Introduction - Worst US Presidents
As of 2014, the United States of America has elected 38 presidents and there are an additional 5 who have
served as president but were not elected. As history shows, not all presidents have lived up to their expectations. This section focuses
on presidents who have gone down in history as some of the worst US presidents ever. What makes a poor president? One factor is when a president fails to effectively
handle new challenges or a crisis during his presidency. Also, what makes a president successful or not largely depends on popularity. Take a look at the facts and
information listed below on the top 5 worst US Presidents and see why they made it to the list. You will also find links to the listed presidents, an interesting read
for kids and adults alike.
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about the Presidents of the United States.
The below list is in dates served as President order. Although we are only ranking the 5 worst presidents, you will find other presidents such as Calvin Coolidge, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Pierce appearing on many worst president lists.
Worst US Presidents - Top 5 List
- Millard Fillmore (1850 - 1853)
- James Buchanan (1857 - 1861)
- Warren G. Harding (1921 - 1923)
- Richard Nixon (1969 - 1974)
- George W. Bush (2001 - 2009)
US Presidents Making Our Worst List
- Millard Fillmore - He was never actually elected president, but became president in 1850 when President Taylor suddenly died. He essentially allowed slavery to continue and even spread by supporting the Compromise of 1850. He lacked the leadership and strength to lead a divided nation through this humanitarian crisis.
- James Buchanan - He will forever be remembered for doing nothing to stop the secession of states from the Union prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War. In fact, to many historians, his inability to halt the secession will go down in history as one of the worst mistakes of any president. His lack of concern for slavery and the downward economic slide during his presidency only added to his unpopularity.
- Warren G. Harding - His presidency was wrought with scandal. He appointed his friends, many unqualified, to important government positions. They, in turn, wreaked havoc on his presidency and ultimately ruined his reputation. The most well-known scandal during this time was the Teapot Dome Scandal in which his Secretary of the Interior wound up in jail for accepting bribes.
- Richard Nixon - He was the only president to resign from office. Before he could be formally impeached, he resigned as a result of the infamous Watergate scandal, the most well-known case of corruption in US politics. Nixon may or may not have been involved in the attempted wiretapping of his opposing political party, but he went to great lengths to cover it up including tampering with evidence and firing staff members. All the good he may have done as president will forever be overshadowed by his involvement in this scandal.
- George W. Bush - The worst president in recent history is arguably George W. Bush. The national debt skyrocketed and economic growth went south under his presidency. His handling of the war in Iraq, which the US entered into after 9/11, is considered a botched failure. His handling of the aftermath of Katrina, the hurricane that devastated many parts of the south during his presidency, was considered equally botched.