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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ranking John Quincy Adams


Ranking the President’s of the United States can be a very complex endeavor – however the Siena Research Institute does it every few years or so. Their most recent results came out in 2010. They typically survey a large number of historians and politicos and ask them to rate the presidents on 20 different categories on a scale of 1 to 5. They then weigh these categories to come up with the overall result and compare.

For 2010 he is overall ranked #19, but let’s take a look at where he fell in each category:

Background (family, education, experience): 2nd
Party Leadership: 34th
Communication Ability (speaking, writing): 20th
Relationship with Congress: 35th
Court Appointments: 16th
Handling of US Economy: 14th
Luck: 30th
Ability to Compromise: 29th
Willing to Take Risks: 23rd
Executive Appointments: 13th
Overall Ability: 15th
Imagination: 11th
Domestic Accomplishments: 18th
Integrity: 4th
Executive Ability: 21st
Foreign Policy Accomplishments: 16th
Leadership Ability: 26th
Intelligence: 5th
Avoid Crucial Mistakes: 20th
Your Present Overall View: 21st

Overall Ranking: 19th

Every time there is a discussion about John Quincy Adams he is referred to as un unsuccessful president, yet he ranked 19th with many others falling behind him.  If he ranks 19th, why is he perceived as being such an unsuccessful president? 

I think the results were spot on with regards to Background, Integrity, Relationship with Congress, Ability to Compromise, and Intelligence.  What better background to have than having a father who was president (although also not an effective one) and he had extensive experience as a foreign diplomat.  I think he should have been more highly rated in terms of Communication Ability.  He was a professor of rhetoric at Harvard! 

What do you think of these rankings – agree/disagree?

Data obtained from the 2010 Siena Research Institute's 5th Presidential Expert Poll. 2010.


Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Thanks for posting this information. It was very interesting. I have no opinion on his ranking as i am not informed well enough to develop an opinoin. I am now very curious to see where the other presidents ranked.

    1. I already did one ranking post on Lincoln - you can find it here - http://themaidenscourt.blogspot.com/2011/11/ranking-lincoln.html


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