The Presidents: The First Ten

Fast Facts About the First Ten Presidents

Portrait of George Washington
Portrait of George Washington. Public Domain

How much do you know about each of the first ten presidents of the United States? Here is an overview of the key facts that you should know about these individuals who helped form the new nation from its very beginning to the time when sectional differences were starting to cause problems for the nation. 

Overview of the First Ten Presidents

  • George Washington - Washington set precedents and left a legacy that has set the tone for presidents to this day.
  • John Adams - Adams only served one term but had a huge impact during America's foundational years.
  • Thomas Jefferson - Jefferson was a staunch anti-federalist who just happened to increase the size and power of the federal government when he completed the Louisiana Purchase with France.
  • James Madison - Madison was president during what was called the second war of independence: the War of 1812.
  • James Monroe - Monroe was president during the "Era of Good Feelings," yet it was during his time in office that the fateful Missouri Compromise was reached. This would have a major impact on future relations between slave and free states.
  • John Quincy Adams - Adams was the son of the second president. His election in 1824 was a point of contention due to the "Corrupt Bargain" that many believe resulted in his selection by the House of Representatives.
  • Andrew Jackson - Jackson was one of the first presidents to truly use the powers given to the president. He vetoed more bills than all previous presidents and was known for his strong stance against the idea of nullification.
  • Martin Van Buren - Van Buren only served one term as president. A depression began during his presidency that lasted from 1837-1845.
  • William Henry Harrison - Known as the hero of Tippecanoe, Harrison died after only one month in office.
  • John Tyler - Tyler became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency upon the death of the William Henry Harrison.

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