(The Hill) -- Historians usually look to various factors when they rate U.S. presidents.
The consensus top tier-rated, Mt. Rushmore-type recognition as nation’s top-ranked presidents by historians, in a class by themselves, are usually, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, and both Roosevelts (FDR and TR). My analysis is that each of them are included in everyone’s top tier list because they satisfy three-out-of-four or all four of these historical facts: 1) unique circumstances making a major impact on the nation’s history (e.g., Washington and Jefferson as framers and setting important precedents for the presidency for future generations); 2) successfully addressing one or more major national crises (Lincoln/the Civil War and FDR/the Great Depression and World War II); 3) having significant positive impacts on economic/social changes or in foreign policy; and 4) enhancing the powers and effectiveness of the presidency and the future of their political parties.
In the second tier of presidential ranks, per most historians, those who satisfy several of these criteria, could include James Monroe, James Polk, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.
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