Washington of course because he was our first President, Lincoln because of the Emancipation proclamation, Nixon because of Watergate, and finally Clinton all though he got himself in a bit of trouble, he was a great President.
As all of these Presidents did have their good points. As with ALL Presidents, they did have their bad moments.
This is a tough question, and many people will give different answers. I would have to agree that Washington and Lincoln are definitely in there. Many would also say Jefferson, but recent work has shown that John Adams may have surpassed him in influence. But I would have to say that F. Roosevelt must be included, for leading us through the Great Depression and World War II, then Teddy Roosevelt who really gave the United States a global presence, for better or for worse.
So I say Washington, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts. But I still want to say Adams too.
Washington because everything he did established a precedent. Jefferson because he went against everything he stood for and made the Louisiana Purchase and allowed the United States to expand across the continent. FDR because through both social and political policy he gave the people hope and pulled America into a position of leadership on the world stage. Reagan because he re-infused the American people with pride and whether by accident or design was instrumental in ending the Cold War. Arguably anyone of them, other than Washington, could, and possibly should, be replaced by Jackson and Lincoln.
Like ancient Rome, America must be divided into two historic periods: pre 1964, where America's political and economic arenas were consistent with what the Founding Fathers created --and wanted. Putting it another way, America's political/economic arenas - in structure -were consistent with all human societies prior to 1964. Then came the Civil Rights Act in 1964. THIS THING changed everything.
So, pre 1964, the four influential presidents would be (IMO): 1) Washington -set precedents; 2) Jefferson--Louisiana Purchase; 3) Lincoln;- Civil War & emancipation; 4) Roosevelt- built the foundation to socialism.
Post 1964: 1) LBJ- the creator of compulsory inclusionism (forced integration) and American cradle-to-grave socialism; 2) Carter - gave away America's Panama Canal & created the Dept. of Education ; 3) Reagan - invented the concept 'deficits don't matter'; 4) Bush - orchestrated the 9-11 attack on US civilians
Influential: Exterting or possessing influence*
1) a: an ethereal fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humans
b: an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars
2): an emanation of spiritual or moral force
3): a: the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command
b: corrupt interference with authority for personal gain
4: the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways
Based on the definitions of influential, I would have to say:
- George Washington
- Thomas Jefferson
- Abraham Lincoln
- Franklin Roosevelt
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