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Readers Respond: Who Do You Think Were the Top Ten Most Influential Presidents?

Responses: 171


Historians often discuss which presidents were the most influential in American History. It's your turn to rank who you believe are the top ten presidents. Share Your Opinion

Jackson deserves a spot

Andrew Jackson did disobey some of the constitution's limitations. He was like a dictator, pretty much doing what he wanted. But he was very influential, as he was born in a log cabin, ascended to power, and made great changes to America. He may not have been an ideal American President, but he was influential (he even nominated Van Buren, his sort of puppet in Washington)
—Guest Joe Johnson

Calvin Cooligde

Calvin Coolidge supported our prosperous time during the Roaring Twenties and had a good honest moral character unlike President Warren G. Harding
—Guest TJC

top predsdents

washington first lincoln 2nd roosevlt 3rd truman 4th jefferson 5 th tr 6th
—Guest va rebel 36

Lincoln no brainier

I have been studying presidential history Washington started it lincoln preserved it and it cost him his life but I believe if he new what would happen he would still have done it I am Scottish we have a few heroes I revere lincoln as much as any of yhem
—Guest Joetic

My option

I think George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, franklin rosvelt were good presidents because they taught with both their heart and Brian and what was right for the citizens of the wanted states.
—Guest Morgan

Polk enthusiast

Without the 4 years of Polk, the shape of the US might be a lot different. He was the man in the spot at the right time. He made the best of the time he had.
—Guest Bill48

Top ten most influential US presidents

Thomas Jefferson Franklin Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln George Washington James Polk Theodore Roosevelt Andrew Jackson Dwight Eisenhower Lyndon Johnson James Madison
—Guest Roger E. Nott

Jackson - seriously?

I am so disappointed that you would include Andrew Jackson. He willfully disobeyed the Supreme Court in Worchester v Georgia - for that alone he should NEVER be celebrated. Although I do agree with many of your accolades for him, I believe that this negative is SO GREAT that it overwhelms all the positives that he did accomplish. When you consider all of our presidents and the many significant historical accomplishments they have achieved you MUST also consider what they have done that has hurt this nation. I cannot think of anything a President can do worse than to openly disregard the Constitution. For this reason Andrew Jackson should never be considered a GREAT president. In Response: The list is made up of the most influential presidents. As it states in the beginning: "My picks for the top ten influential presidents were based on their historical influence and their actions while in office." Influential is not a value judgement in this instance.
—Guest High School History Teacher

My top 5 (continued) thanks for reading

As you can see my last response had only three picked. My phone was on the verge of a dead battery so I posted what I could. Sorry about that. Well lets get back on track. 4) Harry s Truman- like they pointed out he made the hardest decision of any president to drop the atomic bomb. Therefore we won WW2 in the pacific. Remember the Japanese were known to not surrender and would rather commit suicide rather than giving up. So there's some points for Truman. He also wanted equal rights but congress turned him down multiple times. 5) Ronald Reagan- basically ended the Cold War in his term. Ended communism at Berlin with the breaking of the famous Berlin Wall. Wasn't afraid to speak his mind. (Was heckled once and told the heckler to shut up and he did) he was also very humorous. He did serve in the army before but only stayed within the U.S. as an instructor. I also wanted to point out JFK did so much in his 2 years that most would've done in 6 or 7. Remember this is my opinion. Thank you
—Guest Guest

My top 5

1) Abraham Lincoln- led the nation when it was falling apart in the civil war. Was assassinated for his effort for equal rights. Known as honest Abe and also was humorous 2) John f Kennedy- made the Russians back down at a no-killing-war. (AKA the Cold War) With the evidence provided there is a big chance he was assassinated for telling the truths about groups like the illuminati and free masons. Also known as a truth teller. Served in WW2 and saved his men from drowning in the pacific 3.) George Washington- led battles in the revolutionary war heroically. Wanted to return to his home on mt.Vernon but by public demand he was president. Established democracy so we can vote. A founding father as well
—Guest Mferrara

Excellent list

I agree with each one, though I think Polk could well be listed higher. Understandably you rated positive influence higher than negative. My 11th would be Lyndon Johnson because of his effectiveness in getting civil rights and War on Poverty legislation passed and also his harmful escalation of the Viet Nam War.
—Guest Roger Nott


Eisenhower was obviously the best president in our nation. So many adored him to the point he couldn't take it. Now he is resting in peace in the best place in the world! I LOVE Eisenhower!!
—Guest Eisenhower

The Best

Despite never serving as president, Henry Clay was obviously the best president.
—Guest DJ Ya Boy Earl

Lets be real here

Obviously Polk should be top ten he did what he said he would do. the order should be FDR, jefferson, Polkm then LBJ, and finally Lincoln
—Guest smellycat

Top Presidents...

1) Lincoln, 2)Jefferson (he started the western expansion of US from sea to sea which was a huge influence on policies for a century, founding father, states rights, etc), FDR, Washington, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt(US became a world power, here and he on Mt Rushmore), JFK, Eisenhower, Andrew Jackson, and Ronald Reagan (ending the cold war has Got to count for something?) I'm not sure exactly on the order but that my top 10. Maybe Monroe should be more by Jackson... Notables- Nixon (being influential, not necessarily good), Polk, Wilson and Obama. Non notables- LBJ (followed in shadow of JFK and his civil rights was already work in progress), Truman (same as above except FDR instead of JFK), Coolidge, McKinley, Taft. I don't know, just don't think they resonate at top 10.
—Guest Another American History Buff

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Who Do You Think Were the Top Ten Most Influential Presidents?

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