The Worst Presidents in US History
Blog Introduction: Every president has their ups and downs, but some have definitely been worse than others. Here are five of the worst presidents in US history, based on their handling of domestic and foreign affairs, civil rights, and the economy.
1. James Buchanan
Buchanan, the 15th President, was in office during the build-up to the Civil War, and did very little to prevent it.
In fact, he was pro-slavery and even sent troops to Utah when they refused to enforce federal law concerning polygamy.
He was also one of the wealthiest presidents, which made him seem out of touch with the average American.
2. Donald Trump
Donald Trump was the 45th President of the United States, serving from 2017 to 2021.
A divisive figure, Trump was a businessman and reality TV star before being elected president. During his time in office, Trump implemented aggressive policies on immigration, trade, and taxation, as well as pursuing an investigation into alleged election fraud.
These policies and actions led to significant criticism from opponents, who accused Trump of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry.
He even killed a bill intended to replace the bills of racist President Andrew Jackson with bills portraying abolitionist Harriet Tubman, a move that was highly divisive.
In addition, Trump was impeached twice during his presidency, first for abuse of power and then for obstruction of Congress. It is widely believed that he has collided with the Russians to win his presidency.
As a result of his controversial actions and policies, Trump is widely considered to be one of the worst presidents in American history.
3. Andrew Johnson
Johnson was Abe Lincoln’s vice president, and took office after Lincoln’s assassination.
He then proceeded to veto just about every civil rights bill that came across his desk.
He also supported black codes, which were laws that restricted the rights of newly freed slaves.
Johnson was eventually impeached by Congress, but he avoided conviction by just one vote.
4. Woodrow Wilson
Wilson was a racist who saw race relations as a zero-sum game—he believed that any progress made by black Americans would come at the expense of white Americans.
He also resegregated many federal agencies during his time in office.
On top of all that, he oversaw one of the worst economic recessions in US history.
5. Herbert Hoover
Hoover is best remembered for two things: being president during the start of the Great Depression, and doing very little to alleviate it.
He believed that it was up to businesses and individuals, not the government, to get the country out of its slump.
This hands-off approach led to even more job losses and further economic decline.
6. Richard Nixon
Nixon is infamous for his role in the Watergate scandal, which led to his eventual resignation from office.
But even before that, he wasn’t a great president—he prolonged the Vietnam War without having a clear plan for victory, he authorized illegal spying on American citizens, and he instituted wage and price controls that caused more inflation instead of curbing it like he intended.
Conclusion: Worst Presidents in American History
While every president has made some bad decisions while in office, these stand out as being particularly egregious offenders.
From causing an economic depression to being impeached for corruption, these presidents definitely left their mark—but not always in a good way.