General Question

liz's avatar

13 most important people that made a great impact in the history of the united states.

Asked by liz (1 points ) October 9th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

gooch's avatar

George Washington
Ben Franklin
Abe Lincoln
Gen. Patton
Gen. Eisenhower
Thomas Jefferson
Ronald Regan
F.D. Roosevelt
Albert Einstein
Henry ClayRobert E. Lee
John AdamsPatrick Henry
Henry Ford

gooch's avatar

Oops that was14

GD_Kimble's avatar

(In no particular order besides loose chronological. Also, the assumption here is: “great” is being used meaning “important”, not necessarily “positive”.)

Thomas Jefferson
James K. Polk
John L. O’Sullivan
Jefferson Davis
Abraham Lincoln
Woodrow Wilson
Henry Ford
Franklin Roosevelt
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert McNamara
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan

honorable mentions: Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglas, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson

gailcalled's avatar

Liz asked about important people, not men. Are there no women who qualify? Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, Abigail Adams, Edith Wilson ,(who was Pres. de facto when Woodrow was ill), Amelia Earhart, Jane Addams, Rosalind Franklin, Lucille Ball…

mollykm's avatar

I’m with gailcalled. And I’m adding to her list Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

GD_Kimble's avatar

I predicted this. I read this question as a list of 13 people whose actions forever altered the course events in this nation. Not simply as list of great Americans. For example, I included James O’Sullivan, a name virtually no one knows, but he was the architect of “Manifest Destiny”, the principle which I think has most singly defined our nation’s history.
The women listed above are all iconic in their contributions TO BE SURE. However, I feel when it comes to the kind of substantive change implied by “the 13 MOST important…” unfortunately there’s not (by my math) a woman that has made that kind of impact. And please please don’t read that a statement of worth, but rather as a reflection of lack of opportunity.
Asked the same question about Britain, only a fool wouldn’t place Margaret Thatcher, and Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria near (if not AT) the very top.
The history that has brought us to this point certainly hasn’t been fair, but it’s produced the results that it has.
Also, there’s the arbitrary number of 13 applied to this… if we were to say the most important…say…30, I’d be astounded if there were no women mentioned. The same is true with minorities, if the sheer numbers of the list were increased, we’d also find the likes of Cesar Chavez and Marcus Garvey, but they, like the overlooked women were limited in their overall impact by the cards they were dealt.
I guess, this boring treatise is my reaction to the implied accusation of sexism in my lack of inclusion of women in my listing.
My simple point is in this nation’s history, women haven’t had access to the seats of power (up until the last 30ish years or so) that are instrumental in the way I constructed my list. Thankfully, that power structure is changing more and more in our institutions everyday… hell, in the next election, we may yet another huge leap forward.
Asked this same question in 100 years, I assume, and sincerely hope my list would be different.

GD_Kimble's avatar

wow. John O’Sullivan, rather. I think I made one of my points. =)

gailcalled's avatar

@GD; well-reasoned and well-defended..not boring in the least. Initially, I thought you were singling out John L Sullivan, the first heavyweight boxing champ in the US. Hmm, I wondered.

Jill_E's avatar

In addition from others…

some other honorable mentions…

Wright Brothers
Jimmy Carter – post presidency (Habitat for Humanity)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Susan Koman
Annie Lebovix (photography)

neners123's avatar

Thomas Jefferson
John L. O’Sullivan
Jefferson Davis
Abraham Lincoln

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