from intervening on the side of the Confederacy.
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S Grant was another mixed bag, he was an overall okay president but his reputation has been tarnished by Southern racists. Some positive things include him telling France to get the fuck out of Mexico, and coming down hard on the South during Reconstruction. The bad things are he oversaw one of the most corrupt presidential administrations in history and allowed for the Great Sioux Nation to be illegally overrun by gold prospectors and rabid, genocidal warmongers.
Rutherford B. Hayes
Another incompetent shitbag, ended Reconstruction. Move along, people, nothing to see here.
Well he helped lessen corruption in the US, and he shares a name with Garfield the cat. He's probably "most remembered for being shot," as the Head Chef so bluntly put it.
Chester A. Arthur
Signed the Pendleton Civil Service Act, essentially ending the Spoils system pioneered by Jackson, but he also signed the "Chinese Exclusion Act" essentially legalizing discrimination against Chinese immigrants. So basically another run of the mill 19th century president,
Imperialist scum, started the Spanish-American War because the US was now apparently having delusions of imperial grandeur, and violently crushed an insurgency in the Philippines. Best part of his Presidency was probably him getting shot.
Yes it's the trust busting, cougar wrestling bull moose himself, Teddy Roosevelt, the most badass president to have ever lived. Strong contender for one of the greatest too. He helped broker peace between Russia and Japan after the disastrous (for the Russians) Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, tremendously helped the conservation movement by ensuring millions of acres of land would become public and receive the protection of the US Government. His finest moment? Getting shot in the chest while giving a speech, but only Teddy Roosevelt could honestly go on to continue the speech for another hour before getting the wound checked. Bad. Ass. He also lifted restrictions on Japanese immigration to the States and passed the Pure Food and Drugs Act and the Meat Inspection Act. On the other hand he did violently crush the Philippine Insurgency after the US Conquest of the Philippines, and he also fucked over Colombia by helping Panama gain independence so he could construct the Panama Canal.
William H. Taft
Taft was a good Supreme Court justice, but a lousy President.
Oh god we have another Andrew Jackson here. Oh boy, where to begin. First let's get the good things out of the way, Wilson created a proto-UN, which failed horribly because of American isolationist tendencies. He also introduced a progressive income tax and it was during his administration the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was passed. Now that's out of the way, we can focus on the ugly. Wilson was a huge racist, even by the standards of that day and age, it's said that when Birth of a Nation was screened at the White House Wilson remarked that "it is so terrible, only because it's so true." Wilson segregated the federal government, oversaw the nation's first Red Scare, jailed thousands of political dissidents, initiated the greatest attack on free speech this nation has ever known, and jailed Eugene V. Debs, in other words, he was completely shit. His administration also oversaw the 18th Amendment which outlawed alcohol, thereby leading to the Prohibition era, which saw the rise of the "classic" mob bosses such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, so more incompetence on his record. Great.
Really not much to be said for him, although he gets points for releasing Wilson's political prisoners. Next!
Oh boy, almost nothing good can be said about this man as a president. He was a hard-line laissez-faire free market kind of guy, which unfortunately didn't do much to help stop the Great Depression, and in fact only made it worse. He was a great humanitarian though, bottom line is he was a terrible president but a good person, so meh.
DRUM ROLE, PLEASE!!! This man here was the greatest POTUS of all time! He singlehandedly reversed the Great Depression with his New Deal, helped restore American Indian tribal sovereignty, whooped Imperial Japan's and Nazi Germany's ass, introduced the social security program in these here United States, built the Hoover Dam, created the Tennessee Valley Authority and more. The only true blemish on his record was the internment of Japanese Americans, which while a tragedy must be held in context to the times and also with how much good this man has done. Also bonus points for being Teddy's cousin. However he had an authoritarian streak as well, such as his attempted court-packing to get his agenda through and the excessive term limits, but there's no denying the good he has done overall for this country.
Truman is kind of a complicated case to me, on one hand he committed the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the other he desegregated the military, he also enacted the lead up to the Cold War by being unnecessarily confrontational with Stalin, so I guess he's more bad than good? He also instituted Termination, which was a disaster for Native Americans, so he was definitely a bastard.
Eisenhower was probably one of the greater presidents of the 20th century, he oversaw the war effort in Europe for one, so that's a starting point, he also handed Patton his ass whenever the "cowboy general" got out of hand, so that's another. On the domestic front he oversaw the creation of the federal interstate highway system, which was revolutionary for its day, he sent the National Guard out to kick some racist ass in Little Rock, his administration had the highest tax rates on the wealthy in American history, wealth inequality was much less of a problem then than it is now, among other things, but he also continued Termination and he deported hundreds of thousands of Hispanic-Americans, many of whom were US citizens. On the foreign front he slapped some sense into Britain and France during the Suez Crisis, but his administration propped up numerous dictators throughout the world because of those dirty commies, the ultimate verdict being he was an excellent president for his time.
You know, I don't really know much about the late and great John F Kennedy tbh, other than that he nearly brought the world to the brink of nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he initiated the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. On the other hand, he did create the Peace Corps, so.... yay, I guess?
LBJ was another mixed bag, domestically he was a welcome relief, especially with his so-called "War on Poverty" that led to the introductions of programs like Medicaid for instance. On the other hand he escalated the Vietnam War , so "yay" I guess?