The American president is undoubtedly the most powerful man in the world because of the position he sits in. But the position brings the burden of responsibilities and expectations because it is about running the most dominant nation in the world. Of the men who have been in the office over the centuries, some have been more influential than others.
These great leaders have left a mark on history, with some tested by domestic issues and others by international conflict. Some have battled personal crises and put the interest of the country and the people ahead of their interests and needs. But a few of the 46 American presidents have made history with their exemplary governance.
Here are the greatest ones who have created a powerful legacy during their tenures.
Undoubtedly, Abraham Lincoln was the most influential who governed the country during the American Civil War. He steered the Union through the hardest phase of the conflict and made history by abolishing enslavement with the Emancipation Proclamation. He also established the foundation for reconciliation with the South at the end of the war.
Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated only weeks before the official conclusion of the Civil War, which was a massive loss to the nation. History students and enthusiasts can witness the life of Lincoln through original photographs and books narrating the story of his great leadership. According to a survey, nearly 100 historians and biographers rated him as the best US president.
According to Road To The Civil War, there are online resources with photo collections showing the journey of Abraham Lincoln. From his birth to his marriage, victory in the election, speeches, and death, these collections cover all aspects of the life of this great leader.
The same survey lists George Washington as the second most influential American president. He was the first president and is acclaimed as the father of the nation. Before serving as the president, Washington held the position of commander-in-chief during the Revolution and led the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Later, the Electoral College chose him as the first leader in 1789.
Washington held the office for two terms, during which he established several traditions that still continue. During his tenure, the country normalized relations with archrival Great Britain, implemented rules for federal spending, and laid the groundwork for Washington, D.C.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt comes next on the list as the longest-serving president, serving the country from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945. He came into office during the Great Depression, a painfully challenging time to lead the country. But he helped Americans regain faith and led America on the road to recovery.
During his tenure, he ensured the expansion of the role of the federal government and implemented the Social Security program, which is still in action. His tenure in office ended with his death in 1945, months before World War II culminated.
Another great American leader who left a legacy as the US president is Thomas Jefferson. He held office from March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1809, as the third president. His role in America’s birth is instrumental as he was behind the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was also the nation’s first secretary of state.
During his presidency, Jefferson organized the Louisiana Purchase, setting the stage for westward expansion and doubling the size of the US. The First Barbary War in the Mediterranean, which was the first foreign war of the country, was fought while Jefferson was in office.
Theodore Roosevelt took over the office as the American president after the assassination of William McKinley in 1901. Roosevelt was the youngest man in the role as he was elected at age 42 and held the office for two terms. His strong domestic and foreign policy went a long way to influence the history of the country.
Besides establishing government policies, Roosevelt curbed the corporate power of organizations such as the nation’s railroads and Standard Oil. He has a key role in the modern Food and Drug Administration as he set the stage for consumer protection with the Pure Food and Drug Act more than a century ago.
America has been led by some of the strongest and cleverest strategic leaders who have done their bit as the country’s president. But a few have built a legacy that makes the country what it is today. These leaders have contributed to the growth, power, and prosperity of the US.