U.S. Presidents Part 1


As America prepares to elect its 45th President,
this is Epic History TV’s guide to the first 44 Presidents. George Washington – hero of the Revolutionary
War and America’s first president, twice elected unanimously by the Electoral College. He steered America on a course of neutrality,
and stepped down after two terms. John Adams – lawyer, diplomat and intellectual,
he’d been one of the leading voices in the call for American independence. He avoided all-out war with France, was the
first President to live in the White House, and the first to lose an election. Thomas Jefferson – chief author of the Declaration
of Independence. He was a fierce defender of individual liberty,
though like several early Presidents, himself owned slaves. He opposed Federalism and strong central government,
but doubled America’s size by buying 800,000 square miles of territory from France. James Madison – at 5 foot 4, America’s shortest
President, but a towering figure in the fight to pass the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. As President, he was forced to fight another
war against Great Britain, to uphold America’s rights at sea. James Monroe – the last President who was
also a Founding Father. He warned Europe not to meddle in American
affairs, while promising the US would not interfere in Europe’s affairs. He passed legislation to restrict slavery
to existing slave-states, and new territories south of the Missouri Compromise line. He also supported the colonisation of Liberia
by free African-Americans, which is why its capital, Monrovia, is named after him. John Quincy Adams – son of John Adams, America’s
second President. A brilliant diplomat who prioritised economic
development, while paying off most of America’s national debt. Andrew Jackson – a no-nonsense soldier,
hero of the War of 1812, and founder of the Democratic Party. Once wounded in a duel, his authoritarian
style caused his opponents, the Whigs, to brand him a dictator. He began a policy of forced relocation of
Native American tribes to west of the Mississippi River. Martin Van Buren – the first President born
in an independent United States. Son of an innkeeper, he spoke Dutch at home. His presidency was dominated by America’s
first major financial crash. He served one term, then lost three subsequent
bids for re-election. William Henry Harrison – a soldier who spent
most of his career fighting Native Americans. He gave the longest inaugural speech in history,
but served the shortest time in office – 30 days after his speech he died of pneumonia
– the first President to die in office. John Tyler – the first Vice President to
become President following the death of his predecessor. Expelled from his own party, the Whigs, for
vetoing their bills, which he believed to contravene states’ rights. James K Polk – a firm believer in westward
expansion, he signed the law admitting Texas to the Union, and provoked a war with Mexico,
resulting in the acquisition of half a million square miles of North America, including California,
Nevada and Utah. He also negotiated the division of Oregon
with the British. Zachary Taylor – career soldier, hero of
the Mexican War, had never voted before and held no firm political beliefs. With tensions rising between slave-owning
and free states, he threatened to hang Southern secessionists, but died suddenly of a stomach
illness. Millard Fillmore – born in a log cabin,
the last Whig President. He supported an uneasy compromise between
free and slave states, which was to prove short-lived. Franklin Pierce – took office shortly after
he and his wife witnessed the violent death of their 11 year old son, a trauma that likely
left them both suffering from depression. He hastened the slide towards civil war by
allowing brutal violence to engulf Kansas, where pro and anti-slavery settlers fought
for control of the territory. James Buchanan – his attempts to mediate
between Northern free states and Southern slave states failed abjectly, leading the
Democrat Party to split, and the Southern states to leave the Union. Abraham Lincoln – America’s first Republican
president, he led the North to victory in the Civil War, and freed all southern slaves
by executive order. He was the first president to be assassinated,
shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Andrew Johnson – a Southerner born into
poverty, he sided with the Union during the Civil War. But after the war, he blocked Congress’s attempts
to impose reforms on the south. This led to his impeachment, though he was
acquitted in the Senate by one vote. Ulysses S Grant – Union hero of the Civil
War, he used the military to enforce reconstruction of former slave states, and protect those
targeted by white supremacist violence in the south. His presidency also saw war against Native
Americans, in the Great Plains. Rutherford B Hayes – won the most disputed,
corrupt and violent presidential election in US history. He sought to heal the wounds left by the Civil
War and Reconstruction, but by withdrawing federal troops from the south, allowed white
supremacists to regain power. James A Garfield – took on corruption in
the Senate and civil service, with some success, but was shot by an embittered lawyer just
four months into his first term, and died of his wounds. Chester Arthur – son of an Irish Baptist
preacher. Against expectation, he proved above political
faction, and continued Garfield’s work of reforming government bureaucracy. Grover Cleveland – the first Democrat President
since the Civil War, and the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. He used the presidential veto with gusto,
blocking measures he thought were beyond the remit of federal government – even pensions
for civil war veterans, and subsidies for destitute farmers. Look out for Part 2 of US Presidents, where
we continue with America’s 23rd President. As America prepares to elect its 45th President,
this is Epic History TV’s guide to the first 44 Presidents. George Washington – hero of the Revolutionary
War and America’s first president, twice elected unanimously by the Electoral College. He steered
America on a course of neutrality, and stepped down after two terms. John Adams – lawyer, diplomat and intellectual,
he’d been one of the leading voices in the call for American independence. He avoided
all-out war with France, was the first President to live in the White House, and the first
to lose an election. Thomas Jefferson – chief author of the Declaration
of Independence. He was a fierce defender of individual liberty, though like several
early Presidents, himself owned slaves. He opposed Federalism and strong central government,
but doubled America’s size by buying 800,000 square miles of territory from France. James Madison – at 5 foot 4, America’s shortest
President, but a towering figure in the fight to pass the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
As President, he was forced to fight another war against Great Britain, to uphold America’s
rights at sea. James Monroe – the last President who was
also a Founding Father. He warned Europe not to meddle in American affairs, while promising
the US would not interfere in Europe’s affairs. He passed legislation to restrict slavery
to existing slave-states, and new territories south of the Missouri Compromise line. He
also supported the colonisation of Liberia by free African-Americans, which is why its
capital, Monrovia, is named after him. John Quincy Adams – son of John Adams, America’s
second President. A brilliant diplomat who prioritised economic development, while paying
off most of America’s national debt. Andrew Jackson – a no-nonsense soldier,
hero of the War of 1812, and founder of the Democratic Party. Once wounded in a duel,
his authoritarian style caused his opponents, the Whigs, to brand him a dictator. He began
a policy of forced relocation of Native American tribes to west of the Mississippi River. Martin Van Buren – the first President born
in an independent United States. Son of an innkeeper, he spoke Dutch at home. His presidency
was dominated by America’s first major financial crash. He served one term, then lost three
subsequent bids for re-election. William Henry Harrison – a soldier who spent
most of his career fighting Native Americans. He gave the longest inaugural speech in history,
but served the shortest time in office – 30 days after his speech he died of pneumonia
– the first President to die in office. John Tyler – the first Vice President to
become President following the death of his predecessor. Expelled from his own party,
the Whigs, for vetoing their bills, which he believed to contravene states’ rights. James K Polk – a firm believer in westward
expansion, he signed the law admitting Texas to the Union, and provoked a war with Mexico,
resulting in the acquisition of half a million square miles of North America, including California,
Nevada and Utah. He also negotiated the division of Oregon with the British. Zachary Taylor – career soldier, hero of
the Mexican War, had never voted before and held no firm political beliefs. With tensions
rising between slave-owning and free states, he threatened to hang Southern secessionists,
but died suddenly of a stomach illness. Millard Fillmore – born in a log cabin,
the last Whig President. He supported an uneasy compromise between free and slave states,
which was to prove short-lived. Franklin Pierce – took office shortly after
he and his wife witnessed the violent death of their 11 year old son, a trauma that likely
left them both suffering from depression. He hastened the slide towards civil war by
allowing brutal violence to engulf Kansas, where pro and anti-slavery settlers fought
for control of the territory. James Buchanan – his attempts to mediate
between Northern free states and Southern slave states failed abjectly, leading the
Democrat Party to split, and the Southern states to leave the Union. Abraham Lincoln – America’s first Republican
president, he led the North to victory in the Civil War, and freed all southern slaves
by executive order. He was the first president to be assassinated, shot and killed by John
Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC. Andrew Johnson – a Southerner born into
poverty, he sided with the Union during the Civil War. But after the war, he blocked Congress’s
attempts to impose reforms on the south. This led to his impeachment, though he was acquitted
in the Senate by one vote. Ulysses S Grant – Union hero of the Civil
War, he used the military to enforce reconstruction of former slave states, and protect those
targeted by white supremacist violence in the south. His presidency also saw war against
Native Americans, in the Great Plains. Rutherford B Hayes – won the most disputed,
corrupt and violent presidential election in US history. He sought to heal the wounds
left by the Civil War and Reconstruction, but by withdrawing federal troops from the
south, allowed white supremacists to regain power. James A Garfield – took on corruption in
the Senate and civil service, with some success, but was shot by an embittered lawyer just
four months into his first term, and died of his wounds. Chester Arthur – son of an Irish Baptist
preacher. Against expectation, he proved above political faction, and continued Garfield’s
work of reforming government bureaucracy. Grover Cleveland – the first Democrat President
since the Civil War, and the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. He used
the presidential veto with gusto, blocking measures he thought were beyond the remit
of federal government – even pensions for civil war veterans, and subsidies for destitute
farmers. Look out for Part 2 of US Presidents, where
we continue with America’s 23rd President. Bridgeman Images are the leading supplier
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