The 5 Worst Presidents Ever in the USA
Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, and FDR are the five worst presidents in American history. Here’s a look at their bleak records. Which was your least favorite? What do you think made them so terrible? Which one made a list? Is there anyone President who topped all of them? Weigh which is in with your opinion in the comments section below! What do you think of these men?
In 1896, President Franklin Pierce was inaugurated in the United States. However, he soon became a popular target of the British. His son, Benjamin, died in a train wreck. His wife secluded herself in the White House for two years, wearing black mourning clothes every day. The nation was shocked at the lackluster leadership of the President.
Despite his ineffectiveness as President, he was still elected as the second most powerful man globally.
As the very first President of the United States, Pierce was plagued by controversies over slavery. His attempt to compromise on the issue resulted in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which alienated Democrats in the North. The act was a failure, resulting in creating a new state known as ‘Bleeding Kansas.’ In addition, the act overturned the Missouri Compromise, which stipulated the creation of equal numbers of free and enslaved person states. It was, at the time, a kind of ‘north-south border’ state line.
Although not popular in his party, Pierce’s actions were significant. During his tenure as President, he repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had banned slavery west of the Mississippi River. Another major initiative was the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which transferred power from free states in the North to slave states. Both acts inflamed tensions between the North and South.
While Franklin Pierce’s presidency was a disaster, he still holds a place among the five worst presidents in the history of the USA. He led us into a bloody Civil War, a war that continues to resonate today. Luckily, the country had other options, and we had more than one to choose from. So, let’s take a look at each of them.
The 17th commander-in-chief of the USA, Andrew Johnson, was a notoriously racist figure. He refused to enforce the 14th Amendment because he believed that the Union was for white men only. Johnson also gave the Confederate states amnesty for their crimes against the Union. In addition, he vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill and the Civil Rights bill and urged the Southern states not to ratify the 14th Amendment. While the majority of historians consider Johnson to be the worst President to lead the USA, his actions are more infamous.
Born into poverty, Andrew Johnson worked as a tailor in frontier towns. He later moved to Greeneville, Tennessee, where he eventually married and became mayor of a town. He served as a state senator in 1835, later achieving national prominence by winning the election for governor of Tennessee. However, his infamous racism led many to believe he was a racist, and his incompetence in federal office forced his opponent to resign from office.
The Civil War is the most notorious example of Johnson’s failure as President. The war and racial discrimination continued well into the twentieth century, and his inability to act as President led to widespread apathy in the country. He remained in office for five years and was a failure as a leader. But not everyone views Johnson as a one-dimensional figure. The same is true of his lack of leadership and the Civil War he was charged with causing.
After serving as President, Johnson returned to his home state of Tennessee. He was also elected to the Senate in 1875 and was the first former President to do so. After serving as President, Johnson passed the Senate without being convicted of any crimes. His impeachment trial was averted only by a few votes, and he was forced to step down from office. Many historians consider Andrew Johnson one of the worst presidents in American history.
The late, great, and controversial James Buchanan, who served as the fifteenth president from 1857 to 1861, is constantly listed as one of the country’s worst presidents. His controversial policies, like allowing free blacks to drink in the taverns, tore the country apart, and led to a Civil War that lasted for nearly three years. According to C-SPAN, 142 presidential historians ranked Buchanan as one of the five worst presidents in America.
Before becoming President, Buchanan was a member of the House of Representatives, a Secretary of State, and an ambassador to the U.K. While his administration was generally passive, he made a few significant decisions during his term. For example, Buchanan quells the Mormon settlers in Utah during the Utah War. Later in his presidency, he stuffed the government with “partisan hacks” and a patronage system that led to the collapse of the Union.
In the list, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan were the worst presidents in the USA. Buchanan was the fourth-worst President, followed by Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and William Henry Harrison. The list is just ranked from worst to best, so the results can be controversial. If you have an opinion about a president, you’ll be able to share it with other Americans.
As one of the five worst presidents in the United States, Buchanan supported the Dred Scott decision, declaring slaves citizens and further divided the country between the North and South. He even wanted to make Cuba a slave territory. In short, he was a disaster. So bad, it’s a wonder he served as the fifteenth president. But at least we know he was a better man than we think we’ve elected him.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt put a great deal of effort into helping the American industry get back on its feet. His industrial recovery program included the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), passed by Congress in June 1933. It was inspired by federal economic planning during World War I and voluntary trade associations. It required government planning to keep the economy growing, and it opposed laissez-faire capitalism. The CCC provided jobs to an estimated 250,000 young men.
While FDR did make some mistakes, his most important achievement was creating the Social Security system and expanding Social Security. In addition to these accomplishments, the New Deal left a long list of adverse effects. Although the U.S. Supreme Court challenged it, it was overwhelmingly supported by the public, which helped Roosevelt’s popularity. Roosevelt was the only one President to serve four terms despite these negative impacts.
After FDR, three other presidents are listed as the nation’s worst in history. Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, James
Buchanan and William Henry Harrison are all among the worst U.S. presidents. Among the worst presidents of the 20th century, Barack Obama came in fourth, followed by Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.
Another great American president is Grover Cleveland. Franklin Delano Roosevelt served the four terms as President from 1913 until he died in office in 1945. His presidency was responsible for steering the country through a deep depression and standing up to Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Through his efforts, the United States gained the Federal Reserve. But despite his achievements, the world is still in danger.
Warren G. Harding, the 29th president of the USA, was one of the worst presidents in American history. He was a corrupt politician and a womanizer who died before doing much damage to the country. Because of his lack of opportunity, Harding isn’t eligible for the top five list. Nevertheless, Harding’s biography by John Dean paints a complete picture of the man.
His foreign policy was a disaster, and he mismanaged it by appointing unreliable and incompetent officials. Harding appointed some outstanding leaders, but many were also unscrupulous politicians. His choice of Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, Attorney General Harry Daugherty, and Secretary of Interior Albert B. Fall, among others, reflected his lack of integrity.
“The survey results of 55 historians and specialists in American history indicate that Harding’s political career is one of the worst in American history. He ranked second-to-last in the previous survey and third-worst this time. This makes him the fifth-worst President in the history of the USA. In contrast, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and William Henry Harrison were the worst, with the latter’s dithering helping usher in the Civil War.
While most historians consider Harding the worst President in U.S. history, others argue that Harding is a crucial transitional figure in American history. He was the President to bridge the gap between Wilsonian idealistic thinking and business prosperity. Harding’s progressive ideas on race and civil rights are also credited to revisionists. But this debate will have to be answered in the future.