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The argument of who exactly was the best president in United States history is widely debated, but one that many would agree comes down to certain 5 or so. Based on their leadership skills and accomplishments they were able to achieve in their time within the White House, the following presidents have earned their spots on the country’s list of best of all time.

Abraham Lincoln

abraham-lincoln

It’s difficult to argue that any U.S. President accomplished as much during their time in office as Lincoln. Perhaps best known for his Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves from the South, Lincoln achieved tremendous milestones throughout the Civil War, including the delivery of his famous Gettysburg Address. His leadership was unprecedented matched with a remarkable ability to compromise.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s communication skills and accomplishments in our country’s foreign policy standards are what typically sticks out when measuring his success. He also created Social Security through his New Deal in the wake of the Great Depression in an attempt to re-stabilize the economy. This also reformed the banking system for the better.

Theodore RooseveltTheodore-roosevelt

A distant relative of FDR, Theodore Roosevelt was a man of honor who did wonders for our country’s environmental conservation efforts. He expanded a number of U.S. national forests, as well as tackling complex irrigation projects during his time as President. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his negotiations and eventual end of the Russo-Japanese War that took place from 1904 to 1905.

George Washington

What list of great presidents would be complete without the first one ever? Aside from defeating the British in the American Revolution, Washington is credited with laying the foundation for presidency in the United States. He was an incredibly brave leader, both on the battlefield and in the White House. He would go on to create several practices within the United States Government that still operate today, such as the cabinet system and inaugural address. Through the Naval Act of 1794, Washington also created the U.S. Navy.

Thomas Jefferson

Many know Jefferson for being one of the 5 individuals to draft the Declaration of Independence before becoming President, but some of his achievements in the White House are just as notable. He effectively doubled the size of our country through the Louisiana Purchase, which bought over 800,000 square miles from France. Not long after, he appointed Meriwether Lewis to explore the rest of the country alongside William Clark, leading to an increased knowledge of Native American tribes and waterways throughout the West.