Presidents considered to be the worst of all time include Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. These presidents rank among the worst due to their failure to stop the spread of slavery and take measures to prevent the secession of the Southern states and the Civil War.
Ranking presidents is a subjective exercise that relies on political views and historical context, and some presidents seem unfairly ranked as among the worst. While Ulysses S. Grant ranks among the worst presidents due to widespread corruption during his administration, Grant’s leadership and skills as a general during the Civil War saved the Union Army from defeat that seemed inevitable due to the missteps of his predecessors. Herbert Hoover also ranks among the worst for failing to stop the Great Depression, as if any president could; yet few remember that Hoover organized and led food drives and relief efforts during both World Wars that saved the lives of millions of Europeans from starvation and disease. Critics should remember that presidents revered in modern times, such as Jefferson and Lincoln, experienced deep hatred and assaults by the press that make modern attacks seem tame.