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Q: That the sectional conflict was an irrepressible conflict or do you think it was the work of bungling politicians fanatics and agitators?
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What is one major accomplishments of each president?

GEORGE WASHINGTON created a national bank that helped stabilize the U.S. economy. He also put down the Whiskey Rebellion, a rebellion of farmers against a whiskey tax and, despite a great deal of public pressure, refused to support either Great Britain or France, who were engaged in a war with each other. JOHN ADAMS was a member of the Federalist Party which favored a strong central government. Adams differed from most other Federalists in that he disliked Alexander Hamilton, making his political base shaky. Despite continuing the policy of neutrality advocated by Washington, Adams is best remembered for the XYZ Affair, in which a French foreign minister attempted to extract bribes from American diplomats, and the Alien and Sedition Acts, which allowed Adams to jail those that criticized him. THOMAS JEFFERSON was the founder of the Democratic Republican Party which favored a weaker central government, especially a weak president. Despite this, Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase from France, more than doubling the size of the country despite the fact that it was unconstitutional in the strictest sense. JAMES MADISON was known as the 'Father of the Constitution'. Madison agreed with Jefferson's decision to have a small national army, but was bullied into a war with Great Britain called the War of 1812 or Mr. Madison's War. Madison let the national bank disappear in the middle of the crisis and then tried to conquer Canada. Washington, D.C. was set ablaze by an invading British contingent and the war ended in a stalemate. JAMES MONROE presided over a time known as the Era of Good Feelings for its lack of strife, political or otherwise. He is best known for having released the Monroe Doctrine, declaring that the Western Hemisphere was off limits to colonization. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS was the son of John Adams. He inherited both his father's intelligence and vanity. A poor political leader, Adams suffered at the hands of a charismatic political rival named Andrew Jackson who was successful at blocking Adams' attempts at using tax dollars to fund internal improvements (Jackson believed the issue was up to individual states). ANDREW JACKSON fought his way to the top and entered the national scene after a stunning victory at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Jackson had a hatred for the rich and banks (he was born poor and as a young man went bankrupt) and was one of the most racist presidents. Jackson lashed out at all he hated, destroying the Second Bank of the United States, causing an economic depression, and forced Native Americans to move out of Georgia. Jackson, to his credit, also stopped South Carolina from seceding after the state attempted to nullify a federal law. MARTIN VAN BUREN had the misfortune to come to the presidency just as the economic depression caused by Jackson was underway. Van Buren, believing in the power of the states, did little to help the poor and was quickly voted out. WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON was the first president to die in office. He died a month into his presidency and did absolutely nothing (Congress wasn't in session). JOHN TYLER was a supporter of all things that Jackson believed in except for Jackson himself, whom he quarreled with. Tyler left the Democratic Party, founded by Jackson, to join the Whig Party. Upon Harrison's death, Tyler declared that he was president, not just acting president, alienating people on both sides of the political spectrum. He refused to support many Whig policies and, like John Quincy Adams, his administration was largely ineffectual. His legacy has permanently suffered for joining the Confederacy. JAMES K. POLK was hand-picked by Jackson to be the Democratic president despite the fact that Polk was a dark horse or a politician not known on the national level. Polk gained the southern half of the Oregon Territory from Great Britain and annexed Texas form Mexico. Angry that Mexican dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna refused to sell Alto California, Polk started the Mexican War by ordering American troops to cross the Nueces River into Mexico. When Santa Anna attacked, Polk declared war (claiming the troops were on American soil) but left the White House an unpopular man. ZACHARY TAYLOR was a hero of the Mexican War. Despite being a slave owner from Louisiana, Taylor did not support the Compromise of 1850 which would have allowed southerners to re-capture slaves that had fled north. Taylor tried to put slavery on the road to extinction but died suddenly of an intestinal disease. MILLARD FILLMORE signed the Compromise of 1850, further dividing the country on the slavery issue. FRANKLIN PIERCE knew that most of his support came from the South and did everything to please southerners including enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act (part of the Compromise of 1850) even when impractical. He is also remembered for signing the Kansas-Nebraska Act which declared the Kansas and Nebraska Territories could become states and vote whether to be slave states or not (the argument led to multiple deaths when voters on both sides took to killing each other) and the Ostend Manifesto which declared that Cuba was a U.S. territory whether Spain liked it or not (Pierce was widely ridiculed for this). JAMES BUCHANAN wanted Kansas to enter as a slave state and used the controversial Dred Scott Decision, which stated that slavery was legal in all territories, to support his decision. When South Carolina seceded rather than let Abraham Lincoln be president, Buchanan did nothing. ABRAHAM LINCOLN did everything to stop secession. When this failed, Lincoln formed a coalition of politicians to help destroy the Confederacy. He released the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in rebellious states and advocated the Thirteenth Amendment ending slavery. Tragically, he was assassinated by an actor named John Wilkes Booth who had Confederate sympathies. ANDREW JOHNSON was a senator from Tennessee and the only representative of a Confederate state that did not leave the Union with his state. Johnson was selected by Lincoln as the vice president in hopes of proving that the Civil War was not solely a Republican cause. Upon Lincoln's death, Johnson did everything to return the whites to power. Johnson tried to prevent the Fifteenth Amendment from passing and was the first president to be impeached because his racist views clashed with a more liberal Congress. ULYSSES S. GRANT did everything to reverse Johnson's policies and broke the back of the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group. Grant is however largely remembered for attacks that his administration was corrupt (mostly exaggerations). RUTHERFORD B. HAYES stopped protecting blacks in the South and largely turned a blind eye to the horrific racial violence. JAMES A. GARFIELD was killed by an insane man named Charles Guiteau barely a month into his presidency. No major accomplishments. CHESTER ALAN ARTHUR signed the Pendleton Act which broke the back of corrupt political machines. Today, Arthur is brushed off as little more than a dandy, though. GROVER CLEVELAND is the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms. Cleveland backed the gold standard in economics dividing the Democratic Party (some backed silver) and used violent force against striking labor unions. BENJAMIN HARRISON is barely remembered for anything beyond being William Henry Harrison's grandson. The second Harrison bungled the econimic issues on silver or gold. WILLIAM McKINLEY supported Cuban rebels against their Spanish overlords. When an American naval ship exploded in Havana Harbor, a suspicious McKinley declared war on Spain. He acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and Guantanamo Bay. The only reason McKinley is not ranked among the great presidents is because he was overshadowed by his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, who took office when McKinley was killed by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz (Zol-goz). THEODORE ROOSEVELT was the youngest president at 42. Roosevelt created the Food and Drug Administration to investigate unhealthy business practices, arbitrated several labor strikes, set aside land for national parks, built the Panama Canal, and increased the size of the American military. WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT was appointed to the Supreme Court later in life, the post of his dreams. He never wanted to be president, but was convinced by Theodore Roosevelt. He destroyed several trusts but was an unpopular leader. WOODOROW WILSON was a racist on par with Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. He segregated multiple federal departments and, despite declaring he was a pacifist, invaded Mexico after a Mexican rebel named Pancho Villa attacked a town in New Mexico. He attempted to avoid the First World War (and failed) then tried to create a treaty based on the Fourteen Points, but found British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and French President Georges Clemenceau unwilling to listen. He created the League of Nations but his refusal to compromise resulted in Congress blocking attempts of Wilson to get the U.S. to join the League. WARREN G. HARDING was placed in the White House by his power-hungry wife, Florence, and several corrupt cronies who promptly committed many crimes. Harding admitted he had no idea what the hell he was doing before dying in San Francisco from a heart attack. CALVIN COOLIDGE cleaned up the scandalous mess that Harding had left him. He is ranked low because many of his economic policies are blamed for causing the Great Depression. HERBERT HOOVER was in a situation similar to Van Buren. He stumbled into an economic mess and had no idea how to extricate himself. Toward the end of his presidency he attempted to help the poor but it was too late. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT was the fifth cousin of Theodore Roosevelt and was elected more than any other president (four times!). He was also the only paraplegic. Roosevelt did everything to alleviate the plight of the disenfranchised (the majority of the country) despite claims that his policies, known as the New Deal, were socialist in nature. F.D.R. also advocating the destruction of Nazism and did everything to help Great Britain. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, F.D.R. turned the U.S. into an efficient war machine before dying shortly after his fourth election. HARRY S TRUMAN dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the Second World War. He also helped rebuild Europe, utilizing the Marshall Plan and released the Truman Doctrine, declaring that communism would be contained. After China fell to communists, Truman took a firmer stance; he airlifted supplies into West Berlin and started the Korean War to avoid the Korean Peninsula falling into communist hands. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER de-segregated the school system, setting apartheid on the road to extinction, and also ended the Korean War in a stalemate (better than losing). JOHN F. KENNEDY gave the all-go for the Bay of Pigs Invasion but lost his resolve at the last moment and decided not to provide physical support for the plan to overthrow the communist regime in Cuba. When it was discovered that the Soviet Union had nuclear missiles in Cuba, Kennedy showed uncharacteristic decisiveness and stood his ground, resulting in the missiles removal. He was assassinated in Dallas. The case has never been convincingly solved. LYNDON B. JOHNSON launched his Great Society policies with plans to improve the lot of all Americans. Despite ending segregation, his legacy has been tempered by his poor handling of the Vietnam War. RICHARD NIXON negotiated the end to the Vietnam War, opened relations with the People's Republic of China, and eased tensions with the Soviet Union. Nixon was not as successful in the domestic arena and has been overshadowed by the Watergate Scandal and his resignation. GERALD FORD is most remembered for pardoning Nixon, tripping while coming down the ramp of Air Force One, and saying that there was no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe. JIMMY CARTER advocated human rights but looked the other way when it came to the shah of Iran. Carter offered asylum to the shah when he was deposed; the result was Iranian revolutionaries taking Americans hostage. Carter also found himself unable to solve the Energy Crisis. Out of office, Carter has served as a diplomat. RONALD REAGAN is one of the most polarizing presidents. His supporters point to the fact that he started an arms race against the Soviet Union, hastening its demise. His detractors point the Iran-contra scandal, in which the administration illegally sold weapons. GEORGE BUSH admitted to having trouble with 'the vision thing'. Bush successfully prosecuted the Persian Gulf War, but a bungling of the economic issue and his lack of assertiveness following the fall of the Soviet Union has hurt his reputation. BILL CLINTON was a vacillating leader. Despite improving the economy and stopping ethnic genocide in Bosnia, Clinton is overshadowed by the Lewinsky Scandal for which he was impeached and his refusal to combat al Qaeda. GEORGE W. BUSH rallied the nation following the 9/11 attacks and successfully overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Bush also overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq but lacked the foresight to have anything more than this goal in mind. His willingness to bend the Constitution has also hurt his reputation. His approval rating is one of the lowest ever recorded.

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