Login Form

Wartime Presidents: Who Presided Over the Most Years of War

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Flickr

Often, in times of war, a leader is judged on his ability to rally the nation think President Franklin Delano Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor or President Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech in West Berlin during the Cold War.

When it comes to significant world events, many center around war. Indeed, the feelings that flare during violent conflict, fear of death, anxiety over safety and hope for a peaceful resolution, are among the more potent emotions that spur human behavior.

Political leaders’ ability to appeal to these emotions oftentimes set the stage for their most memorable moments in office.

According to data from PBS and the Congressional Research Service, InsideGov found that a majority of presidents have led the nation through wartimes. We calculated the aggregate number of months of conflict for all wars during each presidency, and ranked the list according to the total months spent in war.

#26. Andrew Johnson

After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Johnson became the president and presided over the conclusion of the Civil War.

#25. Dwight Eisenhower

The July 1953 armistice that concluded fighting in Korea was signed seven months into Eisenhower's term. Before his time in the White House, Eisenhower was a five-star general in the Army during World War II.

#24. George Bush Sr.

During his one term in the White House, Bush presided over the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s.

#23. William Henry Harrison

The Second Seminole War in Florida occurred during Harrison’s brief time in office.

There were three conflicts throughout the 19th century between the Army and the Seminoles, the umbrella name given to Native Americans and African-Americans who had settled in Florida.

#22. Gerald Ford

A little over a year into Ford's tenure as president, the U.S. ended its involvement in Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon.

#21. Theodore Roosevelt

After a few months as vice president, Roosevelt became the commander in chief when President William McKinley was assassinated. Roosevelt oversaw the final stage of the Spanish-American War, which was fought mostly under McKinley's term.

#20. John F. Kennedy

Before he was assassinated in November 1963, Kennedy presided over two years of the long-simmering conflict in Vietnam.

#19. James Monroe

During Monroe's first two years in office, the U.S. fought against Native Americans and African-Americans in Florida during the First Seminole War, That war started in 1817 and concluded in 1818.

#18. Andrew Jackson

During his final two years in office, Jackson presided over the beginnings of the Second Seminole War. That war, also in Florida, started in 1835 and concluded in 1842.

#17. John Tyler

Tyler assumed the presidency after President William Henry Harrison died. Tyler led the nation during the last two years of the Second Seminole War, which concluded in 1842.

#16. Franklin Pierce

Pierce was commander in chief during the first two years of the Third Seminole War, when Native Americans and African-Americans in Florida fought against the Army.

#15. James Buchanan

The Seminoles — Native Americans and African-Americans who settled in Florida — fought against the U.S. Army for a third time in 1855. Buchanan was in office during the final two years of the conflict.

#14. John Adams

The second president in U.S. history, Adams was the commander in chief for the duration of the Quasi-War, a conflict with France largely fought at sea.

#13. Woodrow Wilson

Wilson was president during two distinct conflicts: the violence along the U.S.-Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution and America's involvement in World War I.

#12. James Madison

Madison was the commander in chief for the duration of the War of 1812, between the U.S. and Great Britain and Ireland.

#11. William McKinley

McKinley was the president for the duration of the Spanish-American War.

#10. Ronald Reagan

During his first term in office, Reagan presided over two conflicts — U.S. involvement in the 1982 Lebanon War and the 1983 invasion of Grenada, an island in the Caribbean.

#9. Franklin D. Roosevelt

The four years the U.S. fought in World War II spanned through Roosevelt's unprecedented third and fourth terms in the White House.

#8. Abraham Lincoln

One month after his inauguration, Lincoln led the U.S. into the Civil War. He was assassinated before the official conclusion of the war.

#7. Martin Van Buren

Throughout Van Buren's one term in the White House, the U.S. Army was engaged in the Second Seminole War in Florida.

#6. Harry S. Truman

Truman's two terms in the White House coincided with the conclusion of World War II and the early stages of the Cold War. The Korean War was among the first proxy conflicts of the Cold War.

#5. Richard Nixon

Under Nixon, U.S. troops started to withdraw from Vietnam. The Fall of Saigon, in April 1975, happened nine months after Nixon resigned.

#4. Ulysses S. Grant

Grant, the commanding general in the Union Army during the Civil War, was president from 1869 to 1877. During that time, the U.S. engaged in a handful of skirmishes with the Apache people.

#3. Lyndon Johnson

Johnson, who assumed the presidency after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, escalated American involvement in Vietnam. By early 1968, 550,000 American military personnel were in Vietnam.

#2. Barack Obama

Obama has presided over three conflicts during his two terms in office. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were continued conflicts from President George W. Bush's administration, but Obama started the intervention against ISIL in September 2014.

#1. George W. Bush

Bush's time in the White House was immediately impacted by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq dominated his eight years as president.

Research More About U.S. Presidents

 

Haute Tease

  • Celebrity Interview: Director Jay Roach Talks on the Making of TRUMBO, Bryan Cranston, Casting and John Goodman

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    TRUMBO, the true story from Director Jay Roach and Bleecker Street Films, has continued to garner praise for its lead Bryan Cranston as the cantankerous blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, one of the infamous Hollywood Ten.

     
  • Hosts Announced For “The Oscars® Backstage” on OSCAR.COM

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    This year's "The Oscars® Backstage" on Oscar.com, which is the ultimate second screen experience for fans watching the show will be hosted by a multi-talented group of TV personalities. A live feed of the Director's Cut will be distributed via ABC News, AOL, Yahoo and Comcast Xfinity.  

  • Jayne Avaunt, Canada's Newest Pop Sensation, Hits U.S. Airwaves

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jayne Avaunt, Canada’s newest pop sensation, is now blazing the Americans musical charts with her hit single, Hear Me. Hear Jayne out with Hear Me,and see what bloggers are talking about.

     
  • ANTHROPOID Review - Stunning WWII Drama Delivers Strong Emotional Performances

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    ANTHROPOID, from LD Entertainment and Bleecker Street Media, presents the true story of an unbelievable and courageous time in World War II when the resistance remained determined to do anything that would dismantle Hitler.

     
  • V Theater Las Vegas Review - Entertainment Aplenty

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    No matter how many times you’ve visited Vegas, no trip would be complete without taking in a show or two amidst the time you spend eating, gaming, clubbing, sunning and otherwise funing in Sin City.

     
  • The Jazz Funeral World Premiere At Dances With Films Festival

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An estranged father and son reunite in the intoxicating city of New Orleans for a friend's funeral where they bury the scars of the past and heal the wounds of the present in order to let go and move on. The Jazz Funeral is based on a true story, directed by Jesse Rosen.  

     
  • Gabe Klinger’s Porto, Starring Anton Yelchin And Lucie Lucas, To Have Its North American Premiere At SXSW

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to Gabe Klinger’s PORTO, starring Anton Yelchin and Lucie Lucas. Written by Klinger and Larry Gross and shot on Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm in PORTO, Portgual, is set for a North American premiere at SXSW, on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Donate Elite

It's the desire at Haute-Lifestyle.com to keep journalism free. Running a business, however, dictates what is now a common dilemma; a paywall, subscription or donation. Thank you for your donation.