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1. George Washington: President George Washington is arguably the first on this list. He was born in 1732 in Virginia; he became the pioneer president of America on 30th April, 1789. He was elected president after successfully leading a constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787. He maintained a neutral position during the French-British war. He was a great defender of the American people’s rights.
2. Thomas Jefferson: He was the second president of “God’s own state” and was a great voice against tyranny. He was born in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1743. He was a lawyer by profession.
Notable among his achievements was the drafting of the declaration for independence at the age of 33 as a ‘silent member’ of the congress. He also wrote the bill establishing religious freedom, which was enacted in 1786. He was able to reduce the national debt during his time by a third.
3. James Madison: He was born in 1751 in Orange County, Virginia. He was popularly referred to as ‘Father of the Constitution’ because of the roles he played in bringing major changes to the American constitution. He was a lawyer by profession; he helped to frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first Revenue legislation when he was in congress.
He eventually became America’s 4th president in 1808. He resisted the oppression by the British government, which eventually led to war between the two nations.
4. John Quincy Adams: Became the first son of a president to rule America as a president himself in 1824. He was a lawyer and the son of President John Adams. As a president he started the move for the construction of Canals and highways to link the various sections, and also the development and conservation of the public domain, using funds from the sale of public lands.
5. Theodore Roosevelt: At 43, he became 26th president and the youngest person to rule the US by 1901. He was born in New York City in 1858 and became governor of the state in 1898. He brought the US into world political limelight and believed the president as the steward of the people should take whatever action was necessary for the public good.
He constructed the Panama Canal, conserved American forests, forested great lands and reserved lands for public use. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for the role he played in bringing an end to the Russo-Japanese war. He was popular for his proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick…”
6. Woodrow Wilson: A professor of Political Science; and born in 1856 in Virginia, Woodrow Wilson went ahead to become America’s 28th president in 1912, after first being governor of New Jersey in 1910. He fought for the rights of individuals and states; and helped to push for the enactment of several legislations, including the ‘Underwood Act’, antitrust legislation, amongst others. He also engineered the law prohibiting child labour.
He made the Germans and the French sign the Versailles Treaty, which contained the covenant of the League of Nations.
7. Franklin D. Roosevelt: He was born at Hyde Park, New York in 1882 and elected 32nd president in 1932 after serving as governor of New York in 1928.
Arguably one of the most influential presidents to have led America, Franklin Roosevelt helped to give hope to the American people during the great depression. He was such a great mind; he had poliomyelitis at the age of 39 but was able to regain the use of his legs through swimming exercises.
He dreamt of a ‘United Nations’ that would help bring about world peace, but he died before the dream materialized. He was the longest serving American president (he served for four terms)
8. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Born in 1890 in Texas, he became the 34th US Head of State in 1952. He’s notable for bringing about the desegregation of schools and the Armed Forces. He believed there should be no second class citizens in America. He advocated for peace and was in the fore front in the pursuit for world peace. He even allowed other countries to have American uranium for peaceful purposes.
9. Bill Clinton: Born William Jefferson Blythe III on 19th August 1946, he became the US 42nd president in 1992. His administration witnessed the lowest unemployment rate; achieved budget surplus for the first time in several decades. America also enjoyed more peace during his tenure and had the lowest inflation rate in 30 years.
He openly campaigned against drug trafficking, sales of handguns and racial discrimination. He enjoyed two tenures as a president.
10. Barack Obama: He is the 44th and current president of the United States of America; he is the first African-American to rule the US. He was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and became the first President to emerge outside the Contiguous United States. He was sworn in as US 44th president on the 20th of January 2009.
He wrote a total of 890 bills and co-sponsored 1096 as a senator; and is trying to bring reforms to the health sector as a president, with his health care reform law being one of the major achievements so far. A lot is being expected of him.
He has won the Nobel Peace Prize which many felt he did not really deserve to win.
Is there any other president you feel should have been on this list? Is there any you think does not deserve to be on the list? You are free to make your opinion known.