Many of his actions set the precedent for future presidents including the determination that foreign policy was the domain of the president; the president should only serve two terms, and the creation of the President's Cabinet
He arranged the Louisiana Purchase from France and roughly doubled the size of our country
Developed the a doctrine which stated that the Americas should be free of future European colonization.
John Quincy Adams
Pushed for the construction of large public works (like canals), a national university and also thought we should sponsor more exploration of the world. He was all about science and learning.
Martin Van Buren
He was opposed to slavery and did not want to annex Texas because it would add slave territory. Also, during his term in office the country experienced an economic depression.
William Henry Harrison
He died of pneumonia a month after he gave his long inaugural address on a very cold day.
Under his term in office Texas was annxed in 1845. He strongly believed in state's rights and his actions accidentally helped separate the south before the Civil War.
He was an independent type of president and ticked off members of both parties. He did stand up against southern leaders who threatened secession.
He tried to compromise our way out of the coming Civil War (compromise of 1850) and as a result no-one was really satisfied - and of course the war happens anyway.
Tried very hard to balance the desires of the south with those of the north. Towards the end of his term he became ineffective.
Pardoned southerners who would take an oath of allegiance and gave many special presidential pardons to confederate leaders.
Ulysses S. Grant
As former general he was known for being honest, his administration was known for being very corrupt.
Helped pass the Pendleton Act which made many government positions only available through a competitive system of written examinations and protected employees from removal due to "political reasons".
He was the first democrat elected since the Civil War. He used the president's veto power to deny special treatment to specific economic groups such as farmers or veterans.
Signed the Sherman Antitrust act, which was the first baby step toward cleaning up the problems related to big business and industry at the time.
Focused on making government positions merit based and more efficient. He was not an activist president and felt most power should be held by the legislative branch.
Passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. Pushed for the construction of the Panama Canal. He wanted to limit the power of monopolies and trusts.
William Howard Taft
He ended more monopolies and trusts than Roosevelt. He was committed to expanding United States trade abroad.
He campaigned with the slogan "He kept us out of war." A few years later we were in WWI anyway.
Warren G. Harding
A nice guy, but his term was marked by scandal, in particular the "Teapot Dome" scandal.
He believed that the answers to America's problems lay in the past. He supported big business and is quoted as saying "the business of America is business." He was NOT a progressive.
The economy sours and enters the Great depression in his first year in office. At first Hoover waits to see if the economy will self correct; it doesn't. After a while he steps in with some policies to help, but too little too late.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
He was president for most of the Great Depression and during World War II. He greatly expanded the Federal Government.
The economy staggers back onto its feet, the Korean War starts and he supports the struggling Civil Rights Movement.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Interstate highway system initiated during his term in office. Sent US Army to integrate Little Rock Central High School.
He pardoned Nixon and tried unsuccesfully to fight inflation. He was an outspoken supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Elected as a "Washington Outsider" he is now seen as being ineffectual. Inflation and rising gas prices slowed our economy. Iran captured Americans from the Embassy and held them hostage for over a year Carter tried to get them back with a military operation, but that failed.
The Cold war came to an end during his term in office, in part because of all the military spending he pushed for.
William Jefferson Clinton
He expanded controversial free trade agreements across the globe and worked to end ethnic disputes in Somalia, Haiti, and Eastern Europe.
George W. Bush
His presidency was defined by the attacks on 9/11 and his military response to those attacks.