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Who was the most intelligent President in US history?

adams

 

Azhar Mahmood: In the first Republican debate, Ben Carson argued that when it comes to being a good president, “the thing that is probably most important is having a brain.”
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While a high IQ does not guarantee success, it is true that intelligence is often associated with effective leaders. But does that trend hold true for U.S. presidents? Are the most successful presidents also the most intelligent?

With that question in mind, InsideGov ranked the 27 smartest presidents in U.S. history, using data from UC Davis professor, Dean Simonton. In a 2006 study, Simonton used historiometric methods to estimate each president’s IQ, analyzing information from their biographies and writings that would indicate a higher-than-average intellect.

This list is by no means definitive, but it should give a good sense of which presidents were highly intellectual. Interestingly, eight of the presidents on this list either never attended college or dropped out before finishing their degrees.

With Donald Trump and Ben Carson leading the Republican presidential polls, concerns have surfaced about their lack of political experience. Historically, only three presidents have been elected without any prior political experience: Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, all three of these men served as generals in the United States Army.

Although there is no single path to the White House, certain jobs, like state governor, have a high frequency of promoting to the presidency. In fact, every president has served in at least one of these positions: general of the United States Army, cabinet secretary, state governor, member of Congress or vice president.

InsideGov looked back at the careers of U.S. presidents and found the most common positions they held before taking office. If you want to be president, these are the jobs for you.

John Quincy Adams. His IQ was: 168.8 . (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848)

John-Quincy-Adams+campuslive

was an American statesman who served as a diplomat, United States Senator, member of the House of Representatives, and was the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later the Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. He was the son of President John Adams and Abigail Adams and thus contributed to the formation of the Adams political family.

Adams shaped U.S. foreign policy using his ardently nationalist commitment to U.S. republican values. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating key treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As Secretary of State, he negotiated with Britain over the United States’ northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and drafted the Monroe Doctrine. Historians generally concur that he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history.

In his biography, Samuel Flagg Bemis argues that Adams was able to “gather together, formulate, and practice the fundamentals of American foreign-policy – self-determination, independence, noncolonization, nonintervention, nonentanglement in European politics, Freedom of the Seas, [and] freedom of commerce.”

Adams was elected president in a close and controversial four-way contest in 1824. As president he sought to modernize the American economy and promote education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt. However he was stymied time and again by a Congress controlled by opponents, and his lack of patronage networks helped politicians sabotage him. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. He has been portrayed by recent historians as an exemplar and moral leader during an era of modernization, when new modes of communication spread messages of religious revival, social reform, and party politics, and improved transportation moved goods, money, and people more rapidly.

After leaving office, he was elected as U.S. Representative from Massachusetts in 1830, serving for the last 17 years of his life with greater acclaim than he had achieved as president. Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery,Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. Adams predicted the Union’s dissolution over slavery, and in such a case, felt the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers. Historians have in the aggregate ranked Adams as the 21st most successful president.

#27 – George H. W. Bush

George_H._W._Bush_27

IQ: 130.1

College: Yale University

Before he attended Yale, George H. W. Bush enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of World War II. He also had a successful career in the oil industry before turning to politics.

#26 – William McKinley

William_McKinley_26campuslive

IQ: 130.2

College: Allegheny College (withdrew)

Although William McKinley dropped out of Allegheny College, he would later earn a law degree from Albany Law School. President McKinley was tragically assassinated just six months into his second term.

#25 – James K. Polk

James_K._Polkcl+25

IQ: 130.2

College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Polk has been called the “least known consequential president.” In his one term as president, Polk presided over the Mexican War, dramatically expanded the size of the country and overhauled the nation’s finance system.

#24 – Grover Cleveland

Grover_Cleveland_1st_term_cl24

IQ: 130.9

College: None

Cleveland couldn’t afford a college education but that didn’t stop him from becoming a successful lawyer. As president, Cleveland earned a reputation for his honesty and work ethic.

#23 – Richard Nixon

Richard_Nixoncl23

IQ: 131.0

College: Whittier College

Nixon may have had the most scandal-filled presidency, but there’s no doubting his intelligence. Before he resigned from office, Nixon actually accomplished some major foreign policy goals and pushed for more environmental regulation.

#22 – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight_D._Eisenhowercl22

IQ: 131.9

College: U.S. Military Academy (West Point)

Before becoming president, Eisenhower served as a five-star general in the army during World War II and was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. Eisenhower also served as the president of Columbia University from 1948 to 1953.

#21 – Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin_Harrisoncl21

IQ: 132.2
College: Miami University

Benjamin Harrison had a successful career as an attorney before and after his one-term presidency. He even represented the Republic of Venezuela against the United Kingdom.

#20 – George WashingtonGeorge_Washingtoncl20

IQ: 132.5

College: None

Washington managed to become the first U.S. president without a college degree. In addition to having a sharp political mind, Washington was also a skilled military commander.

#19 – Martin Van Buren

Martin_Van_Burencl19

IQ: 133.4

College: None

Van Buren began reading law at the age of 14 and was admitted to the bar just seven years later. Along with Andrew Jackson, he was one of the most influential architects of the original Democratic Party.

#18 – Rutherford B. Hayes

Martin_Van_Burencl19

IQ: 133.9

College: Kenyon College

Like his predecessor, Ulysses S. Grant, Hayes struggled to reconcile the country after the Civil War. He is generally regarded as an unexceptional president.

#17 – William Henry Harrison

William_Henry_Harrison_17

IQ: 133.9

College: Hampden-Sydney College (withdrew)

Sadly, William Henry Harrison’s presidency ended just 32 days into his first term, when he died of pneumonia. Before his presidency, Harrison gained fame for his military career

#16 –Franklin_Piercecl16

IQ: 134.8

College: Bowdoin College

Not even a brilliant mind could save Pierce from a disastrous presidency. His failure to deal with the issue of slavery helped escalate the onset of the Civil War.

#15 – Millard Fillmore

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IQ: 136.0

College: None

Like Pierce, Fillmore failed to adequately address the issue of slavery. Although he never attended college, he helped found the University at Buffalo.

#14 – John Tyler

John_Tyler_cl-14

IQ: 136.2

College: College of William and Mary

Tyler has an impressive pre-presidency career, serving as a governor, U.S. representative and senator. However, he had a fairly unimpressive presidency.

#13 – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin_D._Rooseveltcl-13

IQ: 139.6

College: Harvard University

In terms of influence, few presidents can match FDR’s 12 years as president. Roosevelt was also one of the most intellectual presidents to occupy the White House.

#12 – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham_Lincoln_12

IQ: 140

College: None

With an estimated IQ of 140, Lincoln is undoubtedly one of the smartest presidents. Despite never obtaining a college degree, Lincoln was a highly-respected lawyer and a skilled orato

#11 – James Madison

James_Madisoncl-11

IQ: 141.3

College: Princeton University

As the “Father of the Constitution” and one of the key architects of the Bill of Rights, James Madison was certainly one of the most intelligent and influential U.S. presidents.

#10 – Chester A. Arthur

Chester_A._Arthurcl-10

IQ: 141.5

College: Union College

Despite being one of the most intelligent presidents, Chester A. Arthur is generally regarded as being an inconsequential leader. Nonetheless, Arthur deserves credit for championing reform in a time of rampant political corruption.

#9 – James Garfield

James_A._Garfield_cl-09

IQ: 141.5

College: Williams College

Garfield excelled as a student at Williams College, where he graduated second in his class. It was said that Garfield could write Latin with one hand and ancient Greek with the other.

#8 – Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore_Roosevelt_08

IQ: 142.3

College: Harvard University

Teddy Roosevelt was certainly one of the most intellectually curious presidents to occupy the White House. A prolific author, he published 35 books on subjects ranging from the War of 1812 to African game trails. He was also a respected naturalist and conservationist.

#7 – John Adams

John_Adams07

IQ: 142.5

College: Harvard University

Adams was a highly intellectual political theorist, historian, lawyer and politician. Growing up, he excelled in Latin school and was admitted to Harvard College at the young age of 15.

#6 – Jimmy Carter

Jimmy_Cartercl-06

IQ: 145.1

College: U.S. Naval Academy

Jimmy Carter is a case where a high IQ didn’t necessarily equate to a successful presidency. Before becoming president, Carter graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the Naval Academy and later took graduate courses on nuclear physics at Union College.

#5 – Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow_Wilsoncl-05

IQ: 145.1

College: Princeton University

Wilson earned a Ph.D. in political science and was chosen to be president of Princeton University, a position he held from 1902 to 1910. As president, Wilson was a key figure in the Progressive Movement and presided over World War I.

#4 – Bill Clinton

Bill_Clintoncl-04

IQ: 148.8

College: Georgetown University

Clinton was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Georgetown University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics. He also received a law degree from Yale.

#3 – John F. Kennedy

John_F._Kennedycl03

IQ: 150.7

College: Harvard University

At 43, Kennedy was the youngest person to be elected president. Although he frequently struggled with health issues, Kennedy was nonetheless an avid scholar and an ambitious statesman.

#2 – Thomas Jefferson

Thomas_Jeffersoncl-02

IQ: 153.8

College: College of William and Mary (withdrew)

When speaking at a White House dinner for Nobel Laureates, JFK famously noted, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Jefferson certainly was a true Renaissance figure, studying everything from agricultural innovation to architecture.

#1 – John Quincy Adams

John_Quincy_Adamscl-01

IQ: 168.8

College: Harvard University

Like his father, John Quincy Adams was an esteemed lawyer and a formidable presence in court (he earned a law degree from Harvard). He was also a brilliant statesman, negotiating several key international treaties. Remarkably, Adams was fluent in at least four languages and regularly translated Latin and ancient Greek as well.

Dhaka,30 March, (campuslive24.com) //AM


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