In the annals of American history, the position of the presidents of the United States stands as a testament to excellence, power, and vision. From the exquisite halls of the White House to the Washington D.C. corridors, the role of the president stands tall. However, to understand the role and the magnanimity of the office, one has to look at this list of Presidents of the United States.
In this blog, we delve deep into the lives, legacies, and impact that these presidents had on American history. We also discuss the important political events that occurred during the tenure of these presidents. So get ready to embark on this journey through time. Here is a list of presidents of the United States and the life they lived.
List of Presidents of the United States: A Comprehensive Overview
Some presidents like Lincoln, Kennedy, and Washington are remembered by all. However, American history was not shaped by a few notable men; it was shaped by all. Here is a list of presidents of the United States and the way they impacted American society.
1. George Washington (1789-1797)
There are few presidents in American history who are as popular as George Washington. He was not only the first president of the USA, but also the most famous founding father. He was a Virginia planter and had a military background.
Before the outbreak of the American Revolution, Washington spent most of his time tending to his lands around Mount Vernon. However, like other planters, he felt exploited by the British and joined the resistance against the British.
Washington was elected as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, and it was his courage and wisdom that helped the colonies win the Revolutionary War. After the war, when the new constitution was ratified, Washington was chosen as the president.
During his presidency, he remained neutral during the France-Britain war. Moreover, his strong and preemptive response to the whiskey rebellion helped strengthen the hold of the government over the colonies. Washington retired from office after his presidency and passed away in 1799.
2. John Adams (1797-1801)
John Adams, the second president of the USA, is known for being a better political philosopher than a politician. Adams was from the colony of Massachusetts Bay and was a delegate to both continental congresses. During the Great Revolutionary War, he served in both Holland and France and helped negotiate the peace treaty.
When he became president, the French and British were at each other’s throats. In response to the French refusal to negotiate and their demand for a bribe, President Adams sent three commissioners to France. They were not received well by France.
When news of this insult reached the United States, it led to widespread public outrage, with Adams rallying support for a tough stance against France and a surge in Federalist popularity. Despite the probability of a possible war, John Adams’s quick thinking helped end the quasi-war. John Adams passed away in 1826.
3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the USA and one of the most popular founding fathers, was the main author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a staunch supporter of democracy and liberty. He was born in Virginia and had a law degree.
Thomas Jefferson used his words to make an impact, rather than his sword. He not only drafted the Declaration of Independence but also wrote the bill that established religious freedom in the USA. When conflicts emerged between Jefferson and Hamilton, Jefferson assumed leadership of the Republicans.
Jefferson opposed a strong centralized government and advocated for greater rights of the states. During his presidency, Jefferson cut the budgets for the navy and army and eliminated the taxes on whiskey. Although his actions proved unsuccessful, he was able to reduce the national debt of the country by a third.
Jefferson was re-elected and during his second term, he did his best to keep the USA out of the Napoleonic wars.
4. James Madison (1809-1817)
James Madison, a student of history and government, was well-read in law and served in the Continental Congress. He was born in 1751 in Virginia. He was involved in the Philadelphia convention and had a powerful voice. Madison also participated alongside Jefferson in the drafting of the Constitution. Moreover, he also helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. During his presidency, Madison adopted a strong militant policy and entered a war with the British. This proved unpopular as the British entered Washington and set fire to the capital. However, the war wasn’t all a failure.
After some important victories in the War of 1812, especially General Andrew Jackson’s success in New Orleans, Americans felt the war had been a great success. This made people more patriotic, and the Federalist Party, which opposed the war and even talked about breaking away from the country, lost support and eventually faded away. Madison soon retired and died in 1836.
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)
Of Monroe, Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Monroe was so honest that if you turned his soul inside out there would not be a spot on it.’ ” He was born in Virginia in 1758 and was part of the Continental Army. He joined the anti-federalist party, which ratified the constitution. He helped negotiate the famous Louisiana Purchase.
Monroe’s presidency began with a goodwill tour, creating an “Era of Good Feelings,” but this unity didn’t last. Regional divisions grew, and in 1819, Missouri’s request to allow slavery caused controversy. A proposal to end slavery there led to intense debates in Congress. Finally, the Missouri Compromise bill resolved the issue. It paired Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state.
Moreover, it barred slavery west and North of Missouri for all times to come. Another accomplishment of Monroe was the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine, which asserted that Americans should be free from any future colonization.
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
John Quincy Adams, the son of the great John Adams, had an illustrious career as president of the United States. He was born in 1767 in Massachusetts. He was a lawyer by profession and was elected to the US Senate in 1802.
As Secretary of State under President Monroe, Adams played a crucial role in key diplomatic achievements, including the Monroe Doctrine, the joint occupation of Oregon with England, and the acquisition of Florida from Spain.
John Quincy Adams was a strong proponent of arts and sciences and allocated considerable funds to establish a national university. During his presidency, he faced much criticism, but he continued fighting against the circumscription of civil liberties. John Adams passed away in 1848 due to a stroke.
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote, and he was known as the direct representative of the common man. He was born in 1767 in the state of Carolina. He had very little formal education; he read law for two years and opted for a career in the same field.
Andrew Jackson was a popular major general, and he became popular after defeating the British in the War of 1812. During his tenure as president, two parties formed: the Democrats and the Republicans (Whigs). Whigs accused Jackson of an autocratic leadership style. They blamed him for using his veto power rather than collaborating with Congress for policymaking.
Jackson faced many oppositions during his presidency, but he was a man of resilience. He quashed almost all the stabs that came his way. He died in 1845 after retiring to Hermitage.
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, was a man of modest stature but impeccable appearance. Born in 1782 to Dutch immigrant parents, he rose through the ranks of New York politics, eventually becoming a trusted adviser to President Andrew Jackson.
Van Buren’s shrewd political maneuvers earned him the nickname “Little Magician,” and he served as Vice President before winning the presidency in 1836. However, his presidency faced economic challenges. The Panic of 1837, exacerbated by Jackson’s financial policies, plunged the nation into a severe depression.
Van Buren’s attempts to combat the crisis with deflationary policies only prolonged the suffering. Throughout his term, Van Buren also grappled with issues such as the expansion of slavery and the annexation of Texas. He opposed these attempts to prevent further expansion of slave territory and potential conflict with Mexico.
Although he was defeated for re-election in 1840 and later as a Free Soil candidate in 1848, Martin Van Buren’s legacy endures as a key figure in American politics and history. He passed away in 1862.
9. William Henry Harrison (1841)
William Henry Harrison was the Whig Party candidate for the presidency in the 1840 election. The Whig Party favored the ‘American System’ and formed in opposition to Andrew Jackson. They called for a protective tariff to protect American goods.
Moreover, they supported the rise of the national bank. In the election of 1841, William Harrison clashed with the popular nominee Martin Van Buren. Van Buren lost because he was accused of having an aristocratic personality. Harrison was seen as a simple man and hailed from Virginia.
He had a military background and played an important role in the War of 1812. He won the presidency but died just a month into office, becoming the first president to die in office. This election underscored the power of political imagery and left a unique mark on American political history.
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)
John Tyler was the vice president of Harrison and rose to the office of the president after the death of his predecessor. He was born in 1790 in Virginia and had anti-federalist views. He believed that the constitution should be strictly followed. Even when he was part of the House of Representatives, he voted against the nationalist legislation.
He even opposed the Missouri Compromise of the 1820s. After becoming the president, John Tyler did not strongly support the Whig party that nominated him. He vetoed Henry Clay’s bill to establish a national bank with branches in many important states. He was hence expelled by Whig Party leaders. Despite all this, John Tyler signed many important bills like Log-Cabin bill and another tariff bill that protected the northern manufacturers.
Despite their differences, President Tyler and the Whig Congress enacted much positive legislation. The “Log-Cabin” bill enabled a settler to claim 160 acres of land before it was offered publicly for sale, and later pay $1.25 an acre for it. In 1861, when the initial southern states decided to secede, Tyler took the lead in attempting to find a compromise, but when those efforts proved unsuccessful, he turned his efforts toward the establishment of the Southern Confederacy. He passed away in 1862.
11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)
James K. Polk was a friend of Andrew Jackson. He was born in Carolina in 1795 and studied law. He entered politics and served as a Tennessee legislator and later as a speaker between 1835 and 1839.
J. Polk held the unpopular opinion that Texas should be re-annexed and Oregon, re-occupied. Andrew Jackson realized that American people wanted a president who favored ‘Manifest Destiny’ so he chose James Polk as the Democratic nominee.
On the discussion of expansion, Polk settled by extending the Canadian boundary, thus preventing a war with Britain. He also signed the treaty with the British in 1846. John Polk also expanded the American boundary by ceding New Mexico and California.
However, it was during his time that a bitter quarrel emerged between the Southerners and Northerners on the expansion of slavery. John Polk died in 1849.
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Zachary Taylor, a renowned general and national hero from his service in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812, was the 12th U.S. President. His presidency was marked by a profound dispute between Northerners and Southerners over whether the newly acquired Mexican territories should allow slavery.
He was born in Virginia and had an interest in the cultivation of cotton. Despite owning a plantation in Mississippi and residing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Taylor held strong nationalist beliefs. He had an extended military career of 25 years.
Taylor’s military record appealed to northerners, while his ownership of slaves garnered support in the South. However, he avoided taking a firm stance on divisive issues. Taylor’s presidency was marked by his effort to resolve the slavery issue by encouraging settlers in New Mexico and California to draft constitutions and seek statehood, bypassing the territorial stage.
This approach led to opposition and fury. Taylor remained resolute in solving the issue. However, his resolution was cut short due to his untimely death in 1850.
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
Millard Fillmore, the 13th president of the United States of America, was a testament to the fact that anyone could live the American dream. He was a log cabin boy who rose to wealth and became president. He was born in New York in 1800. He became a member of the House of Representatives and, in 1848, became vice president.
He presided over the Senate when the debate over the Missouri Compromise was taking place. He was inclined toward the compromise and showed interest in signing the bill for the Missouri Compromise in 1850. Millard Fillmore’s signing of the Fugitive Slave Act led to his rejection by militant northern Whigs and the loss of the 1852 presidential nomination.
Despite efforts to ease sectional tensions, the Compromise of 1850 ultimately failed, and Fillmore later ran as the Know Nothing Party’s presidential candidate in 1856. He opposed Lincoln during the Civil War and supported President Johnson during Reconstruction, passing away in 1874.
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
Franklin Pierce became president of the USA during a time of calm and peace. Thanks to the Missouri Compromise of 1850, the issue of slavery took a backseat. His hope was to maintain this tranquility by adhering to Southern advice, but his policies, aimed at preventing another sectional crisis, instead hastened the nation’s disintegration.
He was born in 1804 in New Hampshire. He served in the Mexican War and became the Democratic candidate for the Presidency. Pierce’s presidency faced early tragedy when his eleven-year-old son died in a train accident shortly before he took office. He envisioned an era of peace, prosperity, and territorial expansion. However, his expansionist endeavors, like pressuring Great Britain to relinquish Central American interests and attempting to purchase Cuba from Spain, alarmed northerners.
The Kensas-Nabraska Act during his presidency intensified the slavery debate and led to the ‘Bleeding Kansas’ event. He returned to New Hampshire and passed away in 1869, leaving his successor, James Buchanan, to grapple with the escalating sectional conflict.
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
James Buchanan, the 15th president of the USA, was born in Pennsylvania in 1791. He was also the only president who never married. He became president at a time of great turmoil. He believed that he could solve the issue by resisting the Constitution.
He failed to realize that the North would never accept any constitutional argument that favored the South and vice versa. He hence experienced a stalemate in the issue. Moreover, it was during Buchanan’s presidency that the Democratic Party split into Southern and Northern wings. Both nominated their own presidential candidates.
On the other hand, the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln as the presidential candidate. After taking a passive route for some time, he resorted to a more militant approach. He sent the star of the west to carry reinforcements to Fort Sumter. However, he soon reverted to his old approach and adopted a policy of non-activity. He retired in 1861 leaving the next president to fight off the rebellion.
16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
Abraham Lincoln, probably the most famous president from this list of Presidents of the United States, is known as the great Emancipator. He is responsible for ending slavery by signing the 13th Amendment. He was responsible for building a strong party out of the Republicans. Lincoln was born in 1809 in Kentucky.
He became president at a time of great turmoil and unrest when some southern states had already succeeded. He believed this to be illegal and was ready to use force to defend the union. Despite a gruesome civil war between the Northern and Southern states, it was Abraham Lincoln’s resolve that helped preserve the union.
Moreover, Abraham Lincoln also signed the Emancipation Proclamation Act which freed the slaves within the Confederacy. Lincoln was reelected as president, however, he met an untimely death when he was assassinated in 1865. His words still echo in the hearts and minds of people and are inscribed in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. ”
17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
When Abraham Lincoln died, Andrew Johnson had to take the reigns of presidency. Although he was an honest and hardworking man, he was no match for the radical republicans in Congress who were ruthless in their opposition. He was born in 1808 in North Carolina and was quite poor. As a young politician, he was an excellent speaker and championed for the rights of the common man.
During civil war, Johnson remained in the Senate angering the Southerners. However, this made him a hero in the eyes of most northerners. When Lincoln died, Johnson became responsible for reconstructing the former Confederate states. In March 1867, the Radicals implemented their own Reconstruction plan, which involved putting southern states under military control. They also passed laws that limited the powers of the President. In 1875, Tennessee elected Johnson to the Senate, but he passed away a few months later.
18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
Late in the administration of Andrew Johnson, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant quarreled with the President and aligned himself with the Radical Republicans. He was, as the symbol of Union victory during the Civil War, their logical candidate for President in 1868. Due to his continued victory in the Civil war, Lincoln had promoted him to General-in-Chief in 1864. When he became president, he presided over the government just as had presided over his army. He also added a lot of his army staff to the white house.
Additionally, Grant permitted Radical Reconstruction to proceed in the South, occasionally reinforcing it with military intervention. Following his term as President, Grant entered into a business partnership that faced financial failure. To make money, he ended up writing his personal memoirs. Shortly after finishing the final page in 1885, he passed away.
19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
Rutherford B. Hayes, the beneficiary of one of the most fiercely disputed elections in American history, assumed the presidency with dignity, honesty, and a commitment to moderate reform. Born in Ohio in 1822, Hayes received his education at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. He embarked on a successful career as a Whig lawyer in Cincinnati. Hayes’s Civil War service saw him wounded in action and rising to the rank of brevet major general. Even while serving in the Army, he was elected to the House of Representatives but refused to campaign, stating that officers should not abandon their duty to electioneer.
Hayes became the Republican presidential candidate in 1876, facing off against Samuel J. Tilden. Hayes secured a narrow victory in a contested election, thanks to disputed electoral votes in several states. His presidency was marked by a commitment to merit-based appointments and efforts to protect the rights of African Americans in the South while advocating for local self-government. Hayes chose to serve only one term and retired in 1881 to his Ohio home, where he passed away in 1893.
20. James A. Garfield (1881)
James A. Garfiedl was the last of the log cabin presidents. He was born in Ohio in 1831. Garfield was an honest president and won over some of the lost prestige for the presidency during the reconstruction period. During the secession crisis, Garfield advocated for coercive means to bring back the states to the union. Garfield was a popular Republican; he won re-election in the House of Representatives and became the leading Republican in the house. In terms of foreign affairs, President Garfield’s Secretary of State extended an invitation for a conference among all American republics to convene in Washington in 1882. Unfortunately, this conference never came to fruition. Tragically, on July 2, 1881, in a Washington train station, the President was shot by a disgruntled attorney who had sought a consular position.
21. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)
Dignified, tall and handsome, that is how most described Chester A. Arthur. He was born in 1829 in Vermont and was admitted into bar where he practiced law. He was the quartermaster general for the state of New York in the Civil War. Arthur was eager to prove himself and fight off the machine politics. Under his presidency, in 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton act. This established the Bipartisan Civil Service commission. Moreover, it provided a classified system and ensured that enrollments happened only through the competitive written examinations. Arthur was also successful in lowering down tariffs and enacted the first general federal immigration law. Of President Arthur, Publisher Alexander wrote: “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired … more generally respected.” President Chester Arthur passed away in 1886 due to a fatal kidney disease.
22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)
Grover Cleveland was the first democrat president who was elected after the Civil War. Moreover, he is also the only president who had two non-consecutive presidential terms. Born in 1837 in Cleveland and raised in New York, he entered political prominence at just 44. He became president because he had the support from both Democrats and reform Republicans, who did not like his opponent. As president, he adopted a policy that restricted favoring any economic group. Cleveland also vetoed many bills that asked for pension bills to Civil War veterans because of their fraudulent nature. Additionally, he signed the interstate Commerce act, which was the first law that attempted federal regulation of the railroads. Cleveland won a second presidency and died in 1908.
23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
Benjamin Harrison conducted one of the first ‘front-porch’ campaigns, where he delivered very short speeches to all delegations who came to him in Indianapolis. He was born in 1833 in Cincinnati. He practiced law and campaigned hard for the republican party. Later in 1880, he became a senator where he championed for the rights for Indians. During his presidency, Benjamin Harrison signed many appropriation bills for internal improvements, provided subsidies for steamship lines and signed bills for naval expansion. Moreover, Harrison signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act that helped commerce and trade from unlawful restraint and monopolies. During his tenure, the severest issue he faced was the issue with tariffs. Due to a tariff surplus, business was hurting. However, Harrison made the tariff more acceptable by writing reciprocity provisions. After his tenure ended, Harrison left office and returned to his city, where he died in 1901.
24. Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) – Second non-consecutive term
Grover Cleveland was the first democrat who was returned to office four years after having their first presidency. He became president after getting the support from both reformed Republicans and democrats. In his second tenure, he experienced acute depression.
During his tenure, he faced many issues. However, he addressed the Treasury crisis directly, securing the repeal of the mildly inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act and maintaining the Treasury’s gold reserve with Wall Street’s assistance. Moreover, during the railroad strike in Chicago, he deployed Federal troops to enforce an injunction, displaying a no-nonsense approach that resonated with many Americans. After leaving office, Cleveland retired in Princeton, New Jersey, and passed away in 1908.
25. William McKinley (1897-1901)
William McKinley, the 25th president of the USA, led the nation to victory in the Spanish-American war. He promoted American industry by raising the protective tariffs on foreign goods. McKinley became president in 1897 after winning popular votes. He was born in Ohio in 1843. He was a lawyer by profession, however when the civil war broke out, he enlisted in the Union Army. Before becoming the president, he was the leading republican tariff expert in the house of representative. During his tenure, American industries flourished at an unprecedented rate. It was during his presidency that the United States defeated the Spanish fleet near Santiago harbor in Cuba, captured Manila in the Philippines, and took control of Puerto Rico. Known for his attentiveness to public sentiment, McKinley sensed growing imperialistic desires during a nationwide tour. As a result, the United States annexed territories like the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Sadly, McKinley’s second term ended tragically in September 1901 when he was shot by a deranged anarchist,
26. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
In this list of presidents of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt stands out because of his exemplary leadership qualities. He was not only the youngest president in the history of the USA, but his presidency also brought a lot of enthusiasm and excitement in the country. He was responsible for leading the progressive reforms and creating a strong foreign policy for the states. He broadened the use of execute power and believed himself to be the ‘steward of the people’. Theodore Roosevelt was born in 1858 in New York city.
Before becoming the president, he served in the Spanish-American war, where he was declared as one of the most conspicuous heroes. President Roosevelt emerged as the ‘trustbuster’ between the labor and the government, favoring none and guaranteeing justice to both. He also propelled America into adopting a more active role in the world politics. He mediated between the Russian-Japanese war and also ensured the construction of the Great Panama Canal. Like his predecessor, he was also assassinated by a fanatic. Although he recovered, his role in politics declined after that.
27. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
William Howard Taft was the 27th president of the United States. After his tenure ended for presidency, he also became the chief justice of the country and is so far the only person to have served both offices. He was born in 1857 in Cincinnati and practiced law. He was an excellent jurist and a superb administrator. However, he was a very poor politician and spent most of his presidency juggling between the conservatives and the progressives. Taft did not believe that presidential powers should be stretched and adopted the strict legal ways to meet ends. He also continued the high tariff rates and antagonized the progressives by his many reforms. In their opposition to his presidency, Progressives ignored the fact that William Taft introduced a postal savings system and improved the interstate commerce commission system. After his presidency ended, he became the professor of law at Yale and, later, the chief Justice of the states. He held this position until his death in 1930.
28. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
Woodrow Wilson, one of the most important leaders of the United States, was the 28th president. He broke the principle of neutrality adopted by the states and led America into World War 1 in order to “make the world safe for democracy.” He believed himself to be the personal representative of people. Born in Virginia in 1856, he had seen war up close. He became a young conservative professor of political science. Other progressives in the party saw him as president material and nominated him for the seat in the 1912 Democratic convention. His main campaign agenda was called ‘New Freedom’.
He emphasized for states rights and rise in individualism. He promoted three main acts of legislation during his tenure: the Underwood Act, the passage of the Federal Reserve Act and antitrust legislation. When the war broke out, Woodrow Wilson was of the opinion that the United States could not remain neutral. The involvement of the USA in the war tipped the balance and helped the Allies win. It was Wilson who presented the famous fourteen points that led to the creation of the League of Nations. Additionally, he also presented the treaty of Versailles which failed in the senate. Wilson suffered a stroke, and later passed away in 1924.
29. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States (1921-1923), faced a scandal-ridden presidency. He was known for his embrace of technology and some progressive views. Born in Ohio in 1865, he started as a newspaper publisher and later entered politics, serving in various roles, including Lieutenant Governor and Senator. Harding’s presidential campaign in 1920 emphasized a return to normalcy and opposed the League of Nations, a stance that earned him a significant victory. In office, Republicans controlled the legislative agenda, rolling back wartime controls, cutting taxes, and imposing immigration restrictions. Despite some economic improvement, his administration was marred by corruption scandals.
30. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Many Americans were enjoying the material prosperity of the 1920 era when Calvin Coolidge took on the mantle of presidency. However, he wanted to preserve the moral and economic aspects of society and reestablish the old norms. He was born in Plymouth in 1872 and was known for his exemplary character. He started as a councilman in Northampton and soon became a governor of Massachusetts. As a conservative president, he wanted to adopt a policy of isolation in foreign policy and provide limited aid to farmers. Additionally, Coolidge was known for his inactivity; he was a president who seldom interfered in business and economic matters and let matters be. He was also a quiet person and was famous for barely maintaining conversations with friends and family. When the great depression hit American streets, Coolidge was in retirement and didn’t stand for elections again. He died in 1933.
31. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States received the award of the ‘The Great Humanitarian’ because he fed Europe after the first world War. He was born in Iowa village in 1874 and graduated as a mining engineer. When Hoover turned 40, he was asked by the American Consul General to get the American tourists home from a war torn country. It was his efforts that brought around 1,20,000 Americans home.
After serving on the commerce committee under Coolidge, Hoover became the presidential nominee for the Republicans in 1928. When the great depression hit, Hoover tried to cut the federal budget and reduce taxes. He also called for the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to aid business and introduce banking reform. However, he received much opposition and was blamed for the ongoing crisis. He could not get a second nomination, but continued serving in commissions under the presidency of Truman and Eisenhower. He died in 1964 at the age of 90.
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
The name of Franklin D. Roosevelt is synonymous with success and victory. He is compared to the likes of Washington and Lincoln when it comes to crisis management. He became president at the peak of Great Depression and helped bring America out of the crisis. He was born in 1882 in Hyde Park and was a lawyer by profession. He was a Democrat and served as the Assistant Secretary in the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. When he was elected, almost 13,000,000 Americans had lost their jobs and almost every bank in the country closed down. He initiated a set of 100-day reforms to bring some calm to the chaos.
His New Deal program brought some recovery. He also introduced new tax on the wealthy and the banks and initiated a massive relief program. It was during his tenure that he introduced reforms allowing the government to meddle in the regulation of economy. He also expanded the Monroe Doctrine and enhanced the role of the USA in the world politics. He realized that the world politics will be shaped by US-Russisa relations. He thus put a lot of thought in the formation of the United Nations. Roosevelt’s health deteriorated in his fourth tenure, and he passed away in 1945.
33. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
Harry Truman became the 33rd President of the United States in April 1945, thrust into office with limited knowledge of critical wartime issues, such as the atomic bomb and Soviet relations. Born in Missouri in 1884, he became a Senator in 1934. As President, Truman faced momentous decisions, including dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to Japan’s surrender.
He played a pivotal role in the formation of the United Nations and presented the Fair Deal, advocating for social and economic reforms. On the international stage, Truman initiated the Truman Doctrine to aid Turkey and Greece against Soviet pressure, and he oversaw the Marshall Plan’s economic recovery efforts in Europe. He also responded decisively to the Berlin Blockade by launching an airlift and helped establish NATO. Truman’s presidency saw the Korean War, where he kept the conflict limited to avoid a larger conflict. He retired in 1953 and passed away in 1972.
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of The United States for two consecutive terms. He brought a lot of prestige to his position after claiming victories in Europe during the 2nd world war. He also eased some tensions of the Cold War. He adopted the policy of ‘Modern Republicanism’ and believed that America was the most productive nation on the face of the planet. Eisenhower was born in Texas in 1890 in Kansas. He managed to reduce tensions with Russia and also signed a truce that brought peace between North and South Korea.
On the domestic front, Eisenhower continued policies from the Fair and the New deal and balanced the budget. He introduced desegregation policies; his famous quote: “There must be no second-class citizens in this country,” gained him much prominence. Before he retired, he introduced programs like ‘Atoms for Peace’ to ensure world peace. He also advocated that US maintain a good military strength while also acting cautiously in world affairs. He passed away in 1969.
35. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
John F. Kennedy, the youngest president elected to presidency, was known for his extreme vigor and charisma. He was born in 1917 in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard. After serving in the navy for some time, he became a Congressman from the democratic party and also served in the senate. He gained prominence after millions watched him debate the Republican nominee Richard M. Nixon on television. After gaining a narrow margin in the popular vote, he became the first Roman Catholic president of the United States.
As president, he launched his campaign to get US moving again. He introduced economic programs and vigorous programs to enhance equality and equity within the US. Civil rights legislations also saw a boom during his presidency. It was also Kennedy who helped resolve the Cuban crisis in 1962 and eased tensions with Russia. His presidency hence brought hope of a peaceful new world with the help of test ban treaty of 1963. His presidency was cut short when he was shot and assasinated in 1963.
36. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency in November 1963 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He aimed to create “A Great Society” for the American people. Born in Texas in 1908, he experienced rural poverty growing up and worked his way through college. Johnson’s political career began when he campaigned successfully for the House of Representatives in 1937. During World War II, he served in the Navy and won a Silver Star. Following Kennedy’s assassination, Johnson became President and swiftly pushed for civil rights legislation and a tax cut.
In 1964, he won the presidency in a landslide and initiated the Great Society program, focusing on education, healthcare (Medicare), urban renewal, poverty reduction, and more. Johnson also championed space exploration. However, two crises overshadowed his presidency. The first was civil unrest in black communities, despite his efforts against segregation. The second was the Vietnam War, with escalating conflict and controversy. Johnson withdrew from re-election to focus on peace negotiations, but did not see their success. He passed away suddenly from a heart attack on January 22, 1973, shortly after leaving office.
37. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
Richard Nixon is the only president who resigned from the office of the presidency. He was the 37th president of the states and served as a senator in California. Nixon was responsible for improving US-Soviet relations and for ending the Vietnam War. He was born in 1913 in California and was a lawyer by profession. During the Second World War, he served in the Navy and was later elected to Congress. During his presidency, he introduced many anticrime laws and was actively involved in environmental programs.
Moreover, it was during his tenure that America first landed on the moon. He also signed treaties with both the Soviet Union and China and helped ease tensions with the two. Nixon also signed an accord with Vietnam and ended American involvement abroad. The Watergate scandal indicted Nixon, and he resigned because he believed that America needed to heal from this. He spent the rest of his life acting as an elder statesman and writing books on foreign policy. He passed away in 1994.
38. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
When Gerald Ford became president of the United States, uncertainty prevailed in the country. He had to tackle rising inflation, the aftermaths of the Watergate scandal and work towards solving the depressed economy. Additionally, he also had to ensure world peace and continue supporting American endeavors outside. He was born in Nebraska in 1913 and served 25 years in Congress. He became popular for dealing with his affairs with integrity and openness. During his first year of presidency, he tried to curb inflation and vetoed around 39 measures. He also tried to limit military budgeting.
He was a conservative when it came to fiscal affairs and a moderate when it came to domestic policies. He reduced taxes and eased governmental controls on the market. Additionally, his measures help prevent a new war in the Middle East; he provided help to Egypt and Israel and mediated between them. Another notable contribution of Ford was that he, along with the Soviet president, put a limit on military weapons. Among the list of presidents of the United States, Ford was one of the oldest US presidents and died in 2006.
39. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Jimmy Carter, known for mediating between nations and working towards solving international conflicts, was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. He was a strong advocate of human rights and spent most of his presidency working for social development. Jimmy Carter was born in 1924 in Georgia and served as a naval officer. After becoming president, he was met with insurmountable challenges, mainly rising inflation and unemployment. He worked tirelessly and was able to increase the number of jobs by eight million by the end of his presidency. He also took on civil service reforms and undertook environmental protection policies.
He was a mediator and a signatory of the Camp David Agreement of 1978 that helped bring Egypt and Israel together. Additionally, he helped establish close relations with China and completed negotiations for the SALT II treaty with the Soviets. During his last days in the office, he had to deal with Iran holding American citizen’s captive. After difficult negotiations with Iran, these hostages were released. Currently, Jimmy Carter is living in hospice care along with his wife.
40. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
Ronald Reagan, a popular man in this list of presidents of the United States, was the 40th man to hold this office. He served the presidency twice. Reagan began his terms by undertaking his innovative program: the Reagan Revolution. This helped empower the American people and reduce their dependency on the government. Born in 1911 in Illinois, he spent most of his life pursuing an acting career and participating in 53 films. After winning the Republican presidential nomination, he ran alongside George Bush.
During his presidency, he stimulated economic growth and strengthened national defense measures. His foreign policy measures were equally impressive. He sought to achieve ‘peace through strength’. He increased defense spending by 35 percent and improved US-Soviet relations. Reagan also negotiated a treaty with Gorbachev to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles and took military action against Libya in response to terrorism. He ensured oil flow in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war and supported anti-Communist insurgencies globally, reflecting the Reagan Doctrine. He passed away in 2004.
41. George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
The 41st president of the United States, George H. W. Bush, took on the presidency when the world was changing dramatically. His goal was to regain traditional American values and make America a kinder nation. He was born in 1924 in Milton; he enlisted in the armed forces and flew combat missions during the Second World War. Before getting elected to office, he was chosen by Ronald Reagan to be the nominee for vice president. During his presidency, the cold war ended and the Soviet Union fell. He also saw the falling of the Berlin war and the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachov, the Soviet president.
He worked hard to maintain democracy in the new formed nations. Additionally, Bush sent around 400,000 US troops to Kuwait. This was to push back Saddam Hussain, who invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia. It was Bush’s efforts in the United Nations that helped stop Hussain. He won outside, but things inside America weren’t so smooth. Bush faced a lot of criticism because of rising inflation and increased military spending at home. He lost his reelection in 1992. He passed away in 2018.
42. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, served from 1993 to 2001, marking the post-Cold War era and becoming the first baby-boomer generation president. His presidency witnessed a period of relative peace and economic prosperity, featuring the lowest unemployment rate and lowered inflation. Born in Hope, Arkansas in 1949, Clinton’s presidency faced controversy when he became the second U.S. president to be impeached due to personal indiscretions.
His policy initiatives included an unsuccessful attempt at comprehensive healthcare reform and a shift away from big government. He focused on improving education, job protection for parents with sick children, handgun sales restrictions, and environmental regulations. Internationally, he navigated conflicts in Bosnia and Iraq, advocated for an expanded NATO, promoted international trade, and campaigned against drug trafficking. His presidency left a significant mark on both domestic and foreign policy landscapes.
43. George W. Bush (2001-2009)
George W. Bush took on the reign of presidency during some of the toughest years for the US. He became a wartime hero for his efforts in dealing with the post-911 America. His father said of his son that he “faced the greatest challenge of any president since Abraham Lincoln.” Born in 1946 in Connecticut, Bush was always destined to be a great leader. After 9/11, he sent American forces to Afghanistan to fight off the Taliban leader, Bin Laden. Additionally, he called for invasion of Iraq and fought against President Saddam Hussain. Apart from these controversial decisions, Bush had to take a number of measures at home. His new administration prioritized Compassionate conservatism, which called for lower taxes and excellence in education. During his second term, he continued his fight against terrorism in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
44. Barack Obama (2009-2017)
Barack Obama’s story is the American Story. He was a middle class individual who worked hard, persevered and became the 44th president of the United States. He was born in 1961 in Hawaii and married to Michelle Obama, another influential figure in American history. He is also the first African American to hold office. Before becoming president, he was the senator for Illinois and championed for human rights and civil liberties. As the 44th president, he faced many challenges including economic recession, war in Afghanistan and Iraq and the looming threat of terrorism.
During his first tenure, he signed three revolutionary bills for healthcare, economy and financial institutions. Additionally, he signed the climate change agreement to reduce global emissions. He had to deal with the civil war in Syria. Moreover, he advocated United Nations and other countries to speed up their efforts to curb terrorism and fight off the new terrorist organizations that erupted in the world. Barack Obama remains one of the most accredited in this list of presidents of the United States.
45. Donald Trump (2017-2021)
In 2016, Trump, without prior political experience, won the Republican nomination and the presidency by Electoral College votes, with the slogan “Make America Great Again.” His unconventional communication style heavily relied on Twitter. Donald John Trump, born in Queens, New York, in 1946, inherited his father’s real estate business and renamed it the Trump Organization in 1971. As president, Trump passed significant tax reform and reduced regulations, adopting protectionist trade policies, renegotiating trade deals, and focusing on judiciary appointments. In foreign policy, he moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, brokered peace deals, and met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
His presidency faced controversies, including a government shutdown over border wall funding, impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, and impeachment again for inciting insurrection after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. He also faced severe criticism on his Covid-19 policies and delayed responses. Trump lost reelection to Joe Biden but disputed the results, alleging voter fraud. His supporters’ violent breach of the Capitol exacerbated tensions. Trump remains the only president impeached twice in U.S. history.
46. Joe Biden (2021-present)
Joe Biden, the current president of the United States has had a profound impact on US history. Before taking office, he was in the US Senate as a representative of Delaware. Born in 1953 in Pennsylvania, he became one of the youngest people to be elected to the US. Senate. As a US. Senator, Biden faced many challenges and persevered through them. He worked for women’s rights and helped shape the US. Foreign policy. Additionally, he also helped legislate for weapons of mass destruction, Middle East and terrorism-related issues.
As vice president, Biden worked with Congress to fight off gun violence and end cancer. Additionally, he became the point person for diplomatic missions and helped improve American image abroad. As president, he took an active role in fighting off the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. President Biden has also made climate change a top priority, rejoining the Paris Agreement and unveiling an extensive plan to combat climate change, invest in clean energy, and promote environmental sustainability. Additionally, he has undertaken immigration reform efforts, proposing legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It is yet to be seen whether he wins a second term in office.
Who Was the Most Influential President of the USA?
The two most influential presidents of the country include Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Lincoln was the great emancipator who preserved the union and ended the menace of slavery in the United States. Washington was the most famous founding father who fought the Revolutionary War and strengthened the foundation of the country.
In this exhaustive list of the President of the United States, there are many who claim this title, but only a few are worthy of this recognition. Apart from Lincoln and Washington, other presidents like Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama are also considered influential. Each of them faced many challenges during their presidency, but were able to leave a long lasting mark during their presidency.
List of Presidents of The United States and their Political Parties
|President||Political Party||President Number|
|George Washington||No Affiliation||1|
|John Quincy Adams||Democratic-Republican / National Republican||6|
|Martin Van Buren||Democratic||8|
|William Henry Harrison||Whig||9|
|James K. Polk||Democratic||11|
|Andrew Johnson||Democratic / National Union||17|
|Ulysses S. Grant||Republican||18|
|Rutherford B. Hayes||Republican||19|
|James A. Garfield||Republican||20|
|Chester A. Arthur||Republican||21|
|Grover Cleveland (1st term)||Democratic||22|
|Grover Cleveland (2nd term)||Democratic||24|
|William Howard Taft||Republican||27|
|Warren G. Harding||Republican||29|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||32|
|Harry S. Truman||Democratic||33|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower||Republican||34|
|John F. Kennedy||Democratic||35|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||Democratic||36|
|George H. W. Bush||Republican||41|
|George W. Bush||Republican||43|
Learn More About US Presidents and Leadership With Best Diplomats
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In this article, we traced through the illustrious history of the United States and shed light on the lives of all the presidents who ruled over this enormous country. From the visionary founding fathers to the modern-day leaders, each president has left an indelible mark on the country’s development and character.
This ever-evolving roster of leaders, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives, has guided the nation through times of triumph and turmoil. But the journey doesn’t end here; it is yet to seen who else becomes part of this illustrious list of presidents of the United States.
Who Was the First President of the United States?
George Washington was the first President of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797. He led the Revolutionary War and was the most popular choice for president in the Philadelphia convention.
How Many Presidents Has the United States Had?
The United States has had 46 presidents of the US. The list of presidents of the United States begins from George Washington and ends with Joe Biden, the current president in 2023.
Who Was the Longest-Serving President in the U.S. History?
Franklin D. Roosevelt holds the record as the longest-serving President, serving four terms from 1933 to 1945.
Who Were the Presidents During the Civil War?
The Presidents during the American Civil War were Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) and Andrew Johnson (1865-1869).
Who Was the Most Recent President?
The current president of the United States is Joe Biden, who took office on January 20, 2021.