As Joe Biden will take the oath as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021 let’s take a look back at the history of US presidents. As US Presidents came in all shapes and sizes, it is important to know which of these contributed the most for the country, and which Joe Biden can treat as his role model for this job.
The very first oath as US president was sworn on April 30, 1789 by George Washington, a military general, statesman and the founding father of the nation. He is known for his heroic leadership in the continental army during the American Revolution (1775-1783) in securing American independence from British colonialism. As he served as President for two terms from 1789 to 1797, he presided over the convention that drafted the constitution as he believed that the US constitution must promote liberty and democracy.
In the 1800 US presidential elections between Vice President Thomas Jefferson and President John Adam, Jefferson defeated Adam making him the third US president. Thomas Jefferson was another founding father who served as the very first US Secretary of State from 1790 to 1793 and Vice-President from 1797 to 1801, mainly remembered for writing the Declaration of Independence which was ratified on 4th July 1776. As president from 1801 to 1809, he helped increase the country’s power and protect trade by purchasing Louisiana from France.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln also known as “Honest Abe” was sworn in as the 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was a poor self-taught lawyer who fought for the Republican Party and supported the abolition of slavery. As president from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, he strengthened the country’s finances, and led the nation through the Civil War (1861-1865) between the Union States (who opposed slavery) and the Confederate States (who supported slavery) which resulted in victory for the Union and President Lincoln. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 which resulted in more than three million African Americans from the Confederate States to obtain freedom from getting enslaved.
As the US went through the Great Depression due to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, a new President from the Democratic Party was sworn in 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. also known as FDR, issued his campaign slogan which was to fix the crisis and served as president from 1933 until his death in 1945. In 1933, FDR issued the New Deal which was a series of programmes that provided support for the poor; it also reduced prices of goods to strengthen the economy and provided safety to the banking industry. It resulted in a huge success as the US recovered from the Great Depression resulting in strong economic growth.
In 1953, Dwight D Eisenhower was sworn in as the 34th President of the United States. Also known as “Ike”, he was a five-star general and served as the supreme commander of the Allied expeditionary force during World War 2. As President, he made a truce on the Korean War (1950-1953) and signed the Federal Highway Act of 1956 for the Construction of the Interstate Highway System.
As this job can be seen as challenging, it is important to make wise and correct decisions and learn from the greats of the past. There is a lot at stake for Joe Biden; he inherits the world superpower when it is in the middle of a deadly pandemic and a country which is perhaps more divided than ever. He also has to resolve the longest-running conflict of the US abroad. Thus, it can be useful to look back at these greats, those who passed stimulus packages, who fought against tyranny, who helped resolve conflicts, so he can inculcate those lessons in his time as President as well.