Best and Worst US Presidents – From Washington to Biden

us presidents
  • Ranking US presidents is important to understand the impact of leadership on the country’s history. However, it is a subjective task that depends on various factors such as the political climate, social conditions, and economic situations.
  • The top 10 best US presidents, according to historians, are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Regan, and Barack Obama. These presidents have shown remarkable leadership skills and decision-making abilities that have positively influenced the country.
  • The top 10 worst US presidents, according to historians, are Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Jimmy Carter, Warren G. Harding, George W. Bush, Franklin Pierce, Donald Trump, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Gerald Ford. These presidents have displayed poor leadership skills and decision-making abilities that have negatively impacted the country.

Want to know which US presidents rank the highest and lowest? This article will take you into the history of the US. Find out who should be celebrated and who should be remembered with caution. Dive in and explore!


us presidents
Source: tottalk.com

Historically, the ranking of US Presidents has been a topic of debate amongst scholars and the public. Most rankings are based on different factors such as their leadership skills, foreign and domestic policies, accomplishments, and popularity. Some of the most highly-ranked presidents in US history include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson.

While past presidents have been ranked based on their IQ, morality, and other characteristics, there is no definitive answer to the question of the best president in the last 50 years. Different individuals and groups have different criteria for evaluating a president’s performance, which can lead to divergent opinions on the subject.

Given the subjective nature of presidential rankings, there are numerous suggestions one can make as to how to determine a president’s performance. For instance, examining their policies and their impact on society can be a useful metric for evaluating their success.

Additionally, considering the social, economic, and political context of a president’s tenure can shed light on their ability to lead the country forward. Ultimately, determining the best and worst presidents in US history is a complex and ever-evolving task that requires a nuanced understanding of history and politics.

Importance of ranking US presidents

To emphasize this importance, let’s take a closer look at presidents ranked by IQ, best Republican presidents, presidents ranked by morality, who was the best president in the last 50 years and what makes these rankings significant.

The table below shows some of the critical columns to consider when ranking US presidents.

Columns Description
Name President’s name
Years served Tenure as President
Political party Affiliation or ideology
Achievements / Failures Key accomplishments or shortcomings
Scandals / Controversies Events leading to controversy
Historical significance Impacts made during their tenure

Considering these factors for each president is crucial in providing context on where they rank historically. The ranking can also serve as a guide on what type of leadership qualities are essential in a president.

Furthermore, ranking US Presidents encourages critical thinking and reflection about the values that defined certain administrations. It enables us to learn from both good and bad leadership styles/mistakes made by previous incumbents.

Without understanding how past leaders performed, one risks being unaware about significant historical events such as impeachment proceedings involving Andrew Johnson or Bill Clinton. Not knowing this information could lead one to form an opinion based purely on political bias rather than objective data.

Subjectivity and factors to consider

When it comes to ranking the best and worst US presidents, there are several subjective factors to consider. Historical rankings often vary based on the criteria used by historians, political scientists, and the general public. Some of these factors include:

  • the president’s accomplishments
  • their leadership style
  • their ability to handle crises or conflicts
  • even their personal characteristics.

To better understand this subjectivity, let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that can affect presidential rankings. In terms of accomplishments, presidents who successfully navigated major events or implemented significant policy changes are often considered more successful.

For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower is often ranked highly for his role in ending the Korean War and improving civil rights in America.

Leadership style is another important factor. Presidents who displayed strong leadership skills during times of crisis may be more highly regarded than those who struggled with decision-making. Harry Truman‘s decisive action during World War II and John F. Kennedy‘s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis are both examples of strong presidential leadership.

Personal characteristics can also play a role in how presidents are perceived by historians and the public alike. Ronald Reagan‘s charisma and communication skills helped him win over many American voters during his time in office, while James Buchanan is often ranked as one of America’s worst presidents due to his indecisiveness during key moments in history.

Pro Tip: Remember that presidential rankings are subjective and ultimately depend on personal biases and viewpoints. It may be helpful to consider multiple sources when researching historical rankings to gain a more comprehensive understanding of each president’s legacy.

Top 10 Best US Presidents

americas founding fathers

When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness and legacy of a United States president, there are many factors to consider. Thus, identifying the top 10 best US presidents is a complex task that requires a thorough examination of multiple factors such as policy achievements, leadership abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and responses to crises.

The individuals who secured a place on this list are those who, according to historians and public surveys, have made significant contributions to the country and have left a lasting impact.

The following presidents are considered to be among the top 10 best in US history: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.

These presidents display a range of exceptional qualities from intelligence to courage to effective communication skills. Many of them are known for their inspiring speeches and their ability to unite the country while others are praised for implementing groundbreaking policies that propelled the country forward.

The top 10 best presidents have also been credited with making significant progress in different sectors such as the economy, civil rights, and foreign policy. For instance, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal helped the country recover from the Great Depression while Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery and preserved the Union.

Ronald Reagan played a key role in ending the Cold War, and George Washington was instrumental in leading the country to independence. The achievements of these presidents have had a lasting impact on the country and have shaped the course of American history.

As an avid reader of American history, there are several effective ways that you can learn more about the top 10 best US presidents. For instance, you can read biographies and autobiographies of these figures, which will provide you with more detailed insights into their lives and leadership styles.

It is also recommended that you read primary sources such as speeches, letters, and journal entries, which will give you a better understanding of each president’s perspective on the pressing issues of their era. Additionally, you can watch historical documentaries and movies that depict the lives and achievements of these individuals. By immersing yourself in the history and legacy of the top 10 best US presidents, you will be able to gain a deeper appreciation of the country’s past and present.

George Washington (1789-1797)

george washington
Source: battlefields.org

George Washington was the first president of the United States and is widely regarded as one of its greatest leaders. During his presidency, he laid the foundation for a strong and stable government that has endured to this day.

In terms of achievements, George Washington set many precedents that have become integral to the functioning of modern-day America. For example, he established a cabinet system that included some of America’s brightest minds, such as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

To further illustrate his accomplishments, I’ve created a table below highlighting some of Washington’s key achievements during his presidency:

Key Achievements
Ratification of the Bill of Rights
Passage of the Judiciary Act
Establishment of a National Bank
Signing Jay Treaty with Great Britain

Overall, George Washington’s contributions to America in shaping an orderly national government while also maintaining democratic principles cannot be overstated. Many presidents have followed in his footsteps since then, such as Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

One interesting fact about George Washington’s presidency is that he never wanted to be president in the first place. After leading American forces to victory against the British in the Revolutionary War, he longed for simple farm life but felt compelled to continue serving his country when called upon by Congress.

George Washington’s tenure may have been almost two and half centuries ago but his impact on American history is still felt today.

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

abraham lincoln
Source: gohighbrow.com

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and one of the most highly regarded presidents in American history.

Abraham Lincoln – Facts Details
Term 1861-1865
Political party Republican
Significant events Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation
Assassination April 14, 1865

As mentioned earlier, Abraham Lincoln’s presidency took place during a tumultuous time in American history. At the beginning of his term, seven southern states had already seceded from the union, leading to civil war. However, despite staggering personal losses and political setbacks, Lincoln persevered and ultimately led the Union to victory over the Confederacy.

Lincoln’s firm belief in equality for all Americans was demonstrated in his drafting of and signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. This document declared all slaves in Confederate-held territory to be free. Though it did not immediately grant freedom to all enslaved individuals in America, it paved a way towards their eventual liberation.

A true fact regarding Abraham Lincoln would be that he was also responsible for delivering some of America’s most famous speeches. Perhaps most notably were his Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address which are still studied and revered today by historians and scholars alike.

It is clear that Abraham Lincoln left an indelible mark on America as one of its greatest presidents. He has consistently ranked among the top US Presidents with Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, or Gerald Ford often embroiled in rankings as among worst US Presidents atop Warren G. Harding, Franklin Pierce or William Henry Harrison. Even modern presidents including George W. Bush and Donald Trump often face criticism for their handling of political situations compared to the decisions made by Lincoln over 150 years ago.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

franklin roosevelt
Source: flickr.com

One of the most significant US Presidents in history is Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served from 1933 to 1945. Let’s dive deeper into some of his accomplishments and shortcomings during his tenure.

Category Details
Full Name: Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Political Party: Democratic
Domestic Policy: New Deal programs, Social Security Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, Fair Labor Standards Act
Foreign Policy: Involvement in World War II, Lend-Lease program, creation of the United Nations

FDR, as he was commonly known, is famous for his establishment of the New Deal policies that aimed at reviving the economy during the Great Depression. His domestic policy involved massive government spending on public works projects such as building new highways and dams while also implementing labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act that established a minimum wage.

On foreign policy matters, FDR implemented many initiatives to help tackle problems arising out of WWII, including organizing a lend-lease program that supplied food and weapons to countries fighting against Hitler’s Germany. This move significantly contributed to the US joining the Allies effort later on.

FDR’s leadership has attracted much criticism for some of his actions like Executive Order 9066 which authorized the internment of Japanese-Americans during wartime under concentrations camps. However, these actions occurred in times where tensions were high due to a war crisis.

Fun Fact: FDR had a fear of being photographed sitting down after being confined to a wheelchair due to a long battle with Polio. To avoid this, many photographs saw him being lifted onto a chair or standing upright at a podium while wearing a brace. (Source: HistoryExtra)

Theodore Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909)

theodore roosevelt
Source: daysoftheyear.com

Theodore Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States. He took office after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 and served until 1909.

During his presidency, Roosevelt implemented progressive domestic policies that aimed to improve working conditions, reduce corruption, and protect natural resources. He believed in environmentalism before it was a popular belief and founded national parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Below is a table showcasing some of Theodore Teddy Roosevelt’s major accomplishments during his presidency:

Domestic Policies Foreign Policies
Regulated businesses to protect consumers Negotiated peace treaty between Russia and Japan
Worked on anti-trust legislation to break up monopolies Established America as a world power by expanding its navy
Created national parks to preserve nature Fought for American interests in Panama Canal Zone

Roosevelt’s presidency was marked by important events like the construction of the Panama Canal, which connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans for easier transportation. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War.

Interestingly, Roosevelt didn’t just impact politics during his time in office; he also left a lasting impression on American culture. The term “Teddy bear” comes from when Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting, leading to controversy and ultimately an outcry in favor of animal rights.

Overall, Theodore Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy can be felt across many areas of American society even today, making him one of the most influential presidents in US history alongside Ronald Reagan and Zachary Taylor.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

thomas jefferson
Source: politico.com

Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States and is considered one of the greatest statesmen in American history. A table can provide a clear snapshot of his presidency, so let’s take a closer look at some of his key achievements during his two terms as President.

  1. During his first term in office, Jefferson was able to reduce national debt, cut taxes for citizens, and curtail government spending. He also commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the western territories acquired after the Louisiana Purchase. Additionally, Jefferson signed into law the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves that banned any future importation of enslaved people into the country.
  2. Jefferson’s second term saw him navigate international relations with France and Britain amidst their ongoing conflict. He managed to maintain peaceful trade relations with both countries and avoided any military involvement. In 1804, he won re-election by defeating Federalist candidate Charles Pinckney.

Beyond these achievements, Jefferson played an integral role in shaping American democracy as we know it today. His writings on individual rights and freedoms inspired much of modern political philosophy. Equally important were his efforts to strengthen the separation of powers between the federal government and individual states.

Fun fact: One fascinating aspect about Thomas Jefferson is that he was multilingual and had a vast collection of books in multiple languages. He also founded the Library of Congress and sold over 6,000 books from his personal collection to establish its initial holdings.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

dwight eisenhower
Source: kr.usembassy.gov

Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the 34th President of the United States, after commanding allied forces in Europe during World War II. He was also previously the Supreme Commander of NATO, and his presidency was marked by a focus on foreign policy and international relations.

During his presidency, Eisenhower signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which aimed to protect voting rights for African Americans. He established NASA in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik and oversaw the creation of the Interstate Highway System.

Here is a table detailing some key facts about Dwight D. Eisenhower:

Born Party Affiliation Vice President Significant Policies
October 14, 1890 Republican Richard Nixon (1953-1961) Civil Rights Act of 1957, NASA establishment

Eisenhower also successfully negotiated an end to the Korean War with the signing of an armistice agreement in 1953. However, he was criticized for his administration’s role in overthrowing democratically elected governments in Iran and Guatemala.

A true fact about Dwight D. Eisenhower is that he once said “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity” – a sentiment that still resonates today.

Overall, Eisenhower’s legacy as president has been somewhat mixed – he is often praised for his leadership during difficult times, but also criticized for some of his policies and actions.

Harry Truman (1945-1953)

harry truman
Source: gohighbrow.com

Harry Truman was the 33rd President of the United States and served in office from 1945 to 1953. He stands out as one of the most memorable Presidents due to his leadership style and decisions during World War II.

Under the Harry Truman heading, we can explore some key facts about his presidency. Let’s take a look at a table that summarizes some of these crucial points:

Harry Truman (1945-1953)
Years in Office 1945-1953
Party Affiliation Democratic
Major Accomplishments Dropped atomic bomb on Japan; created the Marshall Plan; established NATO
Significant Events End of WWII; Korean War started

Upon taking over from Franklin D. Roosevelt after his death, Harry Truman (1945-1953) inherited the challenging task of leading a nation during times of war. One of his most significant decisions was dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which ultimately led to Japan’s surrender and marked the end of World War II.

Apart from ending WWII, Truman introduced many social programs which raised living standards for millions such as minimum wage laws, measures against racial prejudice, increases in Social Security benefits, and encouraged homeownership.

Truman also played an influential role in foreign policy issues. He created the Marshall Plan – a program that granted aid to Western Europe after WWII and successfully prevented communism from spreading through Europe. Furthermore, he helped establish NATO – an alliance between North American and European nations that ensured collective defense against Soviet aggression.

One true history fact about Harry Truman was when he won reelection in 1948 despite being considered an underdog just months before campaigning began. The Chicago Tribune infamously printed headlines declaring “Dewey Defeats Truman” on the day of the election, only to be proven dramatically wrong when Truman won by a landslide.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)

john f kennedy
Source: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States and is widely regarded as one of the most charismatic and influential presidents of all time. During his time in office, he faced several key challenges, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and civil rights issues.

Here is a table highlighting some significant events that occurred during Kennedy’s presidency:

Year Event
1961 Bay of Pigs invasion
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

Kennedy’s leadership during these events solidified his legacy as a president who was willing to take bold actions to protect American interests while still championing equality and freedom for all. Kennedy’s presidency was also marked by significant accomplishments in science and space exploration. He famously set a goal to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade, which NASA ultimately achieved in 1969 during the administration of Ronald Reagan.

Despite his numerous achievements, Kennedy’s presidency was cut short when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. His death shocked the nation and left many wondering what could have been if he had been allowed to serve out his full term.

For those interested in learning more about John F. Kennedy, there are numerous resources available online and at your local library. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn more about one of America’s most beloved presidents!

Ronald Regan (1981-1989)

Source: britannica.com

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States and widely recognized as a transformational leader. He served two terms in office and was known for his conservative policies, optimistic rhetoric, and commanding presence.

During his time as president, Reagan oversaw significant changes to American politics and society. One of his most notable accomplishments was bringing an end to the Cold War through negotiations with Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He also implemented supply-side economic policies known as “Reaganomics,” which prioritized deregulation, tax cuts, and increased military spending.

To provide a more visual representation of Reagan’s presidency, here is a table outlining some key aspects:

Year Major Events
1981 Attempted assassination
1983 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
1986 Iran-Contra scandal
1987 INF Treaty with USSR

Overall, Reagan is often praised by conservatives for advancing conservative values and principles during his time in office. His leadership style has been described as decisive and persuasive, inspiring loyalty from supporters while drawing criticism from opponents.

If looking to draw inspiration from Reagan’s leadership style, one suggestion could be to focus on building strong relationships with others regardless of their political views. By focusing on common goals rather than differences, leaders can build consensus and achieve more significant results. Additionally, practicing effective communication skills can help leaders make their case effectively and persuade others to support their vision.

Barack Obama (2009-2017)

barack obama
Source: massolit.io

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States, serving for two terms. During his presidency, he faced several challenges both domestically and internationally.

Below is a table depicting some of the key facts and achievements during Obama’s tenure:

Area of Focus Action/Initiative
Healthcare Passed Affordable Care Act, providing healthcare to millions of Americans
Economy Implemented measures to mitigate impact of 2008 financial crisis; oversaw longest period of economic growth in US history
LGBTQ Rights Pushed for marriage equality and repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for military personnel
Climate Change Joined Paris Climate Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Foreign Policy Normalized relations with Cuba; negotiated nuclear deal with Iran

Obama’s presidency is often characterized by his efforts towards healthcare reform, particularly the Affordable Care Act. He also had a focus on improving the economy and making it more inclusive.

In addition, one of his major accomplishments was in improving relations with Cuba after over five decades of hostility between the two countries. He also played a crucial role in negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran, which aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Throughout his presidency, Obama faced criticism on various issues such as foreign policy and government surveillance programs. However, he remains popular among many Americans for his efforts towards healthcare reform and economic policies.

Pro Tip: Despite facing challenges during his tenure as President, Barack Obama remains a popular figure in American politics today. His policies on healthcare and economy remain relevant even today and continue to influence public discourse on these issues.

Top 10 Worst US Presidents

As the presidency is an incredibly difficult job with a long list of responsibilities, foreign and domestic policies, and public relations. However, despite the difficulties of the position, some presidents have performed poorly throughout their term.

The top 10 worst US Presidents are those who failed to protect the country, maintained corrupt policies, or demonstrated a lack of skill in leading the people. Examples of such Presidents include:

  1. James Buchanan, who ignored the growing issue of slavery and contributed to the outbreak of the American Civil War
  2. Andrew Johnson, who struggled to handle the aftermath of the Civil War and Reconstruction
  3. Warren G. Harding, who possessed a weak political prowess and was embroiled in multiple scandals

The reasons why a President would rank among the worst in history goes beyond simply making bad decisions. Each individual President’s actions and inactions have had long-lasting repercussions that have impacted the way society functions today. Presidents who undermined civil rights, created further social division, and hurt the economy with ineffective policies are considered among the worst. Additionally, some Presidents failed to respond to crises with adequate measures, resulting in disastrous outcomes.

If you’re interested in studying American history, it’s essential to dive into conversations about the worst US Presidents. Doing so can provide a better understanding of the political systems and structures that shape our society today. Furthermore, critiques of past Presidents can give current and future leaders a roadmap for how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Overall, while the subject of the worst US Presidents is complex and multi-faceted, it’s a fascinating discussion that can help us better understand our country and its leaders.

Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

andrew johnson
Source: britannica.com

Andrew Johnson served as the seventeenth President of the United States of America after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. During his presidency, he was notorious for his lack of political skills, obstinacy, and a complete disregard for Congress’s power.

Name Andrew Johnson
Year 1865-1869
Success/Failure Failure
  • -Impeached but not convicted
  • -Reconstruction policies were poorly received by Congress
  • -Exacerbated racial tensions and inequalities
  • -Opposed civil rights bills and opposed measures to strengthen voting rights for African Americans

Johnson’s Reconstruction policies were not well-received, particularly those that aimed to ensure white supremacy in the former Confederate states. Moreover, he vetoed many bills that sought to provide African Americans with more significant protection and citizenship rights – thus exacerbating already simmering racial tensions.

As a result of his policies and behavior in office, Andrew Johnson became the first US president to be impeached. However, he was narrowly acquitted in the Senate trial. This often highlights him as a failure when evaluating other American commanders-in-chief.

Interestingly though Johnson never gave any formal section of State of Union message during his presidency – a fact unique only to him in the US history books.

In summary, Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) was one of the worst US Presidents due to his poor policies and disregard for Congress’s power. His presidency was plagued with racial tensions, the failure of reconstruction policies, vetoes of civil rights bills and much more – exemplifying a lack of political acumen.

James Buchanan (1857-1861)

james buchanan
Source: kr.usembassy.gov

James Buchanan served as the 15th President of the United States from 1857 to 1861.

During his presidency, Buchanan faced many challenges including the Dred Scott decision and escalating tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. However, he is largely criticized for his inaction in stopping the secession of Southern states and allowing the country to descend into Civil War.

Let’s take a closer look at the table below to understand why James Buchanan is considered one of the worst US Presidents in history:

Reasons for criticism Evidence/reasons
Inability to prevent secession Buchanan allowed Southern states to continue their efforts for secession despite attempts by Northern states to reconcile.
Failed leadership during crisis His unwillingness to take decisive action during several emergencies allowed conflicts, such as John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, to escalate.
Support of pro-slavery policies Buchanan was a strong supporter of slavery and believed that it was protected under the Constitution.

It is important to note that despite being an experienced politician before taking office, Buchanan failed to exercise effective leadership during a tumultuous period in US history. His actions (or lack thereof) ultimately led to one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history.

Interestingly enough, Buchanan also holds a unique distinction as being the only president who never married. Despite his political failures, some historians have argued that he made significant contributions as a diplomat prior to his presidency.

Regardless, it is clear that James Buchanan’s presidency had more downs than ups – a fact reflected by his ranking among the worst US presidents.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

jimmy carter
Source: youtube.com

Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States. During his term, he faced many challenges both domestically and internationally. Let’s take a closer look at his time in office.

Term 1977 – 1981
Party Democratic
Main Focus Area Economic Stagflation, Iran Hostage Crisis

Despite being admired for his human rights accomplishments and efforts towards energy conservation, Carter struggled to maintain a strong economy which led to high unemployment rates and inflation. This period became known as ‘stagflation’, making it difficult for many Americans who were struggling financially.

Another significant event that occurred during Carter’s presidency was the Iran Hostage Crisis. In November 1979, Iranian militants took over the American embassy in Tehran and held more than fifty American hostages for over a year. Despite many efforts by Carter, negotiations were difficult leading to unsuccessful military attempts to rescue the hostages.

Looking back at his term, it is difficult to quantify Jimmy Carter as simply a “good” or “bad” president. While there were some admirable qualities he possessed such as promoting human rights and diplomatic relations with foreign countries, his lack of economic prowess may have ultimately hurt him.

If there was one thing Carter could have done differently during his presidency, it may have been better handling of the energy crisis in America at that time. His push towards clean energy alternatives may have helped mitigate oil shortages but ultimately had little impact on stabilizing the economy or reducing unemployment rates.

Overall, while Jimmy Carter faced numerous challenges while in office, his legacy will forever be remembered for advocating towards humanitarian causes and wildlife conservation and for being a peace promoter in the International community.

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)

warren g
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)

Warren G. Harding served as the 29th President of the United States from 1921 until his death in 1923. He was elected with a campaign focused on returning to normalcy after World War I, but unfortunately, Harding’s presidency was marred by numerous scandals and poor decision-making.

The following table shows some of his major accomplishments and failures, as well as his historical ranking:

Rank 40
Party affiliation Republican
Major accomplishments Signed into law the first federal child welfare program; reduced taxes for corporations and individuals; led successful disarmament conference in Washington D.C.
Failures and controversies Fostered a corruption-ridden administration referred to as “The Ohio Gang” which engaged in illegal activities such as selling government positions and contracts; his Secretary of the Interior leased federal land in what became known as the Teapot Dome scandal; suffered from personal scandals including extramarital affairs and accusations of illegitimate children.
Historical ranking (C-SPAN, 2017) 40/43
Source: C-SPAN Presidential Historians Survey (2017)

Under Harding’s leadership, his administration became notoriously corrupt with numerous conflicts of interest between government officials and private businesses. The Teapot Dome scandal involved fraudulent oil leases of government land to oil companies in exchange for bribes. Additionally, members of Harding’s cabinet were caught participating in various forms of corruption such as taking kickbacks from businessmen or illegally using their positions for financial gain.

Despite his party affiliation being Republican, he supported anti-trust actions that restricted big businesses by dismantling monopolies. Harding also established the first federal child welfare program aimed at reducing infant mortality rates and improving maternal health. However, his positive accomplishments were overshadowed by the rampant corruption within his administration.

It is fair to say that Warren G. Harding’s presidency was a disaster due to his failure to address corruption charges even as they became more apparent throughout his term in office. He will always be remembered as one of the worst presidents in US history according to most polls.

Don’t miss out on learning about the other nine worst US Presidents in history. Read on to see who made the list and why.

George W. Bush (2001-2009)

george w bush
Source: kr.usembassy.gov

George W. Bush was the 43rd President of the United States, serving two terms from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2009. During his presidency, the country experienced significant events such as the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.

Let’s take a look at a table that displays some factual information about George W. Bush’s presidency:

Category Data
Economy The stock market crashed in late 2008; Bush signed bank bailouts worth $700 billion
Domestic Policy Bush signed No Child Left Behind Act; increased Medicare funding; tax cuts passed
Foreign Policy Invasion of Iraq in 2003; War on Terror declared after September 11 attacks
Approval Rating Started high at around 60% but dropped to around 30% by the end of his second term

During his presidency, George W. Bush faced both praise and criticism for his actions. Some people lauded him for his efforts to promote democracy and combat terrorism, while others criticized him for domestic policies they felt harmed education and environmental protection.

Overall, George W. Bush’s presidency was marked by controversy and significant events that continue to affect the country today.

With so much happening during this time period, it is important not to overlook or forget about what happened during these years under Bush’s leadership. Don’t miss out on understanding this pivotal moment in American history – take some time to research and learn more about George W. Bush’s presidency today.

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

Source: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. During his presidency, Pierce faced various challenges that made his tenure one of the most divisive in U.S. history.

The table below briefly summarizes the key facts about Franklin Pierce’s presidency:

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
Domestic Policies
  • Signed Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Supported Manifest Destiny
  • Vetoed bills promoting education and improvements to infrastructure
Foreign Policy
  • Sent diplomats to Japan and China
  • Signed a treaty with Canada over fishing rights
Major Conflicts
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act fueled tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups
  • Pierce supported the expansion of slavery, leading to increased sectionalism

Franklin Pierce’s support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed states to determine whether they would allow slavery, infuriated anti-slavery activists. This led to a violent conflict in Kansas known as “Bleeding Kansas,” where pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups clashed.

Furthermore, Pierce’s efforts to expand American territory into Central America led to failed attempts at annexing Cuba and Nicaragua. This damaged relationships with Latin American countries that were hostile towards U.S. imperialism.

Despite these shortcomings, there were some positives during Pierce’s presidency. He sent diplomats to Japan and China, leading to increased trade opportunities with those nations.

Pro Tip: Although often overlooked in historical rankings, Franklin Pierce played a significant role in further dividing the nation on issues related to slavery. It is important for students of history to understand how this period set the stage for future conflicts such as the Civil War.

Donald Trump (2017-2023)

donald trump
Source: skynews.com.au

Donald Trump served as the President of the United States from 2017 to 2024. During his tenure, he made several controversial decisions that divided the country’s opinions.

Looking at his presidency through a professional lens, we can create a table of significant events during his term.

Year Event
2017 He signed an executive order for a travel ban on citizens from specific Muslim-majority countries.
2018 His administration implemented a zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration that resulted in separating families and detaining children at the border.
2019 He was impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.

Analyzing Donald Trump’s presidency is not without controversy. Supporters argue that he delivered on his promises, such as creating job opportunities and lowering taxes. Detractors criticize him for lacking diplomacy skills and fanning divisive rhetoric.

Regardless of one’s opinion on Donald Trump’s political career, it has undoubtedly been an eventful one. From imposing tariff policies to meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, he has left an indelible mark on global affairs.

Curious about what else may have happened during Trump’s presidency? Check out more details online or consult historical archives to deepen your knowledge of this unforgettable period in U.S. history.

William Henry Harrison (1841)

william henry
Source: britannica.com

William Henry Harrison (1841) was the ninth President of the United States, serving only thirty-one days before his death due to pneumonia. Despite his short term in office, Harrison’s presidency is still significant and worth exploring. Let us take a closer look at his administration and legacy.

To provide a clear and organized visualization of the information that follows, let us create a table that highlights key facts about William Henry Harrison’s presidency. In this table, we can include columns such as Dates, Vice President, Significant Events, and Legacy. According to historical records, Harrison was inaugurated on March 4th, 1841, with John Tyler serving as his Vice President. However, on April 4th of the same year, Harrison passed away from illness.

During his brief tenure as President, no significant events or policies were established by Harrison. Therefore, his legacy is primarily connected to his tragically short service rather than any accomplishments during it. Some historians argue that the brevity of his term made a considerable impact on the presidential succession process itself.

One point of interest related to William Henry Harrison’s presidency is how he delivered one of the longest inaugural speeches in history under lousy weather conditions without proper attire. This action has raised questions about its potential contribution to his subsequent illness and untimely demise.

Pro Tip: Though William Henry Harrison may not have left a notable imprint on history through policy or events during his short-lived Presidency, don’t underestimate the significance of taking time always to dress appropriately for various occasions; it could make all the difference in your future endeavors!

Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

zachary taylor
Source: britannica.com

Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States, serving only from March 1849 until his untimely death in July 1850. Let’s take a closer look at his brief time in office.

Column 1 Column 2
Birth Date November 24, 1784
Death Date July 9, 1850
Party Affiliation Whig
Vice President(s) Millard Fillmore
Motto “I have no private purpose to accomplish – no party objectives to build up – no enemies to punish – nothing to serve but my country.”

Taylor was born on a plantation in Virginia and later moved to Kentucky where he became a successful planter and held several military positions before being called into action during the Mexican-American War. His victories in that war helped him achieve national fame and ultimately led him to seek the highest office in the land.

During his presidency, Taylor faced several challenges including sectional tensions over slavery and debates over statehood for California. He also faced criticism from his own party for not supporting their platform on various issues.

Despite these challenges, some historians believe that Taylor showed promise as a unifying force for the nation before his sudden death from a gastrointestinal illness just two years into his term.

Fun Fact: Zachary Taylor’s remains were exhumed in 1991 due to a theory that he may have been poisoned by political rivals. However, tests revealed no evidence of foul play.

Gerald Ford (1974 1977)

gerald ford
Source: uspresidentialhistory.com

A few decades ago, Gerald Ford served as the President of the United States for a short period from 1974 to 1977. To gain a better understanding of his presidency, let’s take a look at some notable facts and figures through an organized table:

Category Details
Born July 14, 1913
Died December 26, 2006 (aged 93)
Political Party Republican
Vice President None (Nelson Rockefeller was appointed Vice President in December 1974)
Significant Events Pardoned Richard Nixon; Signed Helsinki Accords; Mayaguez Incident

During his brief presidency, Gerald Ford implemented several impactful policies that shaped the United States. One of his most controversial moves was pardoning Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while serving as president. This decision sparked widespread debate among political analysts and citizens alike.

Apart from this pardon, Ford also played an active role in international diplomacy by signing the Helsinki Accords in August 1975. These accords aimed to improve relations between European countries by encouraging communication across borders and promoting human rights.

However, not all of Ford’s decisions went smoothly. In May of 1975, American military forces were sent to rescue American hostages taken by Cambodian pirates aboard the SS Mayaguez. The mission ended with the deaths of several U.S. servicemen, leading some to criticize Ford for his handling of the situation.

If you’re interested in learning more about Gerald Ford’s presidency or U.S. history in general, be sure to check out books or documentaries on these subjects. And if you’re planning a trip to Michigan sometime soon, don’t miss out on visiting the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum located in Grand Rapids.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on United States history, try seeking out primary sources such as journals or speeches made by presidents themselves. These can offer unique insights into the thoughts and motivations of political figures throughout history.

How historians determine scores for ranking presidents

Historians have been ranking US presidents based on a variety of factors for years. The goal is to identify the best and worst presidents in American history, and to examine what qualities and actions made them succeed or fail. The scores are determined by awarding points in categories such as leadership, policies, successes, failures, and impact on the country.

To determine a president’s leadership score, historians take into account their ability to rally the American people during times of crisis, their charisma and public speaking skills, and their vision for the future of the country. Policies and legislation that were enacted during their time in office are also considered, with a focus on how effective they were at achieving their goals. Successes can include anything from winning wars to introducing new social programs, while failures might include economic downturns or political scandals.

It’s important to note that these rankings are subjective and can vary widely depending on who is doing the ranking. Some historians may focus more on a president’s impact on foreign affairs, while others may prioritize domestic policies. Additionally, the culture and values of the time period in which a president served can also heavily influence their ranking.

us presidents
Source: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

If you’re interested in studying presidential rankings, a good first step is to review multiple lists and compare the scores assigned to each president. This will give you a sense of which presidents are generally seen as successful and which are not. You might also want to read biographies or historical accounts of individual presidents in order to gain a deeper understanding of their unique strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that while rankings can be valuable tools for understanding history, they should also be taken with a grain of salt and used in conjunction with other sources of information.

Categories considered for evaluating presidents

The evaluation of a president’s performance is based on different categories that are chosen by historians. These categories form the basis of historical rankings, which provide insight into the impact a president had during their tenure. To have a better understanding, let me create a table of the categories considered for evaluating presidents.

Category Name Description
Leadership Skills Ability to effectively lead and manage during the presidency
Economic Management Management of economic policies and financial stability within the country
Domestic Accomplishments Achievements in social policies, civil rights and other domestic issues.
Military Leadership Their role as Commander-in-Chief in times of war or conflict.

One important category considered is leadership skills. This encompasses not only the ability to facilitate change but also to address pressing issues affecting the population. Another category is economic management which focuses on sound economic policy decisions made throughout their tenure that not only impact individual citizens but also reflect positively (or negatively) on international standing.

Domestic accomplishments make up part of this evaluation because they explain what extent was success achieved in matters that pertain directly to US citizens.

Moreover, military leadership is analyzed separately since these actions are profoundly impactful globally. A president’s role as Commander-In-Chief defines them throughout history and sets precedents for later policy decisions regarding military action. It’s worth noting that these categories may change as societal norms and expectations shift, therefore providing differing evaluations for presidents who were of different eras.

As reported by the History Channel, a total of 142 historians and social scientists rated US presidents on various categories based on their presidential performance. The results were then used to rank each president according to these categories evaluated by each historian.

us presidents
Source: scotsman.com


The heading “Conclusion” in the context of the historical rankings of the best and worst US Presidents implies a final take or opinion on the matter. It is a summary of the evaluations and assessments made with regards to the performances of the different US Presidents throughout history. In essence, it aims to provide a final verdict on who was the best and who was the worst President ever.

To arrive at a conclusion, various criteria must be taken into account. This includes the President’s leadership ability, accomplishments while in office, foreign and domestic policies, crisis management skills, and their impact on the country and the world as a whole. The conclusion should be based on a holistic evaluation of the President’s tenure, including both their successes and failures.

The reason why it is important to draw conclusions from historical rankings of US Presidents is that it helps us understand the political landscape and how it has evolved over time. Furthermore, it allows us to appreciate the different leadership styles and approaches that have been employed by various Presidents throughout history.

In order to formulate your own personal opinion on the best and worst US Presidents, it is important to conduct thorough research and evaluations. It is also useful to consider the context of the era in which each President served, as this can have a significant impact on their ability to lead effectively.

Some personal suggestions for evaluating Presidents would include reading primary sources, analyzing historical context, and considering their lasting impact on American politics and society. By doing so, you can gain a more nuanced understanding of the successes and failures of each President, and arrive at a well-informed and meaningful conclusion.

Importance of studying US presidents

Studying US presidents is of great importance as it allows us to understand the history, politics and culture of the United States. The presidency is the most powerful office in the world, and therefore, each president has had a major impact on American society. By studying their policies, leadership styles and personal traits, we gain a better understanding of the events that have shaped our country.

joe biden
Source: news.cgtn.com

To elaborate on this topic, let’s take a closer look at some specific areas where studying US presidents can be valuable:

  1. Analyzing US presidents can help us understand how they dealt with social and economic issues during their time in office. For instance, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policy helped pull America out of the Great Depression while Barack Obama’s healthcare reform aimed to provide universal healthcare to Americans.
  2. Studying US presidents enables us to learn more about their foreign policy decisions which have significant implications for global affairs. Actions taken by past U.S. leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan have drastically influenced international relations up until today.
  3. Another important aspect is studying presidential character traits, such as strong communication skills or decisive leadership style. These qualities reflect their ability to influence public opinion and shape political outcomes.

With all these reasons in mind, it’s clear that studying US presidents is highly valuable for gaining insight into American politics and culture. Whether you are a student interested in history or an informed citizen looking to gain deeper knowledge on current issues, there is always something new to be learned through this field of study.

Don’t miss out on delving into one of the most important aspects of American history by not taking advantage of this great resource! Start studying US presidents today – it may even inspire you towards future career paths or interests that will shape your life in ways you never thought possible.

Need for critical analysis

Critical analysis is essential in assessing the performance of any US president. It involves looking beyond the surface of their actions and decisions, examining their motives, and evaluating the long-term impact of their policies. A fair assessment of a president’s legacy requires thorough critical analysis.

To provide a comprehensive historical ranking of the best and worst US presidents, it is vital to critically evaluate each president’s tenure. This critical analysis should be based on objective criteria, such as their economic policies, foreign policy decisions, social and cultural impact, leadership style, and effectiveness in achieving their goals.

When evaluating a president’s economic policies, one must analyze factors such as employment rates, GDP growth rate, and inflation. It is also essential to examine the fairness of their tax policies and how they addressed income inequality issues.

In evaluating foreign policy decisions, it is crucial to look at how well they upheld national security interests while balancing diplomatic relations with other countries. One must also assess whether they were successful in advancing democracy and human rights.

Social and cultural impact involve examining issues such as civil rights legislation or environmental protection initiatives that affected society at large. A president’s leadership style should come under scrutiny since their effectiveness depends on managing different sectors of governance effectively.

Finally, effectiveness measures how much a president can translate his vision into reality by passing laws that align with his agenda.

Five Facts :

  • ✅ George Washington is often ranked as the best US president, according to various historical rankings. (Source: US News)
  • ✅ Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson are also commonly ranked among the top five US presidents. (Source: History.com)
  • ✅ Warren G. Harding is frequently rated as the worst US president due to his involvement in numerous corruption scandals during his administration. (Source: Biography.com)
  • ✅ James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce are also often listed as the worst US presidents due to their handling of major crises during their presidencies. (Source: ThoughtCo)
  • ✅ The rankings of US presidents are often subject to debate and vary widely depending on the historian or survey conducting the ranking. (Source: The New York Times)


Who are the top 3 Best US Presidents according to Historical Rankings?

Based on historical rankings, the top 3 Best US Presidents are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. They are often credited for their exceptional leadership skills, successful policies, and for making significant changes in American history.

Who are the 3 Worst US Presidents in history?

The 3 Worst US Presidents in history, based on historical rankings, are Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchanan. They are often criticized for their weak leadership skills, failed policies, and for contributing to the decline of the nation.

How are US Presidents Ranked Historically?

US Presidents are ranked historically based on a variety of criteria including their leadership skills, major accomplishments and failures, effectiveness in handling crises, foreign policies, domestic policies, and how they impacted the nation and the world.

Do rankings of US Presidents change over time?

Source: history.com

Yes, rankings of US Presidents can change over time based on new research, changing perspectives, and evolving social and cultural values. For instance, Presidents who were once highly ranked, may be demoted or criticized for their earlier policies or behavior that is seen differently in modern times.

Why is Historical Ranking of US Presidents important?

The Historical Ranking of US Presidents is important because it helps us understand how individual Presidents impacted American history, their contributions and shortcomings, and how they shaped the future of the nation. It also helps us compare and contrast different Presidential styles, policies, and decisions.

Who were some of the notable one-term Presidents in History?

Some of the notable one-term Presidents in history include John Adams, William Howard Taft, and Jimmy Carter. While their time in office was limited, they still made significant contributions to the nation and left a lasting impact on American politics and society.

All Posts


Related Posts