By Ian Millhiser
1. Andrew Jackson
The Democratic Party frequently hosts Jefferson-Jackson Dinners honoring President Jackson and another historic president who is also on this list. It should reconsider this practice, as Jackson’s policy towards Native Americans was only a few steps shy of genocidal. In theory, President Jackson’s Indian Removal Act, permitted him to negotiate voluntary agreements with tribes in the southeastern United States encouraging them to exchange their eastern lands for new territory in the west. In reality, Jackson’s forced migration policy was anything but voluntary. By his last year in office, 46,000 Native Americans were removed from their lands, opening up tens of millions of acres to white settlement and slave-worked agriculture. As many as a quarter of the southeastern Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease in the Trail of Tears march that began shortly after Jackson left the White House.
2. Ronald Reagan
3. Woodrow Wilson
4. Thomas Jefferson
Like Wilson, Jefferson’s legacy is far more mixed than malign, as no one can question the significance of his contributions to American history—beginning with the document that declared us an independent nation. Yet Jefferson’s most important accomplishment as president was also the most important flip-flop in American history. During the Washington Administration, Jefferson led a losing faction seeking to constrain federal power to foster the nation’s economic growth far beyond the limits contained in the Constitution’s text. This narrow vision of the Constitution initially led him to oppose the Louisiana Purchase as president, although he eventually relented and doubled the size of the United States in the process.
5. James Madison
The Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase opened the west for settlement by Europeans and Americans and had grave implications for American Indians, who would soon find their ancestral homelands taken from them. It allowed for the extension of slavery, brought an end to French and Spanish domination in Arkansas and allowed a diversity of settlers to develop and perpetuate their own cultures in the six distinct geographic regions of the state.
In fairness to Reagan, the man was clearly insane from the minute he started falsely claiming his fellow actors were Russian spies back in the 40s. Everything after that makes sense in context.
There were a bunch in Hollywood who were Soviet agents, but Reagan was indeed wrong if he claimed someone was involved with the CP and there was no evidence that they were.
I'd like to see the list of names at issue.
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