Two-Term US Presidents Infographic

The first President of the United States (George Washington) served two terms, while the second (John Adams) served just one. At the time, there wasn’t any fixed rule about serving more than one or two terms. After Franklin D. Roosevelt changed things up and went so far as to start a 4th term before passing away not long after.

Coming back to the matter of serving two terms, there have been about 21 presidents who have managed to serve a second term. One of them served the terms in non-consecutive years; this was Grover Cleveland. However, some perceive the second term of most US presidents to be unlucky and perhaps even cursed. This belief is based on how the second term for any president was usually much harder than the first. There was a scandal, a rumor, an accident, or some other type of catastrophe that plagued the 21 presidents during their second term.

After the passing of Franklin D. Roosevelt, there was also a myth about the ghost of George Washington not being pleased with him running for 3rd and 4th terms. The same curse may also apply to the second term so that no president will be able to think about a third term for too long. 

Of course, there’s no hard evidence to back up the claim of the second term curse. Many political experts have scorned this assumption as well, saying that the problems in the presidential second term were more about a failure to understand and adapt to the different circumstances.

Overall, it is noted that the second terms from Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush were plagued by social and financial issues. On the other hand, the second terms for Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Truman were more economically sound. Without further ado, let’s now look at some of the US presidents who have served two terms. After that, we may perhaps check out the American presidency by the numbers  and see how the two-term presidents far.

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Two-Term US Presidents