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Old July 19th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #1

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Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


Its hard enough trying to rank all forty-four of them. So, let's start small.

Rank the first 10 U.S. Presidents based on overall performance and guiding the young nation in a productive manner.

01. George Washington - Easy choice

02. Thomas Jefferson - Fairly secured in 2nd.

03. John Adams - Tough between Andrew Jackson and Adams here. Andrew Jackson did a lot of bad things, but I think he achieved more than Adams.

04. Andrew Jackson - Could get the third spot.

05. James Monroe - Just average... I guess. Perhaps I need to read more up on him.

06. William Henry Harrison - Not much to judge from. But perhaps his choice of a VP could be one. If Tyler was a decent President, he could have held the #5 spot.

07. Martin Van Buren - Don't much like this fellow. Too much of a Jackson follower.

08. James Madison - I have a strong dislike for Madison. Her 'false writings' with Jefferson is perhaps one of the most bizarre things a president ever did.

09. John Quincy Adams - Won the presidency, perhaps illegally, but it was enough to win it. Didn't do much with it and got out 4 years later.

10. John Tyler - Just not much ado from Tyler.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #2

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


1. Washington
2. Jefferson
3. Adams
4. Madison
5. Monroe
6. Jackson
7. J.Q. Adams
8. Van Buren
9. Harrison
10. Tyler
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Old July 20th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


1. Washington- I hate being Cliche, but he did define what the presidency was, check out the American history museum in DC, they have a nice chart where people vote who the best president is.
2. Madison- Second War of American Independence, pretty cool, if silly
3. Monroe- Monroe doctrine, even though Europeans didn't really care about it...
4. Jefferson- Westward course of the Empire was a pretty big thing.
5. Jackson- He was productive, whether it was good productive or bad is another story
6. JQA-Not a good president, but a great diplomat before that, and the Amistad case, that was good, so I guess I am cheating here by ranking him by stuff outside of his presidency.
7. Van Buren- He choked on hard cider (political cartoon against him), but in reality, he strained relations with Britian, so not much good, and yeah, followed in Jacksons' footsteps
8. Adams- He was constantly fighting with his cabinet, he passed the alien and sedition acts, just terrible.
9.Tyler- He did more then harrison, began the process of US getting Hawaii, treaty with the Chinese, Webster-Ashburne treaty, so he did stuff
10.Harrison- Zero productivity, he died
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Old July 20th, 2010, 11:29 PM   #4

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


I haven't read up on American presidents enough to give an intelligent answer to the question posed above. But superficially, I kind of like the eleventh president, James Polk. He finished the job that Jefferson started; and that is the "manifest destiny" expansion of the country to the Pacific coast.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:16 AM   #5

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


^^

I'd agree that James K. Polk most certainly deserves a mention. Like him or loathe him, he was by any definition one of our greatest and most successful presidents.

Personally I have always had a soft spot for John Quincy Adams. Largely due to his supreme lack of political subtlety he never managed to get much done, but it is still very hard not see him as a visionary, even prescient president - the legislation that he tried to get Congress to enact was on the whole a brilliant program, and it is a positive shame of our history that it wasn't adopted. He was in many ways the first true attempted "legislative president", the first to try and go down a road that no president would attempt to take again until Theodore Roosevelt some three quarters of a century later.

Additionally, he gave us the following quote:

"The art of making love, muffled up in furs, in the open air, with the thermometer at Zero, is a Yankee invention."
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Old July 27th, 2010, 03:45 AM   #6

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIVUS IVLIVS View Post
^^

I'd agree that James K. Polk most certainly deserves a mention. Like him or loathe him, he was by any definition one of our greatest and most successful presidents.
Hold your horses! He's #11. Not one of the first Ten!!!


So far, we have three votes in.


1. George Washington
"No disagreements here. If you think about it, he really wasn't much of a president. But it was his standard. His ethic. His... eh... his something that simply withstood history"

2. Thomas Jefferson
"Thomas has a pretty firm hold on 2nd place. He did a lot and much happened during his presidency. He also did a few bad things, but those are generally trumped."

3. James Monroe
"The next four are all very close with two of them tied. James Monroe, however, takes the 3rd ranking."

T.4 James Madison
"Somewhat surprised about Madison. I always thought he was a bit of a flake. Especially making up letters of himself and Jefferson, trying to make those two closer in pen pals was a strange thing he did. Maybe you guys note him for something else."

T.4 John Adams
"Kept us from getting into a war. In such a young state of the nation, that would have been difficult."

06. Andrew Jackson
"Andrew Jackson is the last of the 'Close 4'. I figured he would be higher, but he is noted for a lot of bad things that really benefitted the country in its later years"

T.7 John Quincy Adams
T.7 Martin Van Buren

"A tie between Adams and Buren. How poetic."

09. William Harrison
"Harrison manages to be his V.P."

10. John Tyler[/b]
"Tyler comes in last in the first 10 U.S. Presidents. He couldn't beat one president that only lasted less than thirty days."
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Old July 28th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #7

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


Quote:
Hold your horses! He's #11. Not one of the first Ten!!!
Eh. William Henry Harrison was President for such a short time, and John Tyler was IMO of such low calibre, that they barely constitute a single president even if they are grouped together.

My opinion lies in the following order:

1: George Washington
2: Andrew Jackson
3: Thomas Jefferson
4: James K. Polk
5: John Adams
6: John Quincy Adams
7: James Monroe
8: James Madison
9: Martin Van Buren
10: William Henry Harrison/John Tyler as one single not-very-illustrious presidency

Last edited by DIVUS IVLIVS; July 28th, 2010 at 02:32 PM.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


Quote:
Originally Posted by Congo View Post
06. William Henry Harrison - Not much to judge from. But perhaps his choice of a VP could be one. If Tyler was a decent President, he could have held the #5 spot.
This really confuses me--he died almost immediately, and if the only thing you really want to judge him on was his choice of VP--well, you put Tyler dead last (which I agree with) so how does that put Harrison above, well, anyone?

I agree with the poster who has a soft spot for JQ Adams.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


Quote:
Originally Posted by DIVUS IVLIVS View Post
Eh. William Henry Harrison was President for such a short time, and John Tyler was IMO of such low calibre, that they barely constitute a signle president even if they are grouped together.

My opinion lies in the following order:

1: George Washington
2: Andrew Jackson
3: Thomas Jefferson
4: James K. Polk
5: John Adams
6: John Quincy Adams
7: James Monroe
8: James Madison
9: Martin Van Buren
10: William Henry Harrison/John Tyler as one single not-very illustrious presidency
This is a good list, although I think Polk was as lucky as he was good. He did not manage the Mexican War very well, and his (mostly Whig) generals just about won the war in spite of him. Not to mention that Trist negotiated the Treaty of Guadulpe Hidalgo in spite of having been fired by Polk. Polk also gets credit for accomplishing everything he set out to do, but it's often forgotten that his accomplishments were done so rashly and heedless of consequence that they set a lot of things in motion which Polk didn't live to see.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #10

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Re: Ranking the First 10 U.S. Presidents


1. George Washington
2. Thomas Jefferson
3. Andrew Jackson
4. James Monroe
5. James Madison
6. John Adams
7. John Quincy Adams
8. Martin Van Buren
9. John Tyler
10. William Henry Harrison. He gets last place by default, for me at least.

If we were including Polk, I'd have him at 3 and move Tyler down to 10 with Harrison.
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