Rutherford B. Hayes will forever be remembered as the president who ended Reconstruction. In the process he abandoned the Civil War Republican Party’s commitment to equal rights for the former slaves and doomed them to a century of discrimination and segregation.
Although Van Buren himself was an effective politician, his years as president prompted scholars to rank Van Buren’s presidency as average, grouped among some of the least‐effective and forgettable presidents in U.S. history
For Filmore, slavery was a moral wrong, and imposing on states’ rights was a legal wrong, but for U.S. history, the chimera of legislation that became the Compromise of 1850 was a catastrophic mistake.
Adams’ mistake was not, as some would have it, in angrily prosecuting his political enemies; it was, rather, in allowing others within his administration to pursue acts which went against his avowed political principles and instincts.