politics & history The Most Influential Politicians in American History  

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List Rules U.S. politicians who have significantly affected American life and politics

The most influential politicians in American history, ranked by everyone. Anyone can vote on this list, making these rankings a good way to discover how these politicians rank in the public eye. We are defining influence here as - for better or worse - how the actions of this politician shaped American history - so your rankings and votes should not be based on whether or not you like a particular politician or agreed with their policies and actions. Also note that this list of influential politicans is not limited to Presidents and can include other influential office-holders. The most influential political figues in US history can be from local or national politics. You can add any missing pols by making your own version of this list. Love them or hate them, politicians shaped this great country... these are the ones who had the most influence.

So who are the most influential politicians in American history? Who are the greatest politicians in American history? That's up to you to decide, so make your vote count!

1
+ - 1,853 226
George Washington 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
George Washington British America - George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United ...more

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2
+ - 1,643 356
Thomas Jefferson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Thomas Jefferson United States of America - Thomas Jefferson was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy, and embraced ...more

3
+ - 1,933 395
Abraham Lincoln 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Abraham Lincoln United States of America - Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and ...more

4
+ - 1,546 217
Benjamin Franklin 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Benjamin Franklin United States of America - Benjamin Franklin FRS was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, ...more

5
+ - 805 245
James Madison 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
James Madison United States of America - James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman, political theorist, and the fourth President of the United States. He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in ...more

6
+ - 1,197 389
Theodore Roosevelt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Theodore Roosevelt United States of America - Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt Jr. was an American politician, author, naturalist, soldier, explorer, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of the ...more

7
+ - 1,229 585
John F. Kennedy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John F. Kennedy United States of America - John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. He served from 1961 ...more

8
+ - 1,279 655
Franklin D. Roosevelt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Franklin D. Roosevelt United States of America - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States. A Democrat, he won a record four ...more

9
+ - 1,528 706
Ronald Reagan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Ronald Reagan United States of America - Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. Before his presidency he served as the 33rd Governor of California and was also an actor from 1937–1964. Born and raised in small ...more

10
+ - 873 316
John Adams 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Adams United States of America - John Adams was the second president of the United States, having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States. An American Founding Father, Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a ...more

11
+ - 972 326
Alexander Hamilton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Alexander Hamilton United States of America - Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States, chief staff aide to General George Washington, one of the most influential interpreters and promoters of the U.S. Constitution, the ...more

12
+ - 497 205
Patrick Henry 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Patrick Henry United States of America - Patrick Henry was an American attorney, planter and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first ...more

13
+ - 257 95
James Monroe 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
James Monroe United States of America - James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States. Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the ...more

14
+ - 528 231
John Hancock 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Hancock United States of America - John Hancock was a merchant, smuggler, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of ...more

15
+ - 904 359
Dwight D. Eisenhower 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Dwight D. Eisenhower United States of America - Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme ...more

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16
+ - 347 297
Robert F. Kennedy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Robert F. Kennedy United States of America - Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, commonly known by his initials RFK, was an American politician from Massachusetts. He served as a Senator for New York from 1965 until his assassination in ...more

17
+ - 223 143
Eleanor Roosevelt 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Eleanor Roosevelt United States of America - Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, holding the post from March 1933 to April 1945 during her ...more

18
+ - 700 407
Harry S. Truman 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Harry S. Truman United States of America - Harry S. Truman is an author.

19
+ - 695 436
Andrew Jackson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Andrew Jackson United States of America - Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. He was born near the end of the colonial era, somewhere near the then-unmarked border between North and South Carolina, into a recently ...more

20
+ - 487 327
John Marshall 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Marshall United States of America - John Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. His court opinions helped lay the basis for United States constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the ...more

21
+ - 105 46
Thomas Paine 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Thomas Paine

22
+ - 441 361
Henry Clay 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Henry Clay United States of America - Henry Clay, Sr. was an American lawyer, politician, and skilled orator who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He served three different terms as ...more

23
+ - 374 271
George C Marshall 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
George C Marshall

24
+ - 466 241
John Quincy Adams 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Quincy Adams United States of America - John Quincy Adams was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He also served as a diplomat, a Senator and member of the House of ...more

25
+ - 469 605
Henry Kissinger 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Henry Kissinger United States of America, Germany - Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American diplomat and political scientist. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard ...more

26
+ - 332 215
John Jay 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Jay United States of America - John Jay was an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, signer of the Treaty of Paris, and first Chief Justice of the United States. Jay was born into ...more

27
+ - 488 724
Richard Nixon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Richard Nixon United States of America - Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only U.S. president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a U.S. representative and ...more

28
+ - 416 567
Woodrow Wilson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Woodrow Wilson United States of America - Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921 and leader of the Progressive Movement. A Southerner with a PhD in political science, he served as President of ...more

29
+ - 406 261
Sam Houston 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Sam Houston United States of America - Samuel "Sam" Houston was an American politician and soldier, best known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States as a constituent state. His victory at the Battle of San Jacinto ...more

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30
+ - 457 774
Lyndon B. Johnson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Lyndon B. Johnson United States of America - Lyndon Baines Johnson, often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States, a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, served ...more

31
+ - 282 440
Earl Warren 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Earl Warren United States of America - Earl Warren was an American jurist and politician, who served as the 30th Governor of California and later the 14th Chief Justice of the United States. He is best known for the decisions of the Warren ...more

32
+ - 458 443
Jefferson Davis 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Jefferson Davis United States of America - Jefferson F. Davis was an American soldier and politician who was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. He took personal charge of the Confederate war plans ...more

33
+ - 224 106
Ulysses S. Grant 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Ulysses S. Grant United States of America - Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States. As Commanding General, Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the ...more

34
+ - 357 791
Ted Kennedy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Ted Kennedy United States of America - Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and was the ...more

35
+ - 128 80
Daniel Webster 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Daniel Webster United States of America - Daniel Webster was a leading American senator and statesman during the era of the Second Party System. He was the outstanding spokesman for American nationalism with powerful oratory that made him a ...more

36
+ - 504 613
Rand Paul 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Rand Paul United States of America - Randal Howard "Rand" Paul is an American physician and politician from Kentucky. In office since 2011, Paul currently serves in the United States Senate as a member of the Republican Party. ...more

37
+ - 286 339
John C. Calhoun 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John C. Calhoun United States of America - John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading American politician and political theorist during the first half of the 19th century. Hailing from South Carolina, Calhoun began his political career as a ...more

38
+ - 780 1,412
Barack Obama 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Barack Obama United States of America - Barack Hussein Obama II (/bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama served as ...more

39
+ - 239 399
William Jennings Bryan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
William Jennings Bryan United States of America - William Jennings Bryan was a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States. He served two terms as a ...more

40
+ - 597 998
Bill Clinton 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Bill Clinton United States of America - William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Previously, he served as Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to ...more

41
+ - 277 659
Joseph McCarthy 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Joseph McCarthy United States of America - Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy ...more

42
+ - 131 189
Barry Goldwater 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Barry Goldwater United States of America - Barry Morris Goldwater was a businessman and five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 1964 election. Goldwater is the politician most often ...more

43
+ - 130 107
Grover Cleveland 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Grover Cleveland United States of America - Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of the two Democrats ...more

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44
+ - 138 165
Newt Gingrich 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Newt Gingrich United States of America - Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is an American politician, historian, author and political consultant. He represented Georgia's 6th congressional district as a Republican from 1979 until his ...more

45
+ - 683 761
George W. Bush 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
George W. Bush United States of America - George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009, and the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. The eldest son ...more

46
+ - 121 149
Ron Paul 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Ron Paul United States of America - Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author, and former Republican congressman, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and the presidential nominee of the Libertarian ...more

47
+ - 321 344
George H. W. Bush 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
George H. W. Bush United States of America - George Herbert Walker Bush is a retired American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. A Republican, he had previously served as the 43rd Vice President ...more

48
+ - 74 154
John Kerry 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
John Kerry United States of America - John Forbes Kerry is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He has served in the United States Senate, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations ...more

49
+ - 270 285
Condoleezza Rice 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Condoleezza Rice United States of America - Condoleezza "Condi" Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the ...more

50
+ - 140 124
Abigail Adams 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential Politicians in American History
Abigail Adams United States of America - Abigail Adams was the wife of John Adams, the first Vice President, and second President, of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President. She is now designated the ...more