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As you have probably discovered by now, APUSH is about more than just rote memorization. This is also true with regards to presidents. The following article will hopefully get you on your way to knowing which presidents it is best to know about.
🧠 If you are a Fiveable+ member, you can check the left panel here to view reviews about a specific period that will go into more detail about the specific president.
🧠 A general review guide that may prove useful in memorizing some of the facts here.
What You Should Know:
For each president that I mention, you should probably know their full name (obviously), their dates (at least approximately), and why they were important. You should also know their party affiliation and the common views of their party at that point in time. There are many helpful charts online with that information. Another nice thing to know might be how they are caricatured in political cartoons for ease of recognition in stimulus-based questions or documents.
🇺🇸 The Must-Know Presidential List:
Helpful Tip: Remembering presidents by their election dates will help you immensely in connecting elections mentioned in the exam to the actual president(s) concerned.
EARLY LEADERS: Washington - Monroe. Know the views of each of these presidents on democracy, on the constitution, and their political affiliation.
FORMING THE NATION: Jackson, Tyler, Polk. Know how they shaped the expansion of the country as well as their political controversies.
RECONSTRUCTION: Lincoln - Hayes. Know how they affected Reconstruction.
IMPERIALISM AND WAR: McKinley - Roosevelt. Know how each of these presidents affected foreign and domestic politics as well as the domestic economy.
COLD WAR-PRESENT: Truman - Trump. Know how the Cold War presidents affected the global political climate as well as domestic issues (e.g. Civil Rights). Know how the Period 9 presidents (Reagan onward) dealt with the changing political climate.
I hope this article has proved useful in your studying endeavors. 📚