Essay by streifchenCollege, UndergraduateB+, September 2014

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President Obama is now in the final phase of his presidency and talk about his legacy is becoming louder. Discuss Barack Obama's greatest successes and failures as president of the United States.

The US has seen many charismatic leaders throughout its history who have all made major contributions to the development of the country and the reputation America has today. Some of these men will forever stick in people's minds as heroes. Abraham Lincoln is remembered for freeing slaves and setting America on the path to independence and equality. John F. Kennedy will always be associated with his conciliating efforts during the Cold War, the Soviet-American Space Race and his fight for civil rights. However, there have also been darker chapters in the history of US presidents. Harry S. Truman authorised the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended the Second World War but killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

George W. Bush invaded the sovereign state of Iraq under false pretences and thus thrust America into the War on Terror. So far, Barack Obama, Bush's successor, has done moderately well to repair some of the damage caused by his predecessor. Still, Obama will have to convince many more Americans of his ability during his remaining three years in office if he wants to leave another great legacy to the American people. In his first five years in office there were already a number of shortcomings and achievements - for which will he be remembered more?

At the beginning of his first term in 2009 Obama already seemed to have secured a legacy of sorts as a harbinger of hope and change, peace and unity. The early praise was misleading, however, and many of his promises have been broken or are still unfulfilled. Obama promised...