Presidents leave legacies

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Abraham Lincoln was the United States’ 16th President in 1861. “Abe Lincoln led the Union through the Civil War,” Mark Mumford (12) said. His actions during the war left a lasting legacy. Illustration by Jason Otis

There have been 44 presidents in the United States history. There have been 18 Republican, 16 Democratic, 4 Democratic-Republicans, 4 Whigs, 1 Federalist, and 1 non-party affiliated president. Even though many presidents were affiliated with same parties, their time in office is either tarnished or lauded by their leadership ability or events while in office.

Presidents are made great by their responses to the challenges of their time and by leaving the country in a better state than the one in which they found it,” government teacher, Matt Deters said.

Thomas Jefferson more than doubled the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. On the other hand, James Buchanan  left office and made the next president, Abraham Lincoln, deal with the Civil War.

“I think Abraham Lincoln is one of the best presidents because he led the Union through the Civil War,” Mark Mumford (12) said.

Despite the struggle between the Union and Confederacy about the federal government’s right to regulate or abolish slavery within individual states, Lincoln set to reunite the country.

“The good ones seem to understand the times in which they live and lead Americans to think about how we become a great country.  But sometimes being a ‘good president’ is a product of the times in which they live,” history teacher, John Moore said.

While in office, Bill Clinton held a 73 percent approval rating; however, the economy was doing well during his presidency. Also, Ronald Reagan, who is beloved by many Republicans, led the country during strong economic times.

Moreover, Jimmy Carter, who had the second lowest average approval rating, was president during a hard economic times, when people had to conserve resources like heat and gas.

While the economy can affect a president’s legacy, scandals can mar a president’s image. The Teapot Dome scandal negatively affected Warren G. Harding’s legacy, just like Richard Nixon’s legacy was blemished by Watergate, which resulted in his resignation.  Despite the great economic times Clinton’s legacy was tarnished by the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

“The true value of Warren G. Harding comes in his relatability, and normalcy if you will, in relation to the modern American. Barring the Teapot Dome scandal of course, his presidency was well rounded and demonstrated a great relationship domestically and in foreign politics,” Joe Filbrun (12) said.

Despite scandals and events in office, presidents can maintain a public presence. Clinton still remains in the public eye through the Clinton Foundation and, most recently, by campaigning for his wife Hillary in the 2016 presidential election.

By Luc Fiore

One Response to “Presidents leave legacies”
  1. giswiftie06 says:

    Very well written. I enjoy reading our ohsdome because the young men and women who write the articles are very talented.

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