Who was the American president that you liked the most?
Mystery, mystery, mystery, but not anymore! Politicians all over the world, including the United States, have always been the subjects of controversy. Some people even refer to them as the dearest kids of mystery and fuss, so it’s no wonder why they’re always on the front pages of every newspaper.
From having employees that are the cause of intimate affairs to having illegitimate children, gambling, supporting women’s rights, corruption, military invasions, taking drugs, and drinking too much alcohol, these politicians surely did a few things during their lives.
Even though we didn’t discuss any of these subjects in the way we should (don’t worry, we’ll get there in a second), I’m pretty sure that these topics would make a top-notch novel, don’t you think?
If you were to think about the US presidents and the number of scandals they’ve been involved in throughout their political careers, you might say that Donald Trump is by far the most controversial one, given the alarming numbers of allegations against him as well as his indictment.
This might come as a big surprise to some readers, but Donald Trump isn’t the only one who washed his linen in public. What doesn’t kill you is supposed to make you stronger, right? Well, let’s see! In today’s article, we’ll discuss everything about the country’s presidents that was far more controversial than former leader Donald Trump.
1. Andrew Jackson
- Time as President: 4th March 1829 – 4th March 1837
The 1st president on our list, Andrew Jackson, is most popular for his Petticoat Love Affair, which became a general subject of gossip, and it’s believed that this story was so talked about that it had a major impact on many other people’s lives. Besides that, sources say that this entire thing even led to what is known as the “Kitchen Cabinet”.
His life entered the media’s eye and caused a scandal when John Henry Eaton, his Secretary of War, got married to Margaret Timberlake, known as Peggy, who was the recent widower of John B. Timberlake.
It seems that society didn’t like the new relationship, because it started a lot of rumors, saying that the pair was actually together while Peggy was still married to her 1st husband, and when her partner found out about her infidelity, he decided to end his life.
This scandal caused tensions among the wives of the members of the president’s cabinet, which therefore resulted in more and more hostility between their husbands and Eaton.
The politician’s life was also the subject of a scandal, given the fact that he fired many people from the Cabinet, and many of them signed. And that’s how the Petticoat Affair was born, with the wife of the Secretary of War.
But that wasn’t the only controversy in which President Jackson was involved. The other scandal he was part of included the nullification crisis, which happened in 1832 because of South Carolina’s resistance against what was known as the Tariff of Abomination.
The American leader got angry and told South Carolina’s officials that he was not afraid to use military force if they didn’t agree to pay their taxes. That remained in history as one of the most public cases of disagreement between the states and the central government, as noticed before the Civil War.
2. Andrew Johnson
- Time as President: 15th April 1865 – 4th March 1869
Mr. Johnson was the 1st American president to be impeached, and that led to a major scandal. The main reason that led to this type of behavior was the fact that he was also disagreeing with Congress, and he was very resilient in introducing their Civil War Reconstruction measures and policies.
The politician had deposed many government officials without the approval or probable cause of Congress. But the problem that changed everything was when he told Edwin Staton, who was the Secretary of War, to pack his bags and go home because he had been fired.
As you can imagine, Congress didn’t agree with his behavior, and they said that he disobeyed the Tenure of Office Act, which was the thing that led to his impeachment.
3. Grover Cleveland
- Time as President: 4th March 1885 – 4th March 1889 and 4th March 1893 – 4th March 1897
Many people made jokes based on the body size of President Grover Cleveland, telling him Uncle Jumbo. However, although people made fun of him for being a curvier man, he was one of the healthiest American politicians and the second-heaviest head of the country, weighing around 250 pounds.
He was crazy about beer and cigars, but those things didn’t impact his health or his political performance. Mr. Cleveland was the only head of the country to serve nonconsecutive years, but sources say that this wasn’t a problem because he was very honest and didn’t like corruption.
But one thing that made him a victim of the controversy was his personal life, and that was due to his child. In today’s world, having a kid with someone you’re not married to isn’t the end of the world, and it’s actually quite common, but during those conservative times, it was considered a huge problem.
Mr. President had an illegitimate child with a woman named Maria Halpin. While the paternity of their children was never proved due to the fact that Mrs. Halpin was known for having multiple high-ranking lovers, the president financially contributed to child support.
However, he never denied or admitted that he was the father of the child, so that’s a piece of information that he took with him to the grave. What do you think about this scandal? Was he the real father or Maria Halpin’s kid?
4. Warren G. Harding
- Time as President: 4th March 1921 – 2nd August 1923
Now I’ll tell you a story about a president who was in office for no more than 2 years but who managed to lose all of the White House’s China! So take a look!
One thing that people liked about him was the fact that he was a popular supporter of women’s rights, but another thing that wasn’t exactly a good example was his support of alcohol rights.
Speaking of women and their rights, the president was involved in trying to give them a voice, so he put a lot of effort into the women’s suffrage movement while they tried to obtain the right to vote. Nowadays, it’s normal for everyone over the age of 18 to have the right to vote, but that wasn’t the case in the 20th century, and he received a lot of criticism for his efforts.
Greed and corruption were present in the political world of that time too, but Harding didn’t care about direct involvement with those things. However, the thing that brought him down was the Teapot Home Incident.
This popular controversy was centered on some of the men that were involved in Harding’s administration, which included Albert B. Fall, who was the Secretary of the Interior.
The man was guilty of taking more than $100,000 in blackmail from different private companies, such as the Mammoth Oil Company, which rented them some naval oil reserves that were located in Teapot Dome, Wyoming.
One scandal that the president was involved in was the fact that he liked gambling and actually had a problem with it. The American president was all about poker, and he once was so reckless that during a game, he lost all the China that was in the White House. Funny or not?
If you’re tempted to discover all the secrets and weird or funny facts about all the men who were the presidents of our beautiful country, here’s a book that you’ll love reading! And if you had fun reading this article and want part II, write it down in the comments so we know!
Until next time, here’s a good article for you: Jeans, Broccoli, and 6 Other Things FORBIDDEN at the White House!