Wilson's, Jackson's Legacies Decline, Grant's Rises

Wilson's, Jackson's Legacies Decline, Grant's Rises

Since World War II, historians, newspapers, and institutions have performed surveys of presidential reputations. There is unanimous agreement placing George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson at the top of the list. Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, and James Buchanan are consistently at the bottom.

However, there are several Presidents whose reputations have either significantly improved or worsened since these surveys started. Some examples follow below.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was the first president to come from a humble background. Before Jackson, the first six Presidents were college-educated aristocrats from either Virginia or Massachusetts.


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