These are not the best presidents. Merely my favorites because of how interesting they were as political figures. Ranked chronologically.
  1. George Washington
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    The founder. He set every precedent for every president. Maybe the single most important factor for the revolution succeeding. No one was more principled than him. Not only did he win the biggest and most ideologically motivated war ever, he also successfully brought balance to the Federalists and the anti-Federalists at the Constitutional Convention, whipping the Articles of Confederation into the Constitution. He also wrote a gentleman's guide to manners which is pretty dang funny.
  2. Thomas Jefferson
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    Thomas Jefferson drove the movement that rejected a sovereign king during the Revolutionary War. Then, during his presidency he did the exact opposite by doubling the size of the US with the Louisiana Purchase without approval from congress. It was a total steal, Napoleon had no clue he was being outsmarted, and it made America what it is today. Totally worth it, right? Jefferson showed that if you break the rules, no one cares if everyone gets a piece of the pie (really the entire western US).
  3. Abraham Lincoln
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    John Quincy Adams had the highest IQ of any president at around 164-170. Lincoln wasn't far behind at 140, pretty far above the average human. But, no other president could have saved the US from complete disintegration. He had the perfect demeanor, personality, intelligence, and character. The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most brilliant works in political history. His reconstitution plan was generous and inclusive, revealing how devoted he was to the preservation of the Union.
  4. Calvin Coolidge
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    Surprised he's on the list? Don't be. He invited the idea of a laissez faire presidency and did exactly that when he was in office. He never spoke unless he had to. He had the presidency thrust upon him following Harding's sudden death and handled it wonderfully. He had the opportunity to run for reelection and chose not to because he didn't want power. Still not convinced? He had a freaking raccoon for a pet in the White House. Yeah.
  5. Richard Nixon
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    People used to trust politicians until Nixon, a man who JFK said "looked like a used car salesman." Was Watergate a big mistake? Obviously. Was it the biggest mistake in US history ? No. Nixon just was the trigger to instill a healthy amount of distrust in executive figures. He also made humongous strides with China, even though it hurt Taiwan. Before he was president he hunted underground communists. He changed economics for the US. He's also the reason televised presidential debates matter.