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American Presidents Part 1

As America prepares to elect its 45th President, this is Epic History TV's guide to the first

44 Presidents.

George Washington - hero of the Revolutionary War and America's first president, twice elected

unanimously by the Electoral College.

He steered America on a course of neutrality, and stepped down after two terms.

John Adams - lawyer, diplomat and intellectual, he'd been one of the leading voices in the

call for American independence.

He avoided all-out war with France, was the first President to live in the White House,

and the first to lose an election.

Thomas Jefferson – chief author of the Declaration of Independence.

He was a fierce defender of individual liberty, though like several early Presidents, himself

owned slaves.

He opposed Federalism and strong central government, but doubled America's size by buying 800,000

square miles of territory from France.

James Madison – at 5 foot 4, America's shortest President, but a towering figure in the fight

to pass the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

As President, he was forced to fight another war against Great Britain, to uphold America's

rights at sea.

James Monroe – the last President who was also a Founding Father.

He warned Europe not to meddle in American affairs, while promising the US would not

interfere in Europe's affairs.

He passed legislation to restrict slavery to existing slave-states, and new territories

south of the Missouri Compromise line.

He also supported the colonisation of Liberia by free African-Americans, which is why its

capital, Monrovia, is named after him.

John Quincy Adams – son of John Adams, America's second President.

A brilliant diplomat who prioritised economic development, while paying off most of America's

national debt.

Andrew Jackson – a no-nonsense soldier, hero of the War of 1812, and founder of the

Democratic Party.

Once wounded in a duel, his authoritarian style caused his opponents, the Whigs, to

brand him a dictator.

He began a policy of forced relocation of Native American tribes to west of the Mississippi

River.

Martin Van Buren – the first President born in an independent United States.

Son of an innkeeper, he spoke Dutch at home.

His presidency was dominated by America's first major financial crash.

He served one term, then lost three subsequent bids for re-election.

William Henry Harrison – a soldier who spent most of his career fighting Native Americans.

He gave the longest inaugural speech in history, but served the shortest time in office – 30

days after his speech he died of pneumonia - the first President to die in office.

John Tyler – the first Vice President to become President following the death of his

predecessor.

Expelled from his own party, the Whigs, for vetoing their bills, which he believed to

contravene states' rights.

James K Polk – a firm believer in westward expansion, he signed the law admitting Texas

to the Union, and provoked a war with Mexico, resulting in the acquisition of half a million

square miles of North America, including California, Nevada and Utah.

He also negotiated the division of Oregon with the British.

Zachary Taylor – career soldier, hero of the Mexican War, had never voted before and

held no firm political beliefs.

With tensions rising between slave-owning and free states, he threatened to hang Southern

secessionists, but died suddenly of a stomach illness.

Millard Fillmore – born in a log cabin, the last Whig President.

He supported an uneasy compromise between free and slave states, which was to prove

short-lived.

Franklin Pierce – took office shortly after he and his wife witnessed the violent death

of their 11 year old son, a trauma that likely left them both suffering from depression.

He hastened the slide towards civil war by allowing brutal violence to engulf Kansas,

where pro and anti-slavery settlers fought for control of the territory.

James Buchanan – his attempts to mediate between Northern free states and Southern

slave states failed abjectly, leading the Democrat Party to split, and the Southern

states to leave the Union.

Abraham Lincoln – America's first Republican president, he led the North to victory in

the Civil War, and freed all southern slaves by executive order.

He was the first president to be assassinated, shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth, at Ford's

Theatre in Washington DC.

Andrew Johnson – a Southerner born into poverty, he sided with the Union during the

Civil War.

But after the war, he blocked Congress's attempts to impose reforms on the south.

This led to his impeachment, though he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

Ulysses S Grant – Union hero of the Civil War, he used the military to enforce reconstruction

of former slave states, and protect those targeted by white supremacist violence in

the south.

His presidency also saw war against Native Americans, in the Great Plains.

Rutherford B Hayes – won the most disputed, corrupt and violent presidential election

in US history.

He sought to heal the wounds left by the Civil War and Reconstruction, but by withdrawing

federal troops from the south, allowed white supremacists to regain power.

James A Garfield – took on corruption in the Senate and civil service, with some success,

but was shot by an embittered lawyer just four months into his first term, and died

of his wounds.

Chester Arthur – son of an Irish Baptist preacher.

Against expectation, he proved above political faction, and continued Garfield's work of

reforming government bureaucracy.

Grover Cleveland – the first Democrat President since the Civil War, and the only president

to serve two non-consecutive terms.

He used the presidential veto with gusto, blocking measures he thought were beyond the

remit of federal government – even pensions for civil war veterans, and subsidies for

destitute farmers.

Look out for Part 2 of US Presidents, where we continue with America's 23rd President.

As America prepares to elect its 45th President, this is Epic History TV's guide to the first

44 Presidents.

George Washington - hero of the Revolutionary War and America's first president, twice elected

unanimously by the Electoral College. He steered America on a course of neutrality, and stepped

down after two terms.

John Adams - lawyer, diplomat and intellectual, he'd been one of the leading voices in the

call for American independence. He avoided all-out war with France, was the first President

to live in the White House, and the first to lose an election.

Thomas Jefferson – chief author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a fierce defender

of individual liberty, though like several early Presidents, himself owned slaves. He

opposed Federalism and strong central government, but doubled America's size by buying 800,000

square miles of territory from France.

James Madison – at 5 foot 4, America's shortest President, but a towering figure in the fight

to pass the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. As President, he was forced to fight another

war against Great Britain, to uphold America's rights at sea.

James Monroe – the last President who was also a Founding Father. He warned Europe not

to meddle in American affairs, while promising the US would not interfere in Europe's affairs.

He passed legislation to restrict slavery to existing slave-states, and new territories

south of the Missouri Compromise line. He also supported the colonisation of Liberia

by free African-Americans, which is why its capital, Monrovia, is named after him.

John Quincy Adams – son of John Adams, America's second President. A brilliant diplomat who

prioritised economic development, while paying off most of America's national debt.

Andrew Jackson – a no-nonsense soldier, hero of the War of 1812, and founder of the

Democratic Party. Once wounded in a duel, his authoritarian style caused his opponents,

the Whigs, to brand him a dictator. He began a policy of forced relocation of Native American

tribes to west of the Mississippi River.

Martin Van Buren – the first President born in an independent United States. Son of an

innkeeper, he spoke Dutch at home. His presidency was dominated by America's first major financial

crash. He served one term, then lost three subsequent bids for re-election.

William Henry Harrison – a soldier who spent most of his career fighting Native Americans.

He gave the longest inaugural speech in history, but served the shortest time in office – 30

days after his speech he died of pneumonia - the first President to die in office.

John Tyler – the first Vice President to become President following the death of his

predecessor. Expelled from his own party, the Whigs, for vetoing their bills, which

he believed to contravene states' rights.

James K Polk – a firm believer in westward expansion, he signed the law admitting Texas

to the Union, and provoked a war with Mexico, resulting in the acquisition of half a million

square miles of North America, including California, Nevada and Utah. He also negotiated the division

of Oregon with the British.

Zachary Taylor – career soldier, hero of the Mexican War, had never voted before and

held no firm political beliefs. With tensions rising between slave-owning and free states,

he threatened to hang Southern secessionists, but died suddenly of a stomach illness.

Millard Fillmore – born in a log cabin, the last Whig President. He supported an uneasy

compromise between free and slave states, which was to prove short-lived.

Franklin Pierce – took office shortly after he and his wife witnessed the violent death

of their 11 year old son, a trauma that likely left them both suffering from depression.

He hastened the slide towards civil war by allowing brutal violence to engulf Kansas,

where pro and anti-slavery settlers fought for control of the territory.

James Buchanan – his attempts to mediate between Northern free states and Southern

slave states failed abjectly, leading the Democrat Party to split, and the Southern

states to leave the Union.

Abraham Lincoln – America's first Republican president, he led the North to victory in

the Civil War, and freed all southern slaves by executive order. He was the first president

to be assassinated, shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth, at Ford's Theatre in Washington

DC.

Andrew Johnson – a Southerner born into poverty, he sided with the Union during the

Civil War. But after the war, he blocked Congress's attempts to impose reforms on the south. This

led to his impeachment, though he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

Ulysses S Grant – Union hero of the Civil War, he used the military to enforce reconstruction

of former slave states, and protect those targeted by white supremacist violence in

the south. His presidency also saw war against Native Americans, in the Great Plains.

Rutherford B Hayes – won the most disputed, corrupt and violent presidential election

in US history. He sought to heal the wounds left by the Civil War and Reconstruction,

but by withdrawing federal troops from the south, allowed white supremacists to regain

power.

James A Garfield – took on corruption in the Senate and civil service, with some success,

but was shot by an embittered lawyer just four months into his first term, and died

of his wounds.

Chester Arthur – son of an Irish Baptist preacher. Against expectation, he proved above

political faction, and continued Garfield's work of reforming government bureaucracy.

Grover Cleveland – the first Democrat President since the Civil War, and the only president

to serve two non-consecutive terms. He used the presidential veto with gusto, blocking

measures he thought were beyond the remit of federal government – even pensions for

civil war veterans, and subsidies for destitute farmers.

Look out for Part 2 of US Presidents, where we continue with America's 23rd President.

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