United States Presidents: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

President James Polk once said, "With me it is exceptionally true that the Presidency is no bed of roses. " And it is definitely true that the being the most powerful man on earth cannot be an easy task. Forty- three men have taken on the challenge of filling these shoes and to be forever considered for their accomplishments. In this line of powerful men, some are remembered for their ability to overcome adversity and leave a legacy of prestige and success while others have failed in their attempts to lead the country successfully.

In almost every poll, James Buchanan ranks as one of the three worst presidents in United States history while Franklin D. Roosevelt lands in the top three on the roster of great presidents. Although almost no president was as well trained and well prepared for the office as James Buchanan. James Buchanan has been noted as the worst president in the history of the United States. He had served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, the U. S. House, and the U. S.

Senate; he was Secretary of State and was even offered a seat on the Supreme Court before running for the Presidency. Despite all of his credentials, Buchanan's indecisive ways and confused demeanor may have made the Civil War inevitable. Instead of taking a solid stand on the issue of slavery, Buchanan chose to try to appease both sides by deeming succession of the south illegal. He also said it was illegal to use military intervention to prevent the breaking up of the Union. It has been said that James Buchanan affected the Supreme Court's decision in the Dred Scott Case.

The Supreme Court ruled that slaves could never be United States citizens not could the Federal Government regulate slavery in the territories. In stark contrast to Buchanan's weak and disgraceful stint in the presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt shines among the other forty-two presidents because of his ability to lead, guide, and direct our country during two of hardest times in American history. Serving as the world's most powerful man from 1933 to his death in 1945, Roosevelt is the only president who was in power for more than two terms.

He came into the presidency with the humongous task of bringing the country out of the Great Depression, and he skillfully did so by implementing programs through the New Deal, some of which still exist today. These organizations provided jobs to the many unemployed citizens and set the stage for an economic turnover in America. Programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provided jobs for over 400,000 men and also improved the quality of basic necessities including affordable electricity and cleaner water.

President FDR, Roosevelt's nickname, also proficiently led American troops in World War II. He managed to avoid major U. S. involvement in the war until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor by instead building up our military and supplying aid to other allied countries in Europe. By 1941, this military build up helped the United States unemployment fall below one million people. After the attacks at Pearl Harbor he and the other members of the "Big Three", Churchill and Stalin, maintained effective war strategy that helped keep the Allies on top.

Many men have led this country in its over 200 years of existence, but few men have been able to land among our nation's best or to slip into the bottom of the list. According to James Polk the Presidency is not easy, but it those who take the good with the bad and make the most of their time in the office who positively influence America and its people. Franklin Roosevelt was one of the greats who stared adversity in the face and overcame it to successfully lead our country. Leaving a legacy, Roosevelt is remembered as one of the best Presidents in American history.

On the other hand, James Buchanan succeeded only to be acknowledged for his incompetence and his shameful presidential term. Works Cited "Biography of James Buchanan. " The White House. The White House. 02 Apr. 2007 . "Dred Scott Case. " Wikipedia. 02 Apr. 2007. Wikipedia. 04 Apr. 2007 . "Franklin D. Roosevelt. " Wikipedia. 03 Apr. 2007. Wikipedia. 04 Apr. 2007 . "James Buchanan. " Wikipedia. 02 Apr. 2007. Wikipedia. 04 Apr. 2007 . "Presidential Rankings. " Infoplease. 2006. Pearson Education. 05 Apr. 2007 .