Throughout the history of the United States, we have been blessed to have many great men serve in the great office of President of the United States, but we have also been cursed with some ignorant and downright incompetent men as well. There are many who are more than “qualified” to make this list, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to just five atrocious presidents. Here are some honorable mentions: Ulysses S. Grant (Republican, 1869-1877), Jimmy Carter (Democrat 1977-1981), Richard Nixon (Republican, 1969-1974), John Tyler (Independent, 1841-1845), and Herbert Hoover (Republican, 1929-1933). Now, here are the Top 5 worst presidents ever.
5. Warren G. Harding (Republican, 1921-1923, 29th President of the United States)
Warren G. Harding was often adored by the people of his time, most notably the flappers, for his good looks and charming personality. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some positives from Harding’s short stint as president, such as the Revenue Act of 1921 which did lead create the foundations for the economic boom after World War I known as the “Roaring Twenties” as well as the Federal Highway Act of 1921 which was the first major improvment of infastructure in the U.S since the Continental Railway. Harding was no stranger to corruption, as he often rewarded his political contributors and friends with powerful positions. These political friends would later become known as the “Ohio Gang”. The Teapot Dome Scandal would be the apex of the corruption that would forever stain the legacy of the Harding administration. President Harding passivley sat by smoking, playing poker and golf as Albert B. Fall allowed private oil companies to plunder U.S petroleum reserves in a political scandal which was unprecedented until Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
4. Andrew Johnson (Democrat, 1865-1869, 17th President of the United States)
When President Lincoln was assasinated in 1865, many feared that the good work of Lincoln was about to be undone, and this guy certainley tried his best to do just that. Johnson, who saw himself as a white supremist, was often at war with Congressional Republicans during his term as president, and for good reason. During the beggining of his presidency, Johnson was hard at work curning the voting rights of newly-freed slaves in order to retain the support of wealthy, southern, white Democrats. Johnson sat by as southern states passed laws known as the “Black Codes”, which reduced the legal status of freed African-Americans to de facto slaves. In 1866, Johnson would start to break with Radical Republicans in Congress by vetoing a bill expanding the Freedman’s Bureau, a Civil Rights Bill, and the Reconstruction Acts, which would require the provisional governments of southern states to recongize the Fourteenth Ammendment and black suffrage in order to be admitted back to the Union. All three of Johnson’s vetos were overturned by Congress. Congress hated him so much that they impeached him for violating the Tenure of Office Act, which stated that the Senate must approve any removal of cabinent members by the president, when he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton for no apparent reason. He was later acquitted but it doesn’t change the fact that this guy just wasn’t very pleasent to be around at all.
3. Andrew Jackson (Democrat, 1829-1837, 7th President of the United States)
Just because Andrew Jackson is on the twenty-dollar bill does not mean he was a good president. To me, his legacy is one of the most overrated for any president in history, and much of the blame for the U.S’s economic problems after Jackson’s term were unjustly laid at the feet of his successor, Martin Van Buren. Andrew Jackson was a man who was blinded by ideology, and this held true when he ended the 20-year charter of the Second Bank of the United States, which held 80% of the federal government’s deposits. Jackson may be the only president in history to have the distinction of paying off the national debt in 1835, but little did he know of the impending disaster that came with ending the Second Bank of the United States. Once Jackson removed federal deposits from the central bank, much of these deposits were placed in various state banks, which were much harder to regulate. As a result, these state banks irresponsibly released money into the economy, creating uncontrollable inflation and cuasing prices to skyrocket. To make matters worse, Jackson issued the Specie Charter in 1836, which forced buyers of government land to pay in gold and silver coins. State and local banks did not have enough coins to keep up with the sudden, sharp increase in demand for them, and as a result many of these banks collapsed, causing the Panic of 1837 which increased the national debt tenfold. Jackson also engaged in ethnic cleansing, the forced removal of an ethnic group from their native lands, by signing the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830. The Trail of Tears was responsible for killing 4,000 memebers of the Cheroke Tribe, but Jackson still gets his face put on the twenty-dollar bill anayway.
2. James Buchanan (Democrat, 1857-1861, 15th President of the United States)
James Buchanan will always be known as the guy who caused the Civil War because he did absolutley nothing about it. James Buchanan sat by and said nothing as the Supreme Court struck down the Missouri Compromise of 1850, which was the only piece of legislation holding the Union together, with their decesion in the Dred Scott case in 1857. It get’s even worse though for James. Buchanan allowed a minority of pro-slavery setllers in Kansas to draft the Lecompton Constitution, which would have upheld the legality of slavery, by fixing the results of a referendum in Kansas. That’s not all; Buchanan actually pushed Congress to grant Kansas statehood under this constitution. Buchanan’s term was marred by legislative inaction, as Republicans won both a majority in the House and Senate, opposing any proposed legislation from Buchanan while Buchanan often veoted six pieces of legislation proposed by Congress. The lowlight of Buchanan’s presidency came after Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the 1860 elections, which sparked the secessionist movement in the South. Despite reccomendations from his cabinent, Buchanan insisted he could not stop any state from legally seceding. When Buchanan finally realized the need to take action, Congress rejected his requests to deploy emergency militias in 1861 because they hated him so much.
1. George W. Bush (Republican, 2001-2009, 43rd President of the United States)
Perhaps the stupidest man to ever take the office of president, George W. Bush graduated from Yale with the help of his powerful father pulling some strings for him. Bush won election to the office of president after election fraud unustly robbed Al Gore of the presidency in 2000. In office, Bush was determined to undo the good work of Bill Clinton. George Bush showed a lack of competence and common sense when he thought he could pass the infamous Bush tax cuts while increasing federal spending to 8.4% of the GDP, mostly used to fund the U.S’s impearlist policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, to maintian economic growth. It was like he planned on amazing us with some kind of magic trick where we would somehow experience economic growth by cutting government revenue and increasing spending. Well, it wasn’t much of an magic trick; economic growth only increased at 2.5% of the GDP per year, lower than the average growth of the busniess cycle since 1949, poverty rose to 12.3% in 2006, median household income fell by $1,175, the national debt swelled to $11.53 trillion dollars, while budget surpluses turned into budget deficits. George Bush continued to amaze the world with his incompetence with the economy, as his policies were directly responsible for causing the collapse of the housing market. During Bush’s term as president, the Federal Reserve began it’s policy of buying government bonds to keep interest rates low in an attempt to stimulate consumer demand and encourage borrowing. However, Bush allowed banks to run free, and, in the light of high consumer demand, banks made irresponsible loans to those who could not afford them in an effort to make a quick profit. The result was the collapse of the hosuing market and the global recession of 2008. That’s not all, Bush began the rise of facism in the U.S when he signed the Patriot Act into law in 2001 and has doomed the U.S educational system by signing the No Child Left Behind Act into law the same year. George W. Bush, without a doubt, is the worst president in the history of the United States of America.