Popular and respected leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington have added significant credibility to the seat of the United States president. Decisions taken by the US president have national as well as global ramifications. However, when we look through the pages of history, it’s clear that not all US presidents were created equal. Some US presidents have the lowest ratings, as their decisions created more problems than they resolved. Here’s a quick look at the lives and times of five most controversial US presidents.
James Buchanan – Serving as the president from 1857 to 1861, James Buchanan was a democrat. He is the only bachelor to be elected as the US president. The primary criticism against Buchanan is that he did not take any action against the spread of slavery. He had described slavery as evil, but did not seem to have the will to work against it. Buchanan is also accused of not taking action against states that wanted to move out of the Union. This led to the spread of secessionist forces across the Union.
Andrew Johnson – Serving as president from 1865 to 1869, Andrew Johnson was considered close to Lincoln. However, after becoming the president, he opposed policies of Radical Republicans in Congress, which aimed at ensuring the well-being of newly freed African-Americans. He vetoed first civil rights bill and renewal of the Freedman’s Bureau. He also opposed the 14th Amendment.
Franklin Pierce – A Democrat, Franklin Pierce was the 14th US president who served from 1853 to 1857. He is accused of being over ambitious with national expansion that resulted in the addition of several slave states. He had even proposed taking over Cuba and use force if required. However, that plan failed, as it did not get support from other leaders.
Warren G. Harding – A Republican who served as president from 1921 to 1923, Warren G. Harding is criticized for his ineptitude and careless behavior. It is said that after becoming the US president, the only things he did was play golf, poker and spend time with his mistress. All this while, his associates and allies continued to loot the US government.
Millard Fillmore – The 13th US president, Millard Fillmore served from 1850 to 1853. He is criticized for taking decisions that encouraged the spread of slavery. He supported the Compromise of 1850 that included various acts such as Fugitive Slave Law and approval of return of fugitive slaves to their masters by the federal government.