The USA, the world’s strongest superpower always has a constant eye on it at all times. As great uncle ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”, the presidential position of this country may be considered the most powerful and therefore with the most responsibility. The US has been in existence for about 246 years having a total of 46 presidents with Joe Biden as the most recent one (elected November 2020). These powerful, responsible candidates will be our contenders for the presidents tier list. They will be discussed with their notable feats and rated accordingly.
A quick disclaimer about this tier list is that this is based on opinion. However, evaluations are based on the “Public” opinion and via credible sources therefore not open to criticism. Controversy is a given in politics so some criticism may not be your liking.
This may be against your personal views and some may find this content to be slightly offensive. We have invested a great deal of time and effort to accurately portray these presidents in accordance with their achievements and drawbacks.
Tier List Contents
The S tier is universally known to contain the best of the best among this presidents tier list. They are inferior to none among them and verify themselves as the ultimate examples. The presidents in this tier served as great leaders and proved to be the best at what they did.
Now we won’t be paying a lot of attention to the infamous Ben Shapiro presidents tier list as his view is a little biased. The list of best presidents of the United States of America are listed as follows:
Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States of America (1861- 1865). He is considered among the best presidents of all time and on this presidents tier list. According to a survey conducted on cspan.org, Abraham Lincoln has the best us president ranking at 897.
As the saying goes, “those who shine brightest, burn the fastest” his rule too was interrupted swiftly in his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the American people through the Civil War and was a major personality in the fight against slavery.
Lincoln was not that fortunate in his early life. He was born into poverty in Kentucky and was a self-educated man who chose the world of law as his livelihood. Lincoln was in and out of politics throughout his life but ran for president in 1960 and assumed the presidency just a few months later.
George Washington is a name known to many because he served as the very first president of the United States of America. The founding father of the USA is also among the best US presidents and gained the title of “Father of the Nation” for his leadership in the early formation days of the country.
Washington, after being appointed by the continental congress, led the patriot forces to victory in the American Revolutionary War. He rates a total of 851 among the US president rankings despite his controversy surrounding slavery and inequality among the American people.
Washington was a slave owner having a total of 577 slaves reported to be in his possession. He had a complicated relationship with slavery. As president, he signed many laws that curtailed slavery but also approved many that protected slavery. His will stated only one of his slaves to be set free whilst the rest had to work for his wife until her death.
Franklin D. Roosevelt:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt or more commonly referred to as FDR is the last S-tier we will be discussing in this Presidents tier list. FDR served as the 32nd president of the United States of America. He won 4 presidential elections and became quite an important personality in the early 20th century.
He led America through one of the worst economic crises experienced in the world which came to be known as The Great Depression. His third and fourth terms as president were dictated by the events of World War 2. His term ended in 1945 when he died in his office.
Unlike the other S-Tiers, FDR had a successful educational background, he graduated from both Harvard and Groton School. He also attended Columbia Law School which he left soon after he passed the bar exam to practice law in New York. In 1921 he contracted a paralytic illness and his legs became permanently paralyzed. This event led him to open a polio rehabilitation center in Georgia.
Among the best and worst presidents, this tier separates the better from the worst while still keeping in mind the best. A-tier is often used to describe the listings that come immediately after the S-Tiers.
Their work isn’t revered as the best but they put themselves on a pedestal high enough to be called the good amongst the great. This tier will contain the presidents who were able to distinguish themselves above the presidents who did well than the B -Tier presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt or Teddy is our top A-List president among this US Presidents tier list. T. R served as the 26th President of the United States of America (1901-1909). Teddy assumed the presidency after the assassination of former president William McKinley.
His name is among one of the most favored presidents in our list of presidents when it comes to the public eye. Having emerged as the leader of the Republican Party and was a strong contending force for anti-trust and progressive policies.
Teddy, much like Abraham Lincoln, was not so fortunate when it came to health. He was a child with debilitating asthma which he overcame by adopting a strenuous lifestyle.
Aside from being a crucial piece of history as evident from his character in “Night at the Museum” he also published a book The Naval War of 1812 (1882) exemplified his art as a historian and as a popular writer. He was home-schooled but did attend Harvard later in his life.
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the 34th president of the United States of America(1953-1961). He planned and supervised the attack on North Africa from 1942 to 1943 along with the attack on Normandy during World War 2. Eisenhower was born in Kansas in a family with a very strong religious stand.
Harry S. Truman:
Harry S. Truman served as the 33rd president of the United States from 1945 to 1953. He took over the office after FDR died as a member of the Democratic Party. Truman also established NATO and the Truman Doctrine to contain the expansion of communism after the second world war. Among the democratic presidents, his name is well worth noting.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the founding fathers and served as the third president of the United States of America. His achievement of being the principal author of the Declaration of Independence may have gotten him a spot among the best US presidents but to his loss, he falls short compared to his companion’s feats.
The B-Tier contains the presidents who were above average but failed to do as well as the A-Tier Presidents. These presidents were not able to achieve what the A tiers and S tiers could but did achieve what the lower tiers could not.
These presidents were involved in moderate controversies but still managed to perform their duties as presidents of the United States responsibly. The B- tier presidents were mostly present at very crucial moments throughout history much like the S-Tier presidents but failed to perform as well as they did.
John F. Kennedy:
John F. Kennedy or JFK is among the more popular presidents in this presidents tier list. He served as the 35th president of the United States of America who served at the height of the Cold War. He represented the democratic house with the majority of his work being related to the Soviet Union and Cuba. Just two years after his election as president in 1961 he was assassinated in 1963.
Ronald Wilson Reagan served as the 40th president of the United States as a representative of the Republican party. His previous career was performing among the great lights of Hollywood and starring in movies like Law and Order (1953) and The Hasty Heart(1949).
As a president of the Screen Actors Guild, he worked to abolish the communistic practices present within it. As a governor of California in 1996, he worked to raise taxes and turned the state budget deficit into a surplus.
Barack Obama is among the most popular personalities today. Obama was the first African-American president elected into office. He served as the 44th president of the United States and is considered among the best democratic presidents when it comes to the public eye. He signed the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare along with the Don’t Ask, Don’t Repeal act of 2010.
During Obama’s stay as president, he greatly improved the reputation of the United States government both in his country and internationally. Historians and scholars rank him along the upper tiers but his actions define him otherwise. He authorized the attacks on Iraq and Syria in response to advancements made by ISIL or ISIS. He left office in 2017.
Lyndon B. Johnson:
Lyndon Baines Johnson or LBJ served as the 36th president of the United States of America(1963-1969). He served as vice president under JFK. He also possesses the rare distinction of having served in all elected offices at a federal level.
Johnson coined the term “Great Efforts” to describe his efforts for the betterment of civil rights, Medicare, aid to education and the arts, urban and rural development, and many public services.
He made countless efforts to halt the expansion of communism as president during the Cold War. Due to his domestic agenda, his presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism in the USA.
James Monroe was a founding father who served as the 5th President of the United States of America. His Monroe Doctrine is what keeps him in the public eye the most. Monroe Doctrine was a policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas whilst also establishing American dominance.
He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. After studying law he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was a member of the Democratic Party and served as the 28th President of the United States of America. He changed the nation’s economic policies during world war 1.
He is known as the leading architect of the League of Nations. His stance on foreign policy gave birth to the idea of Wilsonisanism. Wilson defeated Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft in the 1912 elections to gain his seat as president.
William McKinley served as the 25ht President of the United States of America(1897- 1901). The infamous Spanish-American war of 1989 dictated most of his days as president of the USA. As a Republican, he was the last president who served during the American Civil War. His presidency came to an end in 1901 because of his assassination.
John Adams was a writer and a founding father who served as the 2nd president of the United States of America. He also served as the leader of the American Revolution due to which America got independence from Great Britain. He served as the vice president of America twice from 1789 to 1797.
James Madison is known as the 4th founding founder of the United States of America. He served as president from 1809 to 1817. He is called the “Father of the Constitution” for his crucial role in the development and promotion of the Constitution of the United States. James worked with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in publishing a series of essays known as The Federalist Papers.
John Quincy Adams:
John Quincy Adams, a diplomat, served as the 6th President of the United States of America. He was the eldest son of John Adams. As a federalist like his father, he got elected to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party.
The C-tier contains the presidents that served in a perfectly average manner. Their performance ranked above the D-tiers and below the B-tiers. The presidents in this tier performed their duties in a manner that can be criticized as ‘Perfectly Average’.
These presidents did the bare minimum of what a president should do. Some are surrounded by controversy while others did not have Lady Luck’s favor. These presidents prove to be the most controversial topics of any debate due to the number of diverse opinions on them and their parties. They are listed as follows.
James k. Polk:
James Knox Polk served as the 11th president of the United States of America (1845-1849). He was an advocate of the Jacksonian democracy and as a protégé of Andrew Jackson, he represented the Democratic Party. James provoked war with Mexico in an attempt to expand his territory which he did successfully. He left office in 1849 and died 3 months later in Tennessee.
William J. Clinton:
William J. Clinton or more commonly known as Bill Clinton served as the 42nd president of the United States. He came into office soon after the Cold War.
He is the husband of Hillary Clinton who lost the election against Donald Trump. Bill represented the Democratic Party and was given the name “New Democrat” as many of his policies were reminiscent of a “Third Way” political philosophy.
Ulysses S. Grant:
Ulysses S. Grant formerly known as Hiram Ulysses Grant served as the 18th President of the United States of America. In the US presidents rankings, he doesn’t stand out among the other C-tiers.
He created the Justice Department for the protection of African Americans with the help of Radical Republicans. Grant possessed a remarkable ability with horses and served with distinction in the Mexican-American War.
George H. W. Bush:
George Herbert Walker Bush served as the 41st president of the United States. He represented the Republican Party and served as vice president under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989. in 1989 he ordered a military invasion of Panama to topple the country’s leader.
Though he is placed at the C-tier, he is among the worst presidents when it comes to his international reputation. He soon became notorious for his brutal ways and involvement in the US drug trade.
Bush’s presidency conflicted with the events of communism and the Soviet Union’s collapse. He is one of the more well-known presidents on this presidents tier list.
Andrew Jackson, also known as Old Hickory, served as the seventh president of the United States. He gained immense popularity from his military triumphs along with a blitz of support that political leaders thought would prove transitory in his presidential campaign. In the election of 1828, Jackson defeated Adams but at the cost of his relationship with his wife being vilified along with them being berated as adulterers.
William Howard Taft:
William Howard Taft served as the 27th president of the United States of America. He contributed greatly to the separation within the republican ranks and ultimately towards the formation of the Bull Moose Party (otherwise known as the progressive party).
Despite being hated for his support for the conservative members of the Republican party, he backed the conservation of natural resources in support of the progressive reform program. He lost all support when he fired Gifford Pinchot who was the head of the Bureau of Forestry and a close friend of Taft’s predecessor Theodore Roosevelt.
John Calvin Coolidge served as the 30th president of the United States of America. He came into the presidency with an administration covered in scandals. However, with caution and skill, he extracted the disease from his administration and restored the office back to its former self.
Coolidge was a quiet man which earned him the name “Silent Cal” but proved to be talkative in private family settings. His famous line “The chief business of the American people is business” won him sentiment from the American people in the 1920s.
Grover Cleveland or Stephan Grover Cleveland served as the 22nd and 24th presidents of the United States. He is the only president in the country’s history and on our list of presidents who served two discontinuous terms. He proved himself one of the few principled politicians in the Gilded Age.
Cleveland’s efforts to disrupt the corrupt system of his age gained him the support of the American People who admired him for his courage and honesty. He is a viable candidate for the best us Presidents in history but unfortunately falls short by a little margin.
Jimmy Carter served as the 39th president of the United States of America. He stands as the second last candidate in the C-Tier in this presidents tier list. Jimmy Carter’s work in diplomacy and advocacy got him awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2002.
His credibility took a massive shot when Bert Lance, the director of the office of management and budget, and one of his close friends were accused of financial wrongdoings. He was a major advocate for foreign policies which helped in securing many assets for the USA.
James A. Garfield:
Our last candidate for the C-Tier is James Abram Garfield who served as the 20th president of the United States. He is the owner of the second shortest term in the history of US presidencies. His term ended just 4 months after his election when he was shot twice at a railroad station in D.C by Charles J. Guiteau.
The D-Tier contains the presidents whose performances proved to be slightly below average. The presidents of this tier did just well enough to distinguish themselves above the F-Tier presidents.
These presidents were surrounded by so much controversy along with being involved in a plethora of bad parties that they ultimately were unable to perform their duties well. These presidents barely worked on the country and were mostly left dealing with the unfortunate events of that time. They are listed as follows.
Gerald R. Ford:
Gerald R. Fort or fully known as Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. served as the 38th president of the United States of America. He served in the navy during world war 2 as well as in the South Pacific where he attained the rank of lieutenant commander.
He survived two assassination attempts in 1975. After the forceful resignation of former President Richard Nixon due to the Watergate Scandal, he assumed the presidency making him the only president who did not come into power through elections or from the position of vice president.
George W. Bush:
George Walker Bush served as the 43rd president of the United States of America from 2001 to 2009. He is among the most controversial topics in our presidents tier list. He represented the Republican party and also served as the 46th governor of Texas.
Bush started the Iraq War in 2003 in response to the infamous September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Because of his narrow and highly controversial win against Al Gore, Bush became the first person since Benjamin Harrison to win elections despite having lost the nationwide vote.
Chester A. Arthur:
Chester A. Arthur or Chester Alan Arthur served as the 21st president of the USA. He took over the presidential role after the assassination of former president James A. Garfield.
His presidency was followed by a barrage of criticism deeming him unworthy of such a position due to his lack of experience and character. But after his support for the Pendleton Civil Service, he won over the hearts of the American people.
Richard M. Nixon:
Richard Milhous Nixon served as the 37th president of the United States of America. He is the first president on this list of presidents of resigned from office because he faced certain impeachment due to his Watergate Scandal.
His presidential campaign mainly served around the promise of peace in Vietnam. Nixon won the election against Humphrey by the skin of his teeth gaining 31.7 million votes whilst Humphrey gained 30.9 million.
Benjamin Harrison served as the 23rd president of the United States of America. He represented the Republican Party and came into the presidency despite losing the popular vote against Grover Cleveland by a large margin.
His presidency brought about an innovative approach to the country’s foreign policy. In 1890 the House of Representatives was captured by the Democratic party as many of the American population viewed the former administration as inefficient which signifies his failure to be a successful President.
Rutherford B. Hayes:
Rutherford Birchard Hayes served as the 19th president of the United States of America. His election into office was based on the premise that he would restore the White House back to its former self and void of any corruption. Rutherford spent a lot of his resources on the betterment of the Southerners’ life in the country.
He also signed an act permitting women lawyers to practice law before the supreme court. His shortcomings as president can be seen through his poor administration which leaves him among the D-Tier in this Presidents tier list.
Martin Van Buren:
Martin Van Buren is one of the founding fathers and served as the 8th president of the United States of America. Buren is also one of the founders of the Democratic party. His cunning and politician-like nature earned him the title of “Little Magician” among his friends and “Sly Fox” when it came to his enemies.
Buren was the first president who was born in the US. He sided against the African slaves who were on trial for being connected to the Amistad Mutiny in 1839. One of his last feats before leaving office was raising the maximum working hours to 10 per day for federal public workers.
Zachary Taylor served as the 12th president of the United States. He was elected a hero of the Mexican-American War. His term only lasted for 16 months due to his untimely death.
Taylor’s period was drowning in problems the major one being the extension of slavery into Mexico. His proposal to prohibit slavery in the state of California was met with strong opposition which left Taylor strongly humiliated.
This tier contains the worst presidents to have ever come into power in the country’s history. The F-Tier is universally represented as the tier that contains the worst of the worst.
These presidents did no work to improve the country and instead ruined the country’s international reputation and credibility. Instead of solving problems, these presidents made more of them for the public to deal with. Some of these presidents were
Herbert Hoover or Herbert Clark Hoover served as the 31st president of the United States. Hoover’s term was dictated by the Great Depression.
His reputation among the people fell quickly when his administration was unable to cure widespread joblessness, hunger, and homelessness. He proved himself as a great humanitarian when he helped countless stranded Americans across Europe.
Warren G. Harding:
Warren Gamaliel Harding served as the 29th president of the United States of America. His term 3 years later when he died in office. The reason for him being F- Tier is that soon after his death a great number of scandals destroyed the Harding presidency.
Due to this, Harding is among the worst us presidents on this presidents tier list. His administration was full of nefarious intentions with many of them committing suicide within his term.
Millard Fillmore served as the 13th president of the United States of America. Fillmore is among the F-Tier because of his enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which ultimately laid waste to the Whig Party.
He was present in the middle grounds during the war of slavery even though he was personally against it. He supported the provision to use military aid to capture and return runaway slaves to their owners.
John Tyler served as the 10th president of the United States of America. He was a Democrat and a maverick but was rejected by both the Democratic Party and the Whig party. He was elected as president without a party and in 1844 withdrew from office in the favor of James K. Polk.
Tyler was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives shortly before he died. He failed to achieve much which is why he is among the D-tier in this list of presidents.
William Henry Harrison:
William Henry Harrison served as the 9th president of the United States of America. He is the oldest president on this list of presidents. He took over the office at the age of 67 and was the last president in this presidents tier list to serve under British rule.
William Harrison was the first president to die in office in 1841. Harrison tried to do everything that was expected of him but was overshadowed by his companions, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.
Donald J. Trump:
Donald J. Trump is among the worst presidents in the country’s history and in every presidents tier list made of that continent. He rates a minimum when it comes to the US presidents rankings. Donald John Trump served as the 45th president of the United States.
He is a member of the Republican party and a successful businessman. He defeated Hillary Clinton in the elections of 2016 and took over the seat of President. Some republicans rate him as one of the best us presidents but the public eye disagrees.
Just after a few days in office, he directed the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to begin the construction of the wall around the US border. His most controversial move was the “Muslim Ban” which temporarily suspended immigration to the US from 7 Muslim countries. He quickly became one of the most hated personalities of the 21st century.
Franklin Pierce or originally known as Young Hickory served as the 14th president of the United States of America. His failure to deal with the controversial issue of slavery during his period as president is why he is among the F-Tier with some of the worst presidents.
Pierce represented the Democratic Party which had the main goal to oppose and abolish slavery in the United States. His entire period was full of bad moves from supporting a military dictator (William Walker) as well as starting the controversial war between America and Cuba,
Andrew Johnson served as the 17th president of the United States of America. He took over the office after the assassination of former president Abraham Lincoln. The reconstruction policies he set up for South America ultimately led to his impeachment through the Radical Republicans present in Congress. His inauguration was definitely a unique event.
Johnson showed up intoxicated and unable to stand still which immediately destroyed his reputation among his colleagues and the general population. Johnson played into the hands of his enemies through a complication in the Tenure of Office Act which led to his impeachment in 1869.
The final president that we will be discussing in this list of presidents is James Buchanan. The democrat who shares his name with the MCU’s Winter Soldier served as the 15th president of the United States and is among the worst presidents in the US presidential rankings.
His failure to compromise the war between North and South America inevitably brought about the American Civil War in 1861. He lacked a sense of judgment and peacemaking personality which failed to undo the misunderstandings between the North and South.
Tier List Criteria
While making the tier list, we analyzed many sources available online and took into account every controversy and scandal that surrounded each of the US presidents who held the seat. However, it goes without saying that our tier list is not absolute and it’s based on subjective opinion.
Nevertheless, while making our tier list we considered public opinions mainly and went through a lot of research as well. Our tier list is mainly based on the historical influence each president had on the citizens of America and the services they did during their presidential era.
What Makes A Good US President?
The features of a good president might not be as conventional as you think. For example, stubbornness and disagreeableness might not be some great traits of a common person but according to many researchers, these two traits must be present in a good president.
Many researchers have created detailed reports that analyzed the behaviors observed in some of the best historical presidents of the United States of America.
They analyzed the five years before they became the president and found that some of the best presidents in history were the ones that implemented ideas and respected values. They were extroverted, stubborn, and assertive. Furthermore, they were unbiased in their nature and extremely straightforward.
If you look at some of the presidents mentioned in the S tier of our U.S. President tier list then you will see that these personality traits were common in all. For instance, Abraham Lincoln who was perhaps the greatest president of all time was a man that respected values and was the voice of the minorities and oppressed.
Summing it Up
The United States is the world’s strongest country in today’s day and age and is always present in the international spotlight. Many of its Presidents became popular personalities who were known all over the world for their great endeavors.
Some of these were revered for their great work as presidents whilst some became worthy of blame because of their inability to be responsible presidents.
Some presidents learned from the mistakes of their predecessors whilst some made new ones for future ones to learn. All in all the presidents in this presidents tier list claimed to try their best and hopefully the future presidents do too.