Whenever there are times of crisis in the United States, the president always takes action, but the success of these actions has varied throughout history. There have been many great presidents in the United States of America that have led our country through very difficult times. I do believe that great presidents are the results of great times and some were very successful. In the article “What Makes a Great President”, by Karl Rove stated that, “A president who succeeds makes us feel that the nation can succeed, and it is also through the president’s performance that we understand America’s role in the world and America’s hopes and aspirations for itself” (Rove, 2003). For example, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt were very successful presidents and took action to discuss the critical problem facing in the United States during their presidencies. President Abraham Lincoln ended emancipation of slaves. President Theodore Roosevelt created Square Deal and Panama Canal. Finally, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the United States through Great Depression, World War II, and created the New Deal. Without their characteristics that they brought to the white house they would not have been the result of great times.
Before President Lincoln was elected president there was an outbreak of the Civil War. The Civil War was fought between Northern and the Southern states over slavery. The Southern states believed that the Northern states were threating their way of life. Abraham Lincoln reassured the South that the Republicans did not intend to threaten slavery where it was protected, just to stop it from spreading. Lincoln’s anti-slavery platform made him extremely unpopular with Southerners and his nomination for President in 1860 enraged them. Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery to the territories. When Lincoln was in office and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free” (Leidner,2017). Lincoln did this to get the Southern States to surrender and unite with the union as one nation. After the civil war ended, Lincoln passed the 13th amendment which abolish slavery forever. This landmark decision makes Lincoln truly a great president because he believed that our Founders intended that all men were created with equality and that he felt that African Americans were not equal to whites.
Another great president that led to great times was President Theodore Roosevelt, “He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy” (Freidel & Sidey 2006). His accomplishments helped shaped America and if it was not for him we would not have the Square Deal. The Square Deal was based on three basic ideas: corporations, consumer protection, and conservation of natural resources. During his presidency he recognized that if we did not take care of our natural resources and landscapes. It would leave the future generations no landscape and natural resources. He took the initiative to place a law to conserve forests for continued use. Another great accomplishment that Theodore felt that he needed to make society equitable with economic possibilities for all Americans and changed the government’s relationship to big business.
Finally, Theodore endorsed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act due to stop unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. The Square Deal meant that everyone had the same equal opportunities as the next person. If it weren’t for President Theodore who made the Panama Canal happen we would not have a reduce distance that ships that had to travel to pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If it was not for Teddy Roosevelt great leadership during the progressive era was a result of being a great president that helped shaped America.
Franklin Roosevelt guided America through its greatest domestic crisis. “He had such a profound impact on the nation and the world that he is widely recognized as one of the transformational figures of the 20th Century” (Walsh, 2015). He is responsible for creating and establishing The New Deal which saved the United States after the Great Depression. After the stock market crashed in 1929, the United States economy crumbled, and the Great Depression had begun. Franklin Roosevelt addressed the problems of the depression by telling the American people that, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people” (Kingsburry, 2008). When Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated he immediately started working with his administration and pushed bills through congress. Roosevelt and his administration team drafted the Emergency Banking Act which allowed the Treasury Department to begin reopening the banks when they could prove they were healthy. Roosevelt wanted to restore confidence in the banking system after a disastrous widespread failure of banks. Roosevelt New Deal created numerous federal program to help those who were suffering the most from the Depression some of those programs which we still have to this day are union protection programs, the Social Security Act, Emergency Relief Programs, Works Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps., etc. Franklin Roosevelt was overall, an effective president without him the Great Depression could have lasted a lot longer. Roosevelt New Deal helped American citizens to restore prosperity to Americans.
Ultimately presidential greatness is a matter of presidential performance. The three presidents that I mention in my paper were examples of exemplifier presidents that resulted in the greatest times in the Unites States had seen. Due to the president’s actions it can help change the course of history for the better.