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View Poll Results: Who was the greater President? (Vote for one from each matchup)
1) Zachary Taylor 22 66.67%
1) Millard Fillmore 3 9.09%
2) Franklin Pierce 12 36.36%
2) James Buchanan 12 36.36%
3) Ulysses S. Grant 17 51.52%
3) Rutherford B. Hayes 9 27.27%
4) James A. Garfield 13 39.39%
4) Chester A. Arthur 12 36.36%
5) Grover Cleveland 20 60.61%
5) Benjamin Harrison 10 30.30%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
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Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

This is part of a contest for 2+2's greatest President of all time. Each President is matched up against his successor in a single elimination tournament. The first thread (poll closed) can be found here.

You have until 14th March to vote. To vote, you must have registered before January 1st, 2012 and have at least 100 posts in Politics. You can change your vote via PM any time up until the deadline.

This thread has five different matchups of 19th Century Presidents (except Lincoln, who gets his own thread against Johnson). Vote for one candidate from each matchup. (Oh, and voting for every option isn't nearly as funny as you think it is).

The top six highest margins in Round 1 get a bye, as do the two highest vote margins in Round 2.

Feel free to use this thread to debate the historical merits of any of the Presidents listed, even after the poll is closed.

Matchup 1: Zachary Taylor vs. Millard Fillmore

Zachary Taylor



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As president, Taylor angered many Southerners by taking a moderate stance on the issue of slavery. He urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850.
Millard Fillmore



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Fillmore opposed the proposal to keep slavery out of the territories annexed during the Mexican–American War in order to appease the South and so supported the Compromise of 1850, which he signed, including the Fugitive Slave Act ("Bloodhound Law") which was part of the compromise. On the foreign policy front, he furthered the rising trade with Japan and clashed with the French over Napoleon III's attempt to annex Hawaii and with the French and the British over the attempt of Narciso López to invade Cuba.


Matchup 2: Franklin Pierce vs. James Buchanan

Franklin Pierce



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As president, he made many divisive decisions which were widely criticized and earned him a reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Pierce's popularity in the Northern states declined sharply after he came out in favor of the Kansas–Nebraska Act, replacing the Missouri Compromise (which had been declared unconstitional by the U.S. Supreme Court), and renewing the debate over expanding slavery in the American West. Pierce's credibility was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto.
James Buchanan



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies, who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal.


Matchup 3: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Rutherford B. Hayes



Ulysses S. Grant



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As president, he enforced Reconstruction by enforcing civil rights laws and fighting Ku Klux Klan violence. Grant won passage of the Fifteenth Amendment; giving constitutional protection for African American voting rights. He used the Army to build the Republican Party in the South, based on black voters, Northern newcomers ("Carpetbaggers") and native white supporters ("Scalawags.") As a result, African Americans were represented in the U.S. Congress for the first time in American history in 1870.

Grant's foreign policy, led by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, implemented International Arbitration, settled the Alabama Claims with Britain and avoided war with Spain over the Virginius Incident. His attempted annexation of the Dominican Republic failed. Grant's response to the Panic of 1873 and the severe depression that followed was ineffective. There was large-scale corruption in seven of his departments. In 1876, his reputation was further damaged by the graft trials of the Whiskey Ring.
Rutherford B. Hayes



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Hayes believed in meritocratic government, equal treatment without regard to race, and improvement through education. He ordered federal troops to quell the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and ordered them out of Southern capitals as Reconstruction ended. He implemented modest civil service reforms that laid the groundwork for further reform in the 1880s and 1890s.

Matchup 4: James A. Garfield vs. Chester A. Arthur

James A. Garfield



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
President Garfield advocated a bi-metal monetary system, agricultural technology, an educated electorate, and civil rights for African-Americans. He proposed substantial civil service reform, eventually passed in 1883 by his successor, Chester A. Arthur, as the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act.
Chester A. Arthur




Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
After just half a year as Vice President, Arthur found himself, unexpectedly, in the Executive Mansion. To the surprise of reformers, Arthur took up the reform cause that had once led to his expulsion from office. He signed the Pendleton Act into law, and enforced its provisions vigorously. He won plaudits for his veto of a Rivers and Harbors Act that would have appropriated federal funds in a manner he thought excessive. He presided over the rebirth of the United States Navy but was criticized for failing to alleviate the federal budget surplus that had been accumulating since the end of the American Civil War. Suffering from poor health, Arthur made only a limited effort to secure renomination in 1884; he retired at the close of his term.


Matchup 5:Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism and subsidies to business, farmers or veterans. His battles for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. Cleveland relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. Indeed, as a reformer his prestige was so strong that the reform wing of the Republican Party, called "Mugwumps", largely bolted the GOP ticket and swung to his support in 1884.

Disaster hit the nation as his second term began when the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression that Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894, and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of his Democratic party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era.

Cleveland took strong positions and was heavily criticized. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide and angered the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party.
Benjamin Harrison



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
His administration is most remembered for economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for re-election in 1892. Harrison advocated, although unsuccessfully, for federal education funding and legislation to protect voting rights for African Americans. He also saw the admittance of six states into the Union.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Lots of terrible 19th century presidents, it seems.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

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Lots of terrible 19th century hairstyles, it seems.
fyp
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

I swear Hayes and Garfield are the same man, while the other Republicans are his cousins.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

I'm going with Harrison for the sad irony factor
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:41 AM   #6
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

When did facial hair go out of style for presidents?
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:13 AM   #7
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

We need a side pot for best beard.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:50 AM   #8
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Grover Cleveland holds the two term record for vetoes with 584, more than all other presidents to that date combined. Only 7 were overridden.

He's also the only two term president to serve non-consecutive terms, which will probably be true for forever and won the popular vote 3 times, winning the popular in the term between his two.

All in all, he is, IMO, the most underrated president.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Is it just me or does Buchanan look like a vampire?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:06 AM   #10
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

It's early in the voting so may be a statistical fluke, but Arthur leading Garfield in the voting so far, WTF?

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Is it just me or does Buchanan look like a vampire?
Buchanan was Cheney's Maker ldo.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

I was going to abstain in the Pierce/Buchanan contest, but in the end I figured being the nation's first "confirmed bachelor" president deserved some sort of support.

Vote rainbow.
Vote Buchanan.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #12
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Confirmed gay vampire.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:45 PM   #13
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Didn't realize that this section of presidents is so unassuming in American History.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:34 AM   #14
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Who are these guys? James Garfield? Chester Arthur? MILLARD FILLMORE!?

I think Nichlemn is having a go at us.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: Greatest POTUS, Round 1: 19th Century Presidents

Why are we skipping Lincoln?
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