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

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,401
Caribbean
I would agree that Jackson is a very good choice for 2nd. He divided the "civilized" from the frontiersmen. He also shut down the Bank of the U.S. and the Indian removal Act.
The post you responded to named Andrew Johnson, not Andrew Jackson.

Jackson is divisive when he agreed with Congress (removal) AND when he disagreed (bank)? I suspect he is more divisive today than during his life when he "won" three Presidential elections.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
The post you responded to named Andrew Johnson, not Andrew Jackson.

Jackson is divisive when he agreed with Congress (removal) AND when he disagreed (bank)? I suspect he is more divisive today than during his life when he "won" three Presidential elections.
Whoops. Sorry. I believe Andrew Jackson could be considered the 2nd most divisive president in American history. Even his first presidential run was cantankerous.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,432
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.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,985
Portugal
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.
He was popular with the liberals? That is curious since the “New Deal” seemed the opposite of a liberal economic program.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,432
He was popular with the liberals? That is curious since the “New Deal” seemed the opposite of a liberal economic program.
Not classical economic liberals.

He won by a huge majority in 1936, but was strongly disliked by many of the wealthy and middle class.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
My apologies, I should have put Andrew Johnson, not Jackson, although 'old Hickory' himself was pretty controversial, all the more so now. And I should have specified, US presidents.
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Not classical economic liberals.

He won by a huge majority in 1936, but was strongly disliked by many of the wealthy and middle class.
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.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,851
At present SD, USA
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.
Given that he was the only President to win more than 2 terms and won by a majority in both the electoral and popular votes... Republicans may not have liked him, but he did manage to win the people's support and in fact he actually GAINED votes between 1932 and 1936. Some of that might just be a population increase, but I wouldn't put it at the sole reason his numbers went up...

They only came down again by 1940 as the shadow of World War II loomed over America, and his Republican opponent, Welkie actually agreed with many of his policies and would serve the Roosevelt Administration. The closest election FDR had was 1944, and that might be more to people recognizing that FDR was not as healthy as he used to be and that the election was more the first contest of Truman vs. Dewey than anything else.

Yet, still, in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944 FDR won both the electoral college and the popular vote. So, while those that did hate him may have hated him with a passion, they DIDN'T make FDR divisive, as it apparently wasn't enough to spark either armed protests against the election or a repeat of the secession crisis of 1860 that lead to the civil war... And when Republicans regained the White House in the 1953 after the 1952 election, many of Roosevelt's New Deal policies remained untouched and weren't completely done away with...

And some, like Social Security, both Republicans and Democrats today want to save. The only real difference is HOW they want to do it...

In that, I'd think that you could consider FDR a highly successful President and that success has built a legacy that remains rather popular.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,562
Las Vegas, NV USA
Obviously Lincoln's election in 1860 immediately launched a string of seceding states. I think this is a special case. Lincoln campaigned on a policy of containment, not abolition. His first inaugural address was conciliatory, annoying some in the North. The point is that de facto, Lincoln was president of the of the Union without the Confederacy. Within the Union there were divisions, but he won reelection in 1864 by a good margin.

I chose Andrew Johnson who replaced Lincoln (1865-1869). He opposed the 14th and 15th amendments and reconstruction. He was impeached but retained office by only one vote in the Senate. Most historians rate him at or near the bottom of US presidents whereas Lincoln is rated at or near the the top.
 
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