The United States Presidents

The United States Presidents New World democracy was born in America. In the crucible of exploitation by a faraway Colonial power, a small group of God fearing Christian merchants, farmers and intellectuals pushed back against their oppressors and founded a nation that became the greatest and most powerful country on Earth. Out of the ashes of an ugly revolutionary war an enlightened Constitution was authored by the founding fathers, that to this day, is the model for democratic government throughout the world.

That a military general, George Washington, should become the first president of this newly independent nation signals America's genetic origins conceived in war and bloodshed. Its own Civil War was ignited by the spark of righteousness, the attempt to break the chains of human bondage. Slavery was intrinsic to the agrarian economy. Negroes sold to slave traders by their own African brothers populated a country settled by whites with a parallel underclass who worked for nothing but shelter and food. Abraham Lincoln's forceful campaign to free the slaves tore the nation apart as Southern cotton farmers feared losing the low cost labor would be ruinous to the economy. But the wounds healed and a combination of industrious citizens working for very savvy Industrial barons set forth to build a great nation of vast farms, mines, factories, oil fields and railroad transportation networks

This site follows that incredible journey through the lives and biographies of the leaders of the United States of America. The ghosts of presidents past live on in the ideals and actions of the United States' current leaders who shape policy from the State House to the White House.

He spent a quarter of a century policing the frontiers against Indians. In the Mexican War he won major victories at Monterrey and Buena Vista.

Learning the stories of America's presidents is a fascinating insight into the American mind. The gestalt of the country we call the United States is a puzzling enigma to many foreigners on the outside looking in. On the one hand they are appalled by our militarism yet fascinated by an affluent egalitarian lifestyle that is but a fairy tale to nine tenths of the world's population.

Fast forward through the sixties, the Vietnam War, a massive attack by Islamic extremists on our soil and two Gulf Wars fought in the name of freedom from terror and we find ourselves in the midst of a time of great polarization. There’s a palpable tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots, liberals and conservatives, believers and atheists.

While the nation looks outward to enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan the real enemy it could be said is within. Greed and rampant consumerism and one-upmanship provoked a borrowing spree the likes of which the nation had never seen. A scramble for bigger and better McMansions, easy money Mortgages and no money down housing speculation combined with a mass raiding of home equity piggy banks hung millions of over-extended first time homeowners out to dry as home values headed South.

Aggravating the slide, is a legal system plagued by epidemics of lawsuits where lawyers champion consumer rights against multi-national conglomerates and feed on the rising divorce rates of couples lured by the instant gratification of infidelity. It's a Land of Lawyers where healthcare costs spiral into the stratosphere because the insidious specter of malpractice lawsuits forces doctors to convert defensive insurance costs into sky high medical insurance premiums for consumers.

So against this backdrop the United States 2008 election is perhaps one of the most important in history. Why? Because it will determine the balance of the Supreme Court. Are we a secular nation or a Christian nation? Right to life, abortion, racial affirmative action, socialized medicine, strong military or appeasement, walling off our borders against immigrants, energy independence, environment conservation vs resource exploitation. The roster of issues has most peoples' heads spinning.

So instead of voting with their heads many end up voting with their hearts. Do we like the presidential candidate? Does he make us feel safe? Can we trust his word on jobs, taxes, the environment, healthcare, energy independence?

Browsing America's gallery of 43 presidents is a good place to start understanding the building blocks of a good president. We've had the best and the worst. But by reading about presidents past we can weave our own tapestry of who we like, what we want and don't want in a man whose hand will be on the helm of State -- our personally chosen Leader of the Free World. Here's an opportunity to use hindsight as a tool for enlightened foresight. Pick your favorite historical presidents, roll the characteristics you like best into an amorphous image in your mind's eye -- then take a long hard look at Obama and McCain and see which one most closely matches your personal presidential profile.