Top 10 Worst American Presidents

This is a ranking of the worst American presidents in history, which took into consideration all their achievements, or rather, their failures, during their mandates. According to your own personal likes and dislikes, please feel free to disagree and nominate other “candidates” for the position of “worst president”, giving also a reason of your antipathy.

1. James Buchanan (1857-61)

Of all the American presidents, James Buchanan was to worst. Why? Because he failed to prevent the Civil War. This was considered the worst mistake ever made by a president. Though he struggled to maintain the peace, he failed lamentably as history has shown and USA was almost disintegrated because of his incompetence.

2. Franklin Pierce (1853-57)

Franklin Pierce, is the only president of the United States who was abandoned by his own party after only one term. He was hated unanimously after signing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which was intended as a compromise between North and South. Also, the Ostend Manifesto, which was created to promote the annexation of Cuba, caused great controversy.

3. Martin Van Buren (1837-41)

He is one of the worse American presidents ever because, after having served as Andrew Jackson’s vice-president he went on with his policy of chasing Native Americans out of their own lands and, what’s more, he made effective the Indian Removal Act, in the most brutal way possible.

4. William Harrison (1841)

The first president of the United States to die in office and also the oldest elected president until Ronald Reagan, he was selected as one of the worst American presidents not only for the fact that he was president for merely 32 days but also because he was defeated in the presidential race two times before being finally elected.

5. Richard Nixon (1969-74)

Nixon had a great first presidential mandate, which culminated with successful diplomatic missions in China and in the Soviet Union and also with the end of the Vietnam War. However, in his second mandate, he made a huge mistake which forced him to resign shamefully after the discovery of some records which incriminated him of having covered a forced entry at the Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel.

6. George W. Bush (2001-2009)

George W. Bush was actually positioned on the same place as Richard Nixon in the official rankings. Nevertheless, he succeeded to get a second mandate due to his “declaration of war” against terrorism, which was followed by the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The popularity of this president declined little by little with his fail to react properly during the hurricane Katrina disaster and also, after the collapse of the US financial market.

7. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

Hoover began his mandate in the most unfortunate moment for any president- a few months before the famous Wall Street Crash which gave birth to the Great Depression. Was he actually a poor president or he was just there at the wrong moment? Most probably, he was unprepared to deal with such a crisis and his management was inefficient. Unable to enact any of the measures he proposed (tax-cuts, for the families with low-income and pension increase), he found himself today on the list of the worst American presidents.

8. Warren Harding (1921-23)

Harding died two years after having been elected president of the United States. At that time, he was very popular and therefore, he would not be on this list today if things had stopped here. They did not. Scandals arose soon after his death concerning many of the persons he had appointed in high positions. The accusations included bribe and fraud while things were made worse by suicides and imprisonment of the guilty.

9. James Garfield (1881)

The second shortest presidency in the United States was that of James Garfield who was shot only 200 days after being elected. Garfield was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau who was refused a position.

10. Millard Filmore (1850-53)

Filmore was considered one of the worst American Presidents because of his lame attempt to solve the slave crisis, which made things worse, rather than resolving the problem: after intense discussions regarding the slave trade, the president could not achieve anything else than a vague compromise which, if anything, complicated the situation further: while slave trade was abolished in two states, other slave holders became even more powerful than before, because of the lowering of competition. This created the premises for the Civil War that was to come.