President Accomplishments Controversies

 

John F. Kennedy 1960-1963

Averted nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis AND founded the Peace Corps

Led the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, liked to party, and might have been more talk than anything else

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969

Created Medicare, Medicaid, expanded welfare, made Civil Rights a priority

Expanded the US role in Vietnam, leading to the death of many Americans

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961

Warned of the ‘military industrial complex’, created the Interstate Highway system, signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960

Appeased Senator Joseph McCarthy, resistant to desegregating schools, ordered infiltration of Middle Eastern Governments to topple them,

Richard Nixon 1969 -1974

Eased tensions with China, worked to protect the environment

Watergate scandal

Ronald Reagan 1981-1989

The Reagan Doctrine, Mutually Assured Destruction, Ended the Cold War, Reaganomics

The Reagan Doctrine, Contra Scandal, Enacted Strict anti-Drug policy, cracked down on Unions and Striking employees (both could go either way!)

Franklin D. Roosevelt 19933-1945

New Deal, navigated the Great Depression, served FOUR terms.

There are many – called a ‘fascist,’ warmonger, over-spender, Japanese internment, Jewish refugee refusal

Bill Clinton 1993-2001

Greatly expanded economic prosperity of the US

Nearly impeached

George W. Bush 2001-2009

Navigated post-9/11 America, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act

Increased military campaigns and spending throughout the country and Middle East, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act

Research Requirements

Once you have decided who are going to put on trial, you will need to research and create a case in defense of that president, or against that president. The research requirements are loose. Below, I’ve included a few websites to help you. And don’t forget – Wikipedia has awesome articles about some of these presidents.****

Your case can include as many or as few points as possible. Some historians believe that ONE EVENT can ruin the entire legacy of a President, others believe that the many good deeds of the President outweigh all the controversies.

Your case MUST include information from a President’s State of the Union address – these are primary source speeches that every President delivers about what is happening in our nation, their worries, fears, hopes, and dreams are usually outlined in this speech.

Source List / Starting Point

https://millercenter.org/president – overview of each President. The Impact and Legacy is a good place to start, followed by Domestic and Foreign Affairs.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Portal:State_of_the_Union_Speeches_by_United_States_Presidents – list of all State of the Union Speeches

https://www.dummies.com/education/politics-government/evaluating-u-s-presidents/ – good criteria for how to evaluate Presidents.

https://www.c-span.org/presidentsurvey2017/ – 2017 survey of Historian ranking of Presidents. This website has data but lacks explanation.

https://www.wikipedia.org/ – seriously. Wikipedia is GREAT if you know how to use it.

https://www.biography.com/people – general information.

Research tips

Try to focus your Google search. Try these terms:

‘Your president controversies’ OR ‘your president accomplishments’ OR ‘criticisms of your president’

Or you can search for their policies:

‘LBJ’s Great Society’ OR ‘Reaganomics’ or ‘New Deal.’

Presentation Requirements

You will need to create a slideshow containing all your evidence. It should include images, quotes, and bullet points. Be as persuasive as possible. You are trying to convince a Jury that your President was AWESOME or HORRIBLE.

Your presentation CANNOT be more than 3 minutes. You will have time to argue with the people who disagree with you.

A rough outline is below:

Slide 1 – Title

Slide 2 – Biography and Background

Slide 3 – State of the Union Evaluation

Slide 3 – Foreign Policy Issues/Praises

Slide 4 – Domestic Policy Issues/Praises

Slide 5 – Criteria Evaluation and Scoring

Slide 6 – Wrap up and conclusion

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