Who was the most divisive President in history?

Who is the most divisive President?

  • Reagan

    Votes: 4 4.0%
  • Nixon

    Votes: 10 9.9%
  • LBJ

    Votes: 5 5.0%
  • JFK

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • Truman

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • FDR

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Wilson

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Jackson

    Votes: 4 4.0%
  • Lincoln

    Votes: 50 49.5%
  • Other?

    Votes: 19 18.8%

  • Total voters
    101

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,702
San Antonio, Tx
Lincoln was by far the most empathetic and inclusive President. This passage in his 1858 Ottawa speech is representative of his behavior as President:



That powerful forces determined to undermine Lincoln's election and create chaos in place of the acceptance of the democratic process in no way renders Lincoln "divisive." The division rests entirely on those who could not reconcile themselves to the will of the people as a whole.

I agree whole-heartedly. Obviously, it was the South that started this whole dreadful business. Blaming Lincoln is shooting at the wrong target.
 
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Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,776
The Southern objection to the tariff was in the area of retaliation. If the US put a tariff on its imports then other countries would put tariffs on US exports. Southern cotton was often exported to Europe. Did European tariffs hurt Southern planters?
From about 1820 to 1875, British and French tariff duties dropped steadily, regardless of whether US tariff rates went up or down, so there were no retaliatory tariffs. If there had been retaliatory tariffs, they would have been paid by the Europeans, not the southern planters.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,702
San Antonio, Tx
FDR, "that man in the whitehouse", was popular with liberals and poor people and later on during WWII. However, his radical policies were hated by many.
It would be much more accurate to say ”his radical policies were hated by the wealthy”. They were a small minority.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,702
San Antonio, Tx
My poor knowledge about Jackson was the only obstacle for voting Nixon.. But then I saw Lincoln's name.. 4 years of civil war can't give room for much discussion.
Still, inside the polarized opinions North vs South there are some southerners that understand the position he defended and there was respect conceeded to him even by its enemies.
Now Nixon was - as far has I know - seen as a devil by the left. On the other side even its supporters know he was not a very good president... Lincoln is still loved today as one of the greatest americans ever.

...

My vote goes to Lincoln.
Give me a break. London wasn’t divisive; the south was divisive. Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union; the South wanted to destroy it. Now, who’s divisive?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,702
San Antonio, Tx
I'm only half joking when I(having grown up in a very middle class, very Republican community) say that I was in college when I learned that "that son of a bitch" was not FDR's first name

However, I don't believe anyone can top Lincoln whose election, as was said early on in this thread, caused about half the United States to try to leave the Union.
Geez guys, wake up! Lincoln did not secedefrom the Union; the South did. There’s a lot of guilt here, but it’s ALL on the Southern side.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,581
Dispargum
From about 1820 to 1875, British and French tariff duties dropped steadily, regardless of whether US tariff rates went up or down, so there were no retaliatory tariffs. If there had been retaliatory tariffs, they would have been paid by the Europeans, not the southern planters.
This is the difference between perception and reality. The South opposed tariffs because they feared the possibility of European retaliation, regardless of whether or not there was any actual retaliation. Southern opposition to tariffs came first. Only later would Europe have the opportunity to retaliate, an opportunity they did not take.

The fear of retaliatory tariffs wasn't that the European tariffs would be paid by Southerners. You're right, the tariffs would have been paid by Europeans if there had been any tariffs. But European tariffs would have made American cotton more expensive resulting in Europeans buying less American cotton. That would have hurt the South.
 
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Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,776
This is the difference between perception and reality. The South opposed tariffs because they feared the possibility of European retaliation, regardless of whether or not there was any actual retaliation. Southern opposition to tariffs came first. Only later would Europe have the opportunity to retaliate, an opportunity they did not take.

The fear of retaliatory tariffs wasn't that the European tariffs would be paid by Southerners. You're right, the tariffs would have been paid by Europeans if there had been any tariffs. But European tariffs would have made American cotton more expensive resulting in Europeans buying less American cotton. That would have hurt the South.
The chief competitor to Southern cotton was Egyptian cotton, which was the only cotton of comparable quality and due to the shorter distance was cheaper to transport to Europe. India cotton was significantly inferior to Southern cotton.

The Economic History Association has complied data on export values between 1840 and 1900. Crunching those numbers showed that the US provided

* 84.8% of world cotton exports in 1840
* 84.3% of world cotton exports in 1860
* 68.6% of world cotton exports in 1880
* 69.2% of world cotton exports in 1900

While India provided
* 1.2% of world cotton exports in 1840
* 2.4% of world cotton exports in 1860
* 12.1% of world cotton exports in 1880
* 18.4% of world cotton exports in 1900

While the South was right to fear loss of market share, fears that it would happen due to retaliatory tariffs were unfounded.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,189
Sydney
putting a tariff on raw material imports is deeply stupid .
on the other hand , slapping stiff tariff on manufactured goods has many advantages ,

it provide a source of revenue for the government
suppress imports and promote the manufacture of local equivalent
provide a growth of employment in the country economy
make the country more independent of foreign influence
 
Sep 2019
128
Seattle
Remember 1990 rule!

1. Reagan-the darling of the conservative right, the devil to the left for re-shifting the US back to the right wing after the leftward drift of the 70s.

2. Nixon-a man with many achievements to his name but ultimately always soiled by Watergate and allegations that he tried to 'subvert US democracy'.

3. LBJ-will always be associated with Vietnam but praised for his Great Society

4. JFK-in many ways a great president but marred by Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs and his private life.

5. Truman-dropped the A-bomb, desegregated the military, rowed with McArthur over Korea, what was his legacy?

6. FDR-saviour from the depression for some, proto-communist for others

7. Jackson-ultimate pragmatist or did he sell out reconstruction for his own political advantage?

8. Wilson-helped win the Great War and establish the League of Nations but had racist overtones

9. Lincoln-a man still not popular south of the Mason-Dixon line

10. Other?
Andrew Johnson.