Which President?

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
#1
I am trying to learn more about some of the Presidents of the United States, so I decided to create this thread.

Which President had the most positive term, when it comes to the United States? What I mean by that is which President did great things to improve the country the most?

Name some of those things that the President did that was so good.

Which President has the most negative term, when it comes to the United States. This is the same thing as the first question, but it's opposite. Name some of the bad things he did for the United States.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#2
I'm going to have to go with George Washington. As the first president he had to set the tone with how things were to be done, he had no precedent to rely on. His declaration of neutrality in the war between England and France was important for a young struggling country who relied on both for trade, especially England. His interpretation of the State of the Union and the advice and consent clause are examples of setting the tone I spoke about.

As far as negative, I have to go with FDR. While it can be argued his policies were well meaning, they were failures. His policies retarded growth and kept us from coming out of the depression much sooner. His policies led to massive unemployment. Hoover signing the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act certainly ranks up there also.
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#3
Good:

Eisenhower-
-Presided over a massive postwar economic boom
-Created the interstate highway system
-Managed to tamp down racial violence (which was endemic in the 60's)
-Helped rebuild Europe, foster good relations with the rest of the non-Communist world

Theodore Roosevelt-
-Created the first consumer and environmental protection laws
-Helped break up large corporate trusts that were manipulating the market
-Got control of the Panama Canal (via ways I didn't care for, but whatever), which greatly helped unite the west and east coasts

Bad:
Thomas Jefferson
-Embargo Act seriously killed American trade
-Was unable to effectively balance neutrality and growth

Patrick Buchanan
-Stood idly by while the country tore itself apart, and many states seceded
-Did not withdraw arms from federal forts in the south, thus arming the Confederacy
 

Tucker

Lion Rampant
#4
I like Washington a lot. Not the revisionist, mythical, selectively quoted Washington who could run as a Republican and win; I'm talking about the guy who crapped behind his tent in the raging snow of Valley Forge... although, wait, he actually stayed in a warm house... well, the guy for whom loyalty to flag meant everything... although he did turn traitor to his native British who made him an officer, and then hanged Benedict Arnold for switching back. He was an adept cannabis farmer, maximizing the potency of female plants by personally separating them from the males. That's something, I guess. But after some thought, I'm going to have to agree with our current President and go with Lincoln as most revered.

Biggest loser? Come on. The day they put Dubya on the dime is the day pigs nest in trees. His presidency was so bad that Jimmy Carter is now walking with a swagger.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#5
Yeah, that Dubya, I tell ya. In 1939, after 8 years in office the unemployement rate was 17.2% up from 16.3% in 1931 when he was first elected, the value of all stocks dropped almost in half from 1937 to 1939, car sales plummeted one-third in those same years, business failures jumped 50% during those same years, patent applications were the lowest in 20 years, real estate forclosures in 1939 were higher than in any year in the next two decades, the national debt stood at $16 billion in 1931 by the end of the decade it was at $40 billion, suicide rates increased, life expectancy rates decreased especially amongst blacks, divorce rates increased all during his presidency.....wait, were we talking about FDR or Dubya?
 

Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
#6
In 1939, after 8 years in office the unemployement rate was 17.2% up from 16.3% in 1931 when he was first elected,
Well, no. He was elected in 1932 and took office in 1933. In 1932 the unemployment rate was 24%, so he cut it 7% during an ongoing worldwide depression. The national debt had no long-term effects (we paid it off in due time), and given that there was depressed international trade while the US was in the heyday of its export-driven economy, he did as well as he could.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#7
By the way, I thought Dubya suspending habeas corpus (well, he didn't really but the New York Times likes to say he did) was so egrigious, yet Lincoln actually DID suspend it and he is so revered?
------
The national debt had no long-term effects (we paid it off in due time), and given that there was depressed international trade while the US was in the heyday of its export-driven economy, he did as well as he could.
Only because of the war, not due to any economic policies he enacted.

It wasn't an export driven economy, thanks to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Many countries enacted retaliatory tariffs.
 
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MenInTights

not a plastic bag
#8
I think it will be 40 years before we can judge if Bush was a good or poor president. If the Berlin wall was still standing, Reagan would not be as beloved as he is today. Similarly Bush's legacy will depend on the democracy experiment in the Middle East.

One thing that's abundantly clear is that is all Bush. Over the last 6 years, nobody anywhere would sign on to Iraq, so if it flourishes and a Republic emerges its all him. If it fails its all Bush too, so we will see.

As far as the best or worst, I really don't have the education I'd like to have about all of the prez, but Reagan and Kennedy stick out as being incredible leaders. The more I realize how absolutely screwed we are as a nation financially, the more I long for a true visionary that can chart a path out of this and get everyone on board to make it happen. Where's Jack Welsh, Wilberforce, Henry Ford... do those guys even exist anymore?
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#9
CaptainObvious said:
As far as negative, I have to go with FDR. While it can be argued his policies were well meaning, they were failures. His policies retarded growth and kept us from coming out of the depression much sooner. His policies led to massive unemployment.
During the presidency of FDR, but even prior to WWII, production levels rose higher than they were before the depression. Also, he ended prohibition and established Social Security. Well he has plenty of blemishes on his record, I'd say he was a huge boon to our nation overall.





FDR's first term started in 1933.


Edit: I'm not sure where all the lies about the effects of FDR's economic policies came from, but they get repeated so much that even I started buying into them for awhile. That was, of course, until I looked up the facts. Really, FDR and Reagan took the same economic approach: spend like crazy. They just spent money on different things, and Reagan spent much much more and increased the deficit much much more.
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#10
I wouldn't call a 17.9% unemployment rate after 6 years in office a success, especially when it was as low as 3.2 just ten years earlier. Certainly some of that blame is due to Hoover and the Smoot-Hawley Act, but FDR did little to get us out of the mess.