Since independence, United States of American has had 43 presidents who have served since 1789 to date. George Washington was the first US president and served eight years between 1789 and 1797. Currently, Barrack Obama is serving as the US 44th president having began his term in 2009. Additionally, the number of presidents since then is 43 with Grover Cleveland having served for two terms as 22nd and 24th president alternatively.
History scholars have argued that history is a pattern and according to Urofsky (2000); "history repeats itself" (p.38). As a result, there are similarities that emerge when any two or several regimes are evaluated. However, the similarities or differences largely depend on the heuristics followed during the evaluation processes. Nevertheless, the main factors put in consideration are policy leadership, office use/appointments, foreign policy, integrity, vision, and crisis management among others (Stadelmann, 2011).
The 19th century presidents are of great interest as they shaped the current social, political and economic status of US. The tragic incidence of White House in this century was witnessed when William Henry Harrison died in office in 1841. He served only for 30 days before dying after contracting pneumonia. He was a clerk in Hamilton County court before assuming the office. Due to this shortest tenure in US presidency, there is less facts coined from his administration. Harrison accomplishments are therefore, coined from his 12-year tenure as a governor in Indiana Territory where he championed; legal systems, Indian welfare as well as land issues adjudication.
Rutherford B. Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio in 1822 and became the 19th US president between 1877 and 1891. He entered the white race as a Republican against Samuel Tilden, a Democrat. His woes just began after a questionable vote casting and counting. A dispute arose after which a commission was formed to settle. He later took over the office, but it was unfortunate that he failed in several perspectives. In terms of policy leadership, viability of Hayes leadership was immediately on spot after ordering troops to fight against striking rail workers. Later, the congress investigated the decision on labor-management basis (Urofsky, 2000).
Before his midterm election, Hayes was known for misusing his power to veto several Acts. However, he lost influence owing to the greater number of Democrats. The most popular Acts he vetoed are the Bland -Allison Act which revived silver coinage and Burlingame Treaty. All these intended to put the black's and Chinese immigrant rights at a stake including their voting rights. In terms of foreign relations, Hayes ordered troop raid of Mexico. However, some of accomplishments are; ending Reconstruction as well signing the following acts into law; Compromise of 1877, Timber and Stone Act, and Bland-Alison Act among others
Hayes was succeeded by James Garfield; born in 1831 in Ohio and he served as the US 20th president. as noted by Genovese (2010), “His term is the second shortest term so far as he stayed in office for less than 200 days in 1881” (p.301). His dead came after he was shot dead by Charles Guiteau, assassination alleged to have surrounded office nominations. Having succeeded Grant and Hayes who championed reforms in civil service, Garfield worsened the situation by appointing his old comrades to most posts especially the infamous postal service. This exposed bad governance and corrupt administration. Since his tenure lasted shortly, his achievements are mainly attributed to the activities prior to his presidency, for example during the American Civil War battle and as a House Representative. Nevertheless, some of his accomplishments are; uniting different Republican factions. Regarding Diplomacy, Garfield is remembered for cementing US ties with Latin American countries.
Before Garfield assassination, Chester Allan Arthur served as a vice-president. Born in 1830 in Vermont, Arthur then served as 21st US president between 1881 and 1885. Regarding the long awaited civil service reforms, Arthur saw the Pendleton Civil Service Act go through. Like some of his predecessors, Arthur was trapped into alienating the Chinese subsequently compromising the US treaty with China. Furthermore, Arthur neither believed nor supported the famous spoils system
After Arthur's term ended in 1885, he could not seek re-nomination because of his health status. He was then succeeded by Grover Cleveland who served as 21st president between 1885 and 1889. Cleveland rose as a Democrat in the midst of Republican politics. He also later secured another term in 1893 and served as 23rd US president. Also, it was during his second term in office when US witnessed a rouging depression in 1893. On diplomatic front, Grover was engaged in two infamous Hawaiian and Cuban revolts in 1893 and 1895 respectively. Regarding both the domestic and foreign policies, Grover was known for best vetoes ever on bills such as Civil War 1887 to pension the veterans. The worst of all was using new brutal tactics to counter striker workers to keep them working. His prominent achievements were; becoming a Democrat after twenty-eight years, forcing Britain to resolve Venezuelan disputes