Ch 5: 20th Century American Presidents

About This Chapter

The engaging video lessons in this short chapter can quickly and effectively strengthen your knowledge of 20th century American presidents. Short quizzes accompanying the lessons can assess your comprehension and ensure you're able to excel on a class assignment, project or test.

20th Century American Presidents - Chapter Summary

Get a well-rounded understanding of 20th century American presidents with help from the expert instructors in this entertaining chapter. They have developed fun video lessons you can access anytime to improve your knowledge of the biographies, elections and contributions of these presidents. Find out how much you understand about 20th century American presidents covered in this chapter by taking multiple-choice quizzes and a practice exam. If you need help understanding information presented in the lessons, feel free to submit your questions to our experts. In no time, you will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression
  • Share the events and timeline of the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Describe Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term as president
  • Explain events of the 1960 election between Kennedy and Nixon

66 Lessons in Chapter 5: 20th Century American Presidents
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
President Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression

1. President Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression

During his tenure, President Herbert Hoover attempted to end the Great Depression. Learn about his various policies in dealing with the economic collapse and their overall impact on the Depression in this video lesson.

The Election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Events and Timeline

2. The Election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Events and Timeline

By 1932, the Great Depression was in full swing. Desperate, the American people turned to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In this lesson, we'll learn who FDR was, how he won the presidency, and what his victory meant for the future of the country.

Franklin Roosevelt's Second Term as President

3. Franklin Roosevelt's Second Term as President

In four years, the United States went from utter economic ruin to being the economic powerhouse that would power the Allies to victory over the Axis powers. This lesson explains how that was possible during FDR's second term.

The Election of 1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon

4. The Election of 1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon

In this lesson, we will be learning about the exciting election of 1960. We will learn about the men running for president in this election (John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon) and why this election was important.

The USS George H.W. Bush: History & Location

5. The USS George H.W. Bush: History & Location

USS George H.W. Bush is one of ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers serving in the United States Navy. In this lesson, we will learn about its history and contributions to American military operations around the world.

President George H.W. Bush's Military Service

6. President George H.W. Bush's Military Service

This lesson will examine the exemplary military service of George H.W. Bush - future President of the United States - covering his combat missions, his awards, and the story of being shot down over the Pacific.

What Did President George H.W. Bush Accomplish?

7. What Did President George H.W. Bush Accomplish?

In this lesson, we will learn about the accomplishments of President George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States. He was a one-term president but had some successes both at home and abroad.

The USS Harry S. Truman: History & Location

8. The USS Harry S. Truman: History & Location

USS Harry S. Truman is one of ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers serving as a cornerstone of United States naval operations around the globe. In this lesson, we will explore the history of USS Harry S. Truman and its contributions to American military operations for the past twenty years.

President Harry S. Truman's Foreign Policy

9. President Harry S. Truman's Foreign Policy

In this lesson we will learn about the foreign policy approaches of American President Harry S. Truman. We will understand the broad context of the Cold War, and identify how Truman believed the U.S. should interact with communist states like the Soviet Union.

Why Didn't All Democrats Support Harry Truman in 1948?

10. Why Didn't All Democrats Support Harry Truman in 1948?

In this lesson, we will learn why some Democrats chose not to support Democratic President Harry Truman in his re-election campaign in 1948. We will explore the roots of division within the Democratic Party at this time and analyze how this impacted the election.

President Harry S. Truman's Education & Early Life

11. President Harry S. Truman's Education & Early Life

What does Harry S. Truman's middle initial stand for? In this lesson, you'll find out as you learn about this president's early life, education, work history, and military career.

President Harry S. Truman & the State of Israel

12. President Harry S. Truman & the State of Israel

In this lesson we will explore President Harry S. Truman's involvement in creating and recognizing the state of Israel. We will also explore some of Truman's reservations about the state of Israel.

President Harry S. Truman's Domestic Policy

13. President Harry S. Truman's Domestic Policy

In this lesson, we will learn about the domestic policies of President Harry S. Truman. We will discover what his policies were regarding economic issues and examine his stance on civil rights.

Bill Clinton: Childhood, Education & Rhodes Scholarship

14. Bill Clinton: Childhood, Education & Rhodes Scholarship

How did Bill Clinton become such an inspirational, dynamic presence in politics? In this lesson, learn about how his family and school life shaped his political ambitions and leadership.

President Bill Clinton's Immigration Policy

15. President Bill Clinton's Immigration Policy

This lesson will discuss President Bill Clinton's immigration policies. During the Clinton administration, the United States took a tough stance on illegal immigration without doing much to reform the legal immigration system.

President Bill Clinton & the American Economy

16. President Bill Clinton & the American Economy

This lesson will look at the American economy under President Bill Clinton. During his presidency, the economy grew and the country flourished. Economic growth increased, the federal deficit was reduced, and the American economy was strengthened overseas.

President Bill Clinton & Gun Control

17. President Bill Clinton & Gun Control

This lesson will examine President Bill Clinton and his accomplishments on gun control policies. It will focus on two specific things: the Brady Bill (passed in 1993) and the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (passed in 1994).

Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas

18. Bill Clinton as Governor of Arkansas

Before Bill Clinton was President of the United States, he was the governor of Arkansas. In this lesson, we'll examine Clinton's experiences in Little Rock and see how they shaped his political career.

President Bill Clinton's Executive Orders

19. President Bill Clinton's Executive Orders

In this lesson, we will examine some of President Bill Clinton's most important executive orders. Executive orders allow a president to act without the help of Congress, and President Clinton issued 364 of them during his presidency.

President Clinton & the Oklahoma City Bombing: Speech & Facts

20. President Clinton & the Oklahoma City Bombing: Speech & Facts

In this lesson, we will investigate why the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, who was affected, and how the guilty parties were brought to justice. We will also learn about President Bill Clinton's response to the attack.

President Bill Clinton's Cabinet

21. President Bill Clinton's Cabinet

Bill Clinton's Cabinet members were a politically diverse group of experienced individuals who helped him achieve a centrist domestic and foreign policy.

President Theodore Roosevelt's Foreign Policy

22. President Theodore Roosevelt's Foreign Policy

In this lesson we will learn about the foreign policy of President Theodore Roosevelt. We will highlight the key themes and developments surrounding his foreign policy.

Theodore Roosevelt, Conservation & John Muir

23. Theodore Roosevelt, Conservation & John Muir

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt and Sierra Club founder John Muir went camping together in Yosemite National Park for three days. This lesson explains how their simple camping trip helped to shape the conservation movement in the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt: Early Life & Education

24. Theodore Roosevelt: Early Life & Education

In this lesson, we will learn about the early life and the education of one of America's most popular presidents. We will highlight key figures, themes, and developments surrounding the early life of Theodore Roosevelt and we will see how his experiences shaped him.

The Attempted Assassination of President Theodore Roosevelt

25. The Attempted Assassination of President Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt is one of few presidents to have survived an assassination attempt. In this lesson, we're going to explore the history behind this moment, and see what impact it had on Roosevelt himself.

Theodore Roosevelt as New York City Police Commissioner

26. Theodore Roosevelt as New York City Police Commissioner

Theodore Roosevelt is one of America's most famous presidents, remembered for his reform-minded policies. However, in this lesson, we're going to look at Roosevelt's life before the presidency and see how his future policies were shaped by past experiences.

Theodore Roosevelt as Governor of New York

27. Theodore Roosevelt as Governor of New York

In this lesson we will learn about the role Theodore Roosevelt played during his short time as governor of New York. We will learn what led to him pursuing the office of governor, and we will explore key themes and developments surrounding this role.

The Naval Career of Theodore Roosevelt

28. The Naval Career of Theodore Roosevelt

In this lesson we will explore the naval career of Theodore Roosevelt before he was elected President of the United States. We will learn why he placed such an importance on the Navy, and we will highlight key themes and developments surrounding his role as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

President Woodrow Wilson: Biography, Characteristics & Facts

29. President Woodrow Wilson: Biography, Characteristics & Facts

Woodrow Wilson navigated America through World War I, drafted the Versailles Treaty, and created the League of Nations. Wilson was responsible for many changes during his eight years as president, but there was more to him than his presidency.

Woodrow Wilson: Writings & Quotes

30. Woodrow Wilson: Writings & Quotes

In this lesson, we'll explore the published works of President Woodrow Wilson. We'll highlight his role as a historian and intellectual and examine some of his writings and quotes.

What Did Woodrow Wilson Accomplish?

31. What Did Woodrow Wilson Accomplish?

Most people are unaware of Woodrow Wilson, despite the many advancements that occurred during his time as President. In this lesson, you're going to learn how much he accomplished during his presidency.

Warren G. Harding: Failures & Scandals

32. Warren G. Harding: Failures & Scandals

Warren G. Harding is an American president who is rarely remembered for the policies he supported. Instead, we often remember him for the numerous scandals under his administration. In this lesson, we'll look at some and consider their impact on his legacy.

Warren G. Harding: Foreign & Domestic Policy

33. Warren G. Harding: Foreign & Domestic Policy

Warren Harding's short administration is known mainly for the Teapot Dome Scandal and his death in office. Did anything happen in the way of domestic or foreign policy? Read on to find out.

Jimmy Carter & the Civil Rights Movement

34. Jimmy Carter & the Civil Rights Movement

In this lesson, we will learn about President Jimmy Carter's record on civil rights. Although he grew up in the segregated South, President Carter would come to be an important supporter of the US Civil Rights Movement.

Jimmy Carter: Social Policies & Impact on Society

35. Jimmy Carter: Social Policies & Impact on Society

Jimmy Carter's commitment to social causes began in his youth and, at age 92, continues through today. In this lesson, you'll learn more about Carter's social policies and the impact his work has had on society.

Jimmy Carter's Environmental Accomplishments

36. Jimmy Carter's Environmental Accomplishments

Jimmy Carter enacted legislation and created programs that helped to improve the environment, reduce pollution and to protect Americans from contaminated land or water. In this lesson, you will learn about Carter's eco-friendly presidency.

Jimmy Carter's Education Policy & Reform

37. Jimmy Carter's Education Policy & Reform

When Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States in 1977, he brought with him a passion for improving education, particularly for very young children. In this lesson, you will learn about Carter's educational reforms and policies.

Ronald Reagan: Biography, Facts & Quotes

38. Ronald Reagan: Biography, Facts & Quotes

In this lesson we will learn about Ronald Reagan. We will explore the life and political career of this dynamic 20th century president, and we will highlight key developments surrounding his administration. We will also point out a few of his interesting and notable quotes.

Ronald Reagan's Accomplishments

39. Ronald Reagan's Accomplishments

In this lesson, we will learn about the accomplishments of President Ronald Reagan. We will highlight the achievements he made in regard to politics, society, economics, and foreign affairs.

The Reagan Revolution: Definition, Summary & Significance

40. The Reagan Revolution: Definition, Summary & Significance

In this lesson, you'll learn about the Reagan Revolution. We'll define the term, and explore key themes and developments related to Ronald Reagan's conservative revolution during the 1980s.

Characteristics of Richard Nixon

41. Characteristics of Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon's presidency ended in political disgrace, but beneath the scandal was a deeply complex human story. This lesson details the most important aspects of Nixon's personality and how they shaped his controversial political career.

Richard Nixon's Education Policy

42. Richard Nixon's Education Policy

Education reform played an important role in the domestic policies of Richard M. Nixon's presidency. This lesson will cover some of the legislative measures and programs implemented as part of the larger education policy of the Nixon Administration (1969-1974).

The Legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower

43. The Legacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States. In this lesson, we'll explore the ways in which Eisenhower changed the relationship between American politics and faith, as well as the legacy of his domestic and foreign policy.

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Domestic Policy

44. Dwight D. Eisenhower's Domestic Policy

President Dwight Eisenhower was world famous for his leadership during World War II. In this lesson, we will learn how Eisenhower used his abilities to help the United States.

Dwight D. Eisenhower & Civil Rights

45. Dwight D. Eisenhower & Civil Rights

President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the highest office in the country during crucial years of the African American struggle for equality. In this lesson, we will learn of Eisenhower's policies during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.

Calvin Coolidge's Presidential Cabinet

46. Calvin Coolidge's Presidential Cabinet

In this lesson we will earn about the presidential cabinet of Calvin Coolidge. We will identify some of the notable members of his cabinet and we will highlight their accomplishments and approaches.

Lyndon B. Johnson & Civil Rights

47. Lyndon B. Johnson & Civil Rights

In this lesson, you will learn about Lyndon Johnson and the ways he helped the Civil Rights Moment achieve some of its most significant goals in the 1960s.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Character Traits & Qualities

48. Lyndon B. Johnson: Character Traits & Qualities

If the personalities of U.S. presidents and the character traits that make them unique are of interest to you, this lesson has what you are looking for. In this lesson, we will discuss the character qualities and personal attributes of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Lyndon B. Johnson's Domestic Policies

49. Lyndon B. Johnson's Domestic Policies

A Southern Democrat and former member of the United States Navy, House of Representatives, and the Senate, President Johnson called upon his years of service to the country in multiple arenas to mark his legacy with his domestic policy.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Failures & Downfalls

50. Lyndon B. Johnson: Failures & Downfalls

Lyndon Johnson pushed an ambitious domestic agenda, but his legacy is ultimately a mixed one. This lesson explores Johnson's failures, particularly the limits of the Great Society and the Vietnam War.

Gerald Ford: Economic, Domestic & Foreign Policy

51. Gerald Ford: Economic, Domestic & Foreign Policy

Gerald R. Ford had the second-shortest presidency of the 20th century, being 13 days longer than Warren Harding. His term, however, was far from uneventful. Read on to learn about the first unelected president.

Gerald Ford: Personality Traits & Political Views

52. Gerald Ford: Personality Traits & Political Views

Ever imagine going into a job, and suddenly becoming the boss? Well that happened with Gerald Ford in August 9, 1974 when he stepped into the chair of president of the United States. This article is about his personality traits and a few of his political views of Gerald Ford.

William Howard Taft: Failures & Accomplishments

53. William Howard Taft: Failures & Accomplishments

If you have ever wondered about the much-maligned one-term presidency of William Howard Taft, this lesson has what you are looking for. In this lesson we will discuss the failures and the accomplishments of President William Howard Taft.

William Howard Taft: Political Views & Reforms

54. William Howard Taft: Political Views & Reforms

William Howard Taft was the 27th U.S. President. He followed Teddy Roosevelt but was more conservative and pro-business. He reduced child labor, broke up trusts, and expanded the civil service but took a narrow view of government. As Chief Justice, Taft maintained this outlook.

William Howard Taft's Executive Orders

55. William Howard Taft's Executive Orders

In this lesson, we will learn about President William Howard Taft's executive orders. Taft used the executive power to address land distribution in the West, which impacted Native American policy.

William Howard Taft's Cabinet Members

56. William Howard Taft's Cabinet Members

In this lesson we will learn about President Taft's cabinet members. Taft was a conservative Republican, and he mostly surrounded himself with the same.

William Howard Taft & Civil Rights

57. William Howard Taft & Civil Rights

If you would like to learn more about the early days of the Civil Rights Movement during the Progressive Era, this lesson has information you may find useful. In this lesson we will discuss the role that William Howard Taft played in the Civil Rights Movement during his presidency.

William Howard Taft: Domestic & Foreign Policy

58. William Howard Taft: Domestic & Foreign Policy

William Taft was handpicked by the immensely popular Theodore Roosevelt to succeed him as president. Though Taft did not live up to expectations, he did try to contribute through his domestic and foreign policies. Read on to find out more.

Herbert Hoover: Presidency Summary & Accomplishments

59. Herbert Hoover: Presidency Summary & Accomplishments

In this lesson we will learn about the presidency of Herbert Hoover. We will highlight key themes and developments surrounding his administration, and we will explore his accomplishments.

Herbert Hoover: Biography, Facts & Quotes

60. Herbert Hoover: Biography, Facts & Quotes

In this lesson we will learn about the life of Herbert Hoover, who was President of the United States when the Great Depression began. We will highlight key themes and developments surrounding his life, and we will understand his viewpoints by looking at some of his quotes.

Hebert Hoover: Failures & Criticisms

61. Hebert Hoover: Failures & Criticisms

In this lesson we will examine popular criticisms against President Herbert Hoover. We will learn why he has commonly been regarded as an unpopular president, and we will understand the failures cited against his administration.

Herbert Hoover: Political Beliefs & Economic Philosophy

62. Herbert Hoover: Political Beliefs & Economic Philosophy

In this lesson we will examine President Herbert Hoover's political and economic beliefs. We will explore his philosophy regarding the role of government and see how this impacted his policies while President of the United States.

Herbert Hoover: Character Traits & Humanitarian Work

63. Herbert Hoover: Character Traits & Humanitarian Work

In this lesson we will explore the character traits of President Herbert Hoover. We will identify aspects of his personality, and we will also highlight his career in humanitarian work.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Foreign & Domestic Policy

64. President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Foreign & Domestic Policy

Franklin D. Roosevelt entered office as the 32nd President of the United States facing an economic emergency and war on the horizon. In this lesson, we will learn how FDR implemented domestic and foreign policies to affect the world.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Early Life, Childhood & Education

65. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Early Life, Childhood & Education

Franklin D. Roosevelt is often remembered as a people's president, but why? In this lesson, we'll see how FDR's childhood impacted his political attitudes and goals and prepared him for the presidency.

Franklin Roosevelt as Governor of New York

66. Franklin Roosevelt as Governor of New York

Before he was president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was governor of New York. In this lesson, we are going to examine FDR's governorship and see how it set the stage for his jump into national politics.

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