Made by: Benedict S. Gombocz10 BEST AMERICAN PRESIDENTS
#1. Abraham Lincoln (Republican) Born February 12, 1809. Died April 15, 1865. 16th President (March 4, 1861-April 15, 1865). First Republican president. Led United States through American Civil War of 1861-1865. Was country lawyer, Illinois state legislator, and one-term member of U.S. House of Representatives prior to his election as president in 1860. First president to be assassinated. Regarded as greatest U.S. president by historians and scholars.
#2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Democratic) Born January 30, 1882. Died April 12, 1945. 32nd President (March 4, 1933-April 12, 1945). Spoke German and French. First Democrat since 1912 to be elected (and re-elected). Led United States through Great Depression from 1929-1941 and World War II from 1941-1945. Also instituted New Deal to provide for three Rs: relief, recovery, reform. Only president to serve more than two terms. Ranked as one of the top three U.S. presidents.
#3. George Washington (No party) Born February 22, 1732. Died December 14, 1799. 1st President (April 30, 1789-March 4, 1797). Only president not to be affiliated with a political party; set precedent for his successors by warning against creating political parties. Was dominant military and political leader of United States from 1775- 1799. Led victory over Great Britain in American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of Continental Army from 1775-1783 and headed writing of Constitution in 1787.
#4. Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) Born April 13, 1743. Died July 4, 1826. 3rd President (March 4, 1801-March 4, 1809). 2nd Vice President (March 4, 1797-March 4, 1801). 1st U.S. Secretary of State (March 22, 1790- December 31, 1793). In addition to English, he claimed ability to read and write in five languages: Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish. Was president during Louisiana Purchase (1803) and Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804- 1806). Principal author of United States Declaration of Independence (1776) and served in Continental Congress where he represented Virginia. Served as a diplomat from mid-1784; was stationed in Paris, originally as commissioner to aid in negotiating commercial treaties, and became U.S. Minister to France in May 1785.
#5. Theodore Roosevelt (Republican) Born October 27, 1858. Died January 6, 1919. 26th President (September 14, 1901- March 4, 1909). 25th Vice President (March 4, 1901- September 14, 1901). Read and spoke French; could read German. First of three Progressive presidents; was youngest man, at 42, to become President (was not elected because he succeeded William McKinley after McKinley’s death). First president to receive Nobel Peace Prize, in 1906; received it for negotiating end to Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Founded short-lived Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party after being denied Republican nomination in 1912.
#6. Harry S Truman (Democratic) Born May 8, 1884. Died December 26, 1972. 33rd President (April 12, 1945-January 20, 1953). 34th Vice President (January 20, 1945- April 12, 1945). Served remainder of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth term; led United States through end of WWII (1945) with fall of Nazi Germany and decision to drop atomic bomb on Japan, establishment of United Nations, Marshall Plan to rebuild post-war Europe, Truman Doctrine to prevent spread of communism, onset of Cold War, Berlin Airlift, founding of NATO, Chinese Civil War, and Korean War. Popularized phrases like “The buck stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen”.
#7. James Madison (Democratic-Republican) Born March 16, 1751. Died June 28, 1836. 4th President (March 4, 1809-March 4, 1817). 5th U.S. Secretary of State (May 2, 1801-March 3, 1809). Is saluted as “Father of the Constitution” and prominent champion and author of U.S. Bill of Rights. Started his studies of Latin at only age of 12; already been fluent in both Greek and Latin by the time he attended College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton University. Became one of the proponents of ratifying the constitution after it was drafted.
#8. James Knox Polk (Democratic) Born November 2, 1795. Died June 15, 1849. 11th President (March 4, 1845-March 4, 1849). 17th Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives (December 7, 1835-March 4, 1839). Governor of Tennessee (October 14, 1839- October 15, 1841). Negotiated annexation of Texas in 1844 election and defeated rival Whig candidate Henry Clay. Last strong pre-Civil War president; led United States to victory through Mexican-American War (1846-1848) after Mexico rejected U.S. annexation of Texas. Despite being unpopular upon leaving office, Polk has been ranked favorably among U.S. presidents because he achieved his entire agenda; he is known as the “least consequential president”.
#9. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (Democratic) Born December 28, 1856. Died February 3, 1924. 28th President (March 4, 1913-March 4, 1921). 34th Governor of New Jersey (January 17, 1911-March 1, 1913). 13th President of Princeton University (1902-1910). Learned German as part of receiving his Ph.D. in history and political science from Johns Hopkins University, but never claimed fluency in the language. Last of three Progressive presidents. Led United States during World War I (1914-1918) and second President to be awarded Nobel Peace Prize, in 1919.
#10. Ronald Wilson Reagan (Republican) Born February 6, 1911. Died June 5, 2004. 40th President (January 20, 1981-January 20, 1989). 33rd Governor of California (January 2, 1967- January 6, 1975). Started career as an actor in 1937, first in movies and later on television; starred in Knute Rockne, All American (1940), Kings Row (1942), and Bedtime for Bonzo (1951). Was originally a Democrat; his political positions began changing rightward late in the 1950s, and he became a Republican in 1962. Lost Republican nomination in 1968 (to Richard Nixon) and in 1976 (to Gerald Ford), but won both nomination and election in 1980, defeating Democrat Jimmy Carter. In foreign policy, he worked closely with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and British PM Margaret Thatcher throughout his (Reagan’s) second term , which resulted in INF Treaty and foundation for closer ties and reforms in the Soviet Union.
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