Andrew Johnson

The Smartest and the Least Smart US Presidents by IQ

Can you achieve a significant success even though you are were not the smartest kid in the classroom? One of the best examples can be seen in the IQ scores of ex-presidents of the United States. According to the research conducted by the University of California, who investigated the IQ ratio of ex-presidents based on their biographies, their leadership, and overall academic brilliance. We’ve decided to present you with the 5 smartest and 5 least smart presidents of the US.

Smartest Presidents

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) – IQ Score: 168.75

The sixth president of the US studied law at the famous Harvard University. He is famous for his brilliant presidential mandate achievements, such as ending the war with the United Kingdom with the Treaty of Ghent, Buying the state of Florida from Spain, and established the border with Canada.

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) – IQ Score: 153.75

Thomas Jefferson is probably the most intellectual president of them all because of his knowledge of architecture, mechanics, several languages, mathematics, and being a talented surveyor. His achievements are establishing a peace treaty with France, developing the American trade, and he doubled the territory of the United States.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) – IQ Score: 150.65

JFK is one of the most loved US presidents ever, mainly for his charm and for his tragic end. He was responsible for steering the country during the Cold War era and he managed to achieve some exceptional things for his country like Equal Pay Act (1963) and proposing the blueprint for the future Civil Rights Act (1964).

Bill Clinton (1993-2001) – IQ Score: 148.8

42th American President had a really rough childhood that had a lot of family drama; however, he didn’t let these to prevent him to succeed in life. Before he became a US President, he worked at the University of Arkansas, where he lectured law and he was the Governor of Arkansas.

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) – IQ Score: 145.1

Even though Woodrow Wilson wasn’t such a great law student, he ultimately managed to pass the bar exam in the state of Georgia. He was the US president during the crucial years after World War I, and he had a significant influence on the future look of the European continent after the war.

Least Smart Presidents

Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) – IQ Score: 125.65

Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the US, who emerged from a poor family and he didn’t receive an official education. He will be remembered as the total opposite of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, and he wasn’t remembered well by the people.

George W. Bush (2001-2009) – IQ Score: 124.88

Described as a traditional man, George W. Bush was the second US president from the Bush family. His presidency evolved around criticism of the Iraq War and bad response to Hurricane Katrina, which hit states of Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi.

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) – IQ Score:124.13

Before Warren Harding became the US president, he was the co-owner of a moneymaking newspaper. His presidency is often described as one of the worst in the history of the US by historians.

James Monroe (1817-1825) – IQ Score: 124.13

James Monroe was an ambassador of the US in France, where he didn’t have a lot of success, before becoming a president. However, he did a good job of being a president and he had numerous achievements, but, the most prominent is that he found colonies for freed slaves in Africa. The capital of Liberia, Monrovia got its name after him.

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) – IQ Score: 120

The former general that fought in the Civil War is believed to have the lowest IQ Score among all Presidents involved in the research. Even he was a successful general, he wasn’t the best in his new role as a president, and he didn’t have any success with battling depression in the late 1800s which ended in bankruptcy of many American citizens, as well as him.

Presidential Reconstruction

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as his Vice Presidential candidate. As Johnson was a Democratic senator from Tennessee, Lincoln hoped that he will appeal to those Southerners who never wanted to leave the Union.

Johnson was coming from a poor family, and he didn’t learn to write until he was 20 years old. He was a backer of the small farmer, and when he came to political power, he talked against “slaveocracy” and “Southern Aristocracy” that had little use for working white men.

At that time, Vice Presidents’ saying rarely mattered, unless something happens to the president, and with Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson’s words mattered. He thought that southerners should do what is best for them. In his opinion, African Americans were not capable of managing their lives, and he was completely against giving them a right to vote.

He was giving pardons and amnesties, returning properties to the Confederates who pledged to the Union and who accepted the 13th Amendment. He didn’t return their slaves of course.

Those Confederate officials, together with owners of large properties, were obligated to submit an individual application for a Presidential Pardon. His version of Reconstruction wasn’t that harsh. Many Confederates, around 7,000, got a Presidential pardon, and many got a full power they had before. Only a few were prosecuted.

Now again African Americans were in a bad position. They were free but not as they thought they would be. They were under a very harsh law, better known as “black codes,” and if they don’t supply any evidence that they were employed, even free, they had to go back and work on plantations. African Americans were beaten up a lot frequently too.

In South Carolina, they were banned from all public facilities, including parks, preschool, school, orphanages, etc. That wasn’t all as African Americans had to pay a special tax if they weren’t farmers or servants, they weren’t allowed to hunt or fish, not to own a gun, and even their dogs were taxed.

The freedman’s bureau, a federal agency created to help the transition from slavery to emancipation, had limited power in helping African Americans to adjust to their new ways of living, and all those rules forced even free slaves to stay and work on plantations.

Most Northerners welcomed Johnson’s policies, but there was no consensus on the rights that African Americans received with Emancipation. Some Radical Republicans urged that the rights granted with Declaration of Independence were applied for all free men, including those formerly slaves.

A battle for political power was in the offing.