Which U.S. President Made the Biggest Impact?

We celebrated Presidents' Day on Monday, Feb. 16, in honor of all U.S. presidents. Political science surveys have compiled historical rankings of presidents based on their achievements, leadership qualities, failures and faults.

Of all 44 U.S. presidents, who do you think made the biggest impact on the country during their time in office? What do you admire them for most? Share your thoughts in today's Throwback Thursday post.

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C February 19, 2015 at 12:41 pm

1. Lincoln for engaging in a war that allowed the USA to remain intact as well as to eliminate formalized slavery.

2. FDR for establishing the first and correct form of public assistance where out-of-work men during the Depression built the entire highway system and *earned* a paycheck each week from the government. Also, standing firm in WW II after the initial hesitation with subsequent leadership to rebuild Japan after the war as opposed to current outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Patricia Smith February 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

President Roosevelt for creating jobs during the Great Depression and then allowing women to help in manufacturing during WWII

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Robert O'Connell February 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

James K Polk, no question about it.
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tariffs fell
Made the English sell the Oregon territory
Built an independent treasury

Having done all this he sought no second term.

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Bonnie C February 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

So many presidents, so much impact - partly because they could get Congress to cooperate and see that their job was to govern for ALL the people (and not just for special interests). On the one hand I sort of admire them for standing up for what they believe in, but on the other hand they have to get some work done and what they're standing up for isn't in their job description.

Having said all that, I can't point to a specific president, but I can point to programs initiated or continued by certain presidents as being very important to our country. Just to mention a few: the Public Works Administration helped to get people back to work after the great depression; the Civil Rights Act helped get disenfranchised people the vote and improve their lives;and the Tennessee Valley Authority worked to control flooding and provide electricity and economic development.

When Congress decides to put aside partisan and special interest politics, and quit playing games, we can see real progress. Who will be our hero now to bring discipline to those chambers? Even the Supreme Court (with the ill-conceived notion of Citizens United) seems to be stacking the deck against the poor and working poor.

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Lori February 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

Lincoln
FDR

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DANTE GOINES February 19, 2015 at 9:34 am

LINCOLN AND JOHN F. KENNEDY BOTH TRIED TO SAVE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THIS COUNTRY FROM THE INTERNATIONA BANKERS AND CORPORATIONS WHO WAS AND STILL IN CONTROL OF WAY OUR.

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Mary February 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

My favorite is Truman because my grandpa was Under Secretary of Agriculture for him. 🙂

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Juanita Taylor February 19, 2015 at 8:35 am

Lyndon Bayne Johnson because of signing the Civil Right Act! Thank you Sir.

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Robert O'Connell February 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

For the win.

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Tom Gombarcik February 19, 2015 at 8:25 am

This extends the question but I would like to place the first six Presidents as most admired from my perspective. Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison were definite Founding Fathers. Washington's military leadership, than presiding over the Constitutional Convention is significant. Than setting the foundation of what a President should be. Adams, Jefferson and Madison's role in the history of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were extremely important.

The 5th President, James Monroe, as an 18 year old was wounded in battle during the Revolutionary War and served as Secretary of State before becoming President and John Quincy Adams, who as an elementary school child began to see international relations as he accompanied his father overseas and became an early International Ambassador and Sdcretary of State.

I believe all these men contributed greatly to the founding and early development of our great country.

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