Not all U.S. presidents are remembered after people end up leaving the White House. U.S. News compiled its collection of America’s lamest presidents by averaging the outcomes of three major national elections.
Few presidents who have taken the oath of office have reached the status of George Washington as well as Abraham Lincoln. Many of the men who’ve already managed to hold the country’s highest office are remembered today for their disastrous failures rather than their successes. See the collection of the poorest US presidents ever to see who made a bad impression on history.
Following is the list of the 10 worst U.S. Presidents:
Every year, C-SPAN gathers experts from various demographic trends and philosophical upbringings to conduct a poll on past presidents’ performance.
1. James Buchanan
Buchanan, a Pennsylvania-born Democrat who was profoundly deeply religious in his belief and the only university student elected to the presidency, saw enslavement as an untenable evil but, like the vast bulk of his party, continued to refuse to challenge the lawfully established order.
Even before becoming president, he supported various compromises that allowed slavery to disperse into the westward expansion gained through the Louisiana Acquisition and the Mexican War.
In his inauguration speech, the 15th President implicitly supported the Supreme Court’s upcoming Dred Scott judgment, which also ruled that Congress lacked the authority to keep enslavement within the territories.
More damaging to his reputation was his acquiescence to the secessionist tide—his refusal to challenge the nations that proclaimed their intention to leave the Union within a week of Lincoln’s election. As the situation grew out of regulation, James Buchanan was one of these U.S. presidents who thought that the Constitution chose to give him no authority to act against it and would secede.
2. Andrew Johnson
Johnson was born in North Carolina on December 29, 1808. He did serve within the Senate and the House, as well as the governor of Tennessee, and then as military governor. Abraham Lincoln questioned him to substitute Hannibal Hamlin as president during the 1864 campaign when he was trying to serve as military governor. Johnson, a Democrat, voted democrat for the election.
Already an enigma due to his well-known authoritarian spirit and previous support for slavery, Andrew Johnson was one of these U.S. presidents who raised eyebrows when he appeared intoxicated at his own official opening in 1865.
When Lincoln died shortly after beginning his second term, Johnson was thrust into the presidency. His Reconstruction policies were divisive, prompting his newfound celebration to indict him in 1868. Johnson was one of these U.S. presidents who was re-elected by a bare majority in a Court trial.
Andrew Johnson’s popularity has plunged like a rock. Johnson was named the worst-ever president in a 2010 Siena College poll. A British academic research center ranked Johnson 36th out of 40 presidents in a 2011 poll.
3. Franklin Pierce
When he was voted into power as 14th president, the good-looking Mexican War veteran was adamant about national expansion, even if it meant adding more slave states. To that end, he was one of these U.S. presidents who strenuously endorsed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which also, together with the earlier 1850 Compromise, successfully abolished the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
Less effectively, he posited annexing Cuba, if necessary by force, but his opponents, inferring the establishment of a new slave state, exposed the plan and eventually pushed him to renounce it. Franklin Pierce did, however, obtain US recognition of a dubious regime in Nicaragua, headed over by an American proslavery adventurer, William Walker, who instigated an insurgency and installed himself as president.
Pierce was one of these U.S. presidents who was later described by Theodore Roosevelt as “a sycophantic instrument of men worse even than himself… ever prepared to do a little work the slave leaders set him.” Even a gushing promotional life story authored by Pierce’s former classmate Nathaniel Hawthorne couldn’t compensate for such negative feedback.
4. Donald J. Trump
Trump one of these U.S. presidents performed best in Public Persuasion, which is unsurprising given his once huge Twitter following, and Economic Management, which is also saying something considering the great powers tax cuts enacted earlier in his presidency. However, he ranked last among all presidents for both Moral Authority and Administrative Skills.
However, Trump’s ranking is also based on a comparison to his predecessor. In 2017, more than half of Americans surveyed believed Barack Obama’s presidency would be remembered as “outstanding” or “above average.” Obama was ranked 12th overall in the 2017 C-SPAN Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, and he has now cracked the top 10, ranking 10th.
Even though Donald Trump‘s roughly comparable lack of success made sure a low score, his missteps as the administration did little or nothing to elevate the profile of many other presidents with low rankings. In fact, among some of the lowest of presidents, the needle had barely moved. Other candidates in the bottom five of the 2021 poll include Andrew Johnson (43rd), Franklin Pierce (42nd), but also William Henry Harrison (40th).
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5. William Henry Harrison
At that time in American history, being a “war hero” usually meant killing native Americans. Harrison, one of these U.S. presidents managed to accomplish this at the battle of Moraviantown during the War of 1812, which was one of the most pointless conflicts ever to be fought between two countries.
Harrison’s military campaign led to the US retaking Detroit, and for that, America will always be grateful.
At the time, William Henry Harrison, one of these U.S. presidents was rumored to have contracted a cold after insisting on remaining outside in the bitter cold for his induction ceremony without a coat to prove his toughness. The longest inauguration speech in history, lasted for two hours.
In other words, he managed to screw up being inaugurated, just one official duty he performed while serving as president, so badly that it likely contributed to his demise. And George Bush was deemed to be stupid by some.
6. John Tyler
He backed President Andrew Jackson’s campaign against the national bank while a senator for the United States, but immediately fell out with Old Hickory after he blocked South Carolina’s attempt to overturn a small tariff. (Tyler defended South Carolina’s right to secede if it so desired; he was a steadfast supporter of states’ privileges and slavery.)
John Tyler joined the fledgling Whig Party and ran alongside popular war hero Harrison. The “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” ticket easily defeated the Democratic candidates.
Tyler, however, opposed a national bank as well as everything else his endorsed party stood for once he was elected president. Tyler was charged with revitalizing “the sentenced to death and refuted doctrines and practices of the darkest days of Jackson’s rule,” according to one fellow Whig. After the whole Harrison one of these U.S. presidents who appointed cabinet resigned, Tyler had to resist an impeachment attempt.
His one achievement was establishing the rule that a vice president who ascends to the presidency has the same authority as a president who was elected. No small feat considering how despised he was by the majority of his own party.
7. Millard Fillmore
Baptized in a log cabin in upstate New York, Millard Fillmore was one of these U.S. presidents who transitioned from the law and teaching professions to diplomacy and the Whig Party. Vice President Taylor was largely ignored until he informed Taylor that, in the event of a deadlock in the Senate, he will indeed endorse the Compromise of 1850.
The compromise represented everything Taylor who was one of these U.S. presidents who opposed and was made up of five separate acts, including the Fugitive Slave Law, which required the federal govt to come back to wanted criminal slaves to their owners.
After the ailing president passed away, his successor fought even harder for the compromise measures. Although Fillmore’s acts may have prevented a national emergency and delayed the start of the Confederacy, peace was ultimately paid for with an unacceptable price.
The New York Times stated that it had been Fillmore’s “disaster to consider enslavement an ideological rather than a moral question” 2 decades after the infamous deal. It may now just seem kind to use the word “misfortune.”
8. Warren G. Harding
Most people believe that Harding’s failure to have an impact on the country was due to the fact that he saw the office of the President as primarily ceremonial rather than a deep thinker or decisive President. Warren G. Harding was one of these U.S. presidents who didn’t consider himself to be a leader or a caretaker. He just tried to steer clear of problems.
Harding lacked the conventional minds and straightforward thinking of other modern presidents like Ronald Reagan, and he never knew where he wanted to lead the country. Additionally, he lacked a message to convey, so he was unable to do so effectively.
Although he used the phrase “return to normalcy,” he had no idea what it meant. Harding had no moral compass to follow because Reagan had one. He was one of these U.S. presidents who were fortunate to have some great men who generally handled the budget and international policy well in his cabinet.
9. Herbert Hoover
On the eve of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover was one of these U.S. presidents and the 31st president from one of these U.S. presidents who was also elected. He entered office with the talents of a consummate manager and technocrat. The engineer, a native of Iowa and Stanford graduate, oversaw extensive post-World War I relief efforts in Europe. He served as Harding and Calvin Coolidge’s commerce secretary.
When the Great Depression began, he cut taxes and launched public works initiatives to boost employment, but he adamantly resisted outright relief.
His biggest issue may not have been his strict adherence to conservative values. He was a bad communicator and came across as cruel and callous.
Hoovervilles is what the homeless gave their makeshift slum settlements.
His backing and going to sign into law of a central excise act that sparked global trade wars and worsened the Depression was possibly his greatest single policy error. However, based solely on style, he would have lost the election to FDR.
10. Zachary Taylor
More than a failure, Zachary Taylor was one of these U.S. presidents who was forgettable president. And the explanation is straightforward: The 12th president was most likely the least politically astute leader in American history—so ignorant that he could have passed for innocent.
He was indeed a farm boy as well as a courageous soldier who participated in significant battles during the 1812 War as well as the Mexican War. He was from Virginia and brought up in Kentucky. He rarely wore his attire and was frequently mistaken for a farmer; envious fellow generals made fun of his lack of education and polish.
However no than that Abraham Lincoln was one of these U.S. presidents who commended the steady judgment that allowed him to prevail against the probability in numerous battles.
When they chose him as one‘s candidate in 1848, the Whigs knew they were onto something. He was a slaveowner who tried to defend the “strange establishment” in the South and was as adamantly opposed to secession as he was to its expansion into new states.