The Failure of James Buchanan Essay

The Failure of James Buchanan Essay

Length: 1390 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1856, a Presidential election occurred in the United States at a crucial period. Sectionalism was at an all time high and a leader was needed to unite the country. However, the man who won the election did not prove to be this leader. Instead, his platform was based on a deliberate failure to lead. Due to James Buchanan’s position that supported popular sovereignty in the expanding United States, the country divided even further over the topic of slavery to the point that the Civil War became inevitable.
One of Buchanan’s most significant failures came in regards to the Dred Scott case. Although he had good intentions in how he wanted to handle this case, he did a terrible job. Phillip Auchampaugh describes this by stating, “His desire to keep himself with the Court in this case was but one illustration of his untiring attempts to avert the impending ruin of the Republic” (Auchampaugh 240). This case was very important because the Democratic Party and the Union were split over the question of slavery in the territories. “Many of the conservatives held that not only the continued existence of the party, but the preservation of the Union rested on the outcome of the case” (Auchampaugh 233). Clearly this case carried extreme importance, and it was vital that the decision made would keep the country together.
However, Buchanan acted irresponsibly in regards to the case. He corresponded with both Justice John Catron and Justice Robert Grier trying to learn when the decision of the case would occur (Auchampaugh 236). His purpose in this was to discover if the decision would occur before or after his inauguration, and as such, his inaugural address. In regards to the Chief Justice, “Buchanan emphatically denied that he and Taney had ...


... middle of paper ...


...


Works Cited
Auchampaugh, Phillip. "James Buchanan, The Court and the Dred Scott Case." Tennessee Historical Magazine January 9.4 (1926): 231-40. JSTOR. Web. 14 May 2014.
Buchanan, James. "Fourth Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union." Washington D.C. 3 Dec. 1860. The American Presidency Project. Web. 18 May 2014.
Buchanan, James. "Inaugural Address." Inauguration. Washington D.C. 4 Mar. 1857. The American Presidency Project. Web.
Cole, Allen F. "ASSERTING HIS AUTHORITY: JAMES BUCHANAN'S FAILED VINDICATION." Pennsylvania History Winter 70.1 (2003): 81-97. JSTOR. Web. 14 May 2014.
Smith, Elbert Benjamin. The Presidency of James Buchanan. Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1975. Print.
Weatherman, Donald V. "James Buchanan on Slavery and Secession." Presidential Studies Quarterly Fall 15.4, Perspectives on the Presidency (1985): 796-805. JSTOR. Web. 14 May 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

James Buchanan Essay

- James Buchanan grew up from being a nine-year-old child sitting on a stool behind the counter of his father’s store as the store’s record keeper in Pennsylvania, to the man sitting in the White House as the 15th President (Donovan 1-112). As the store’s record keeper, Buchanan spent most of his time calculating with one eye closed because he was extremely near sighted in one eye (Donovan 1-112). Buchanan worked hard for his Scotish-Irish parents and while working, he learned about politics from local farmers that came to his father’s store (Donovan 1-112)....   [tags: American History]

Strong Essays
1926 words (5.5 pages)

The Theory Of Public Choice Theory Essay examples

- Before the public choice era, a traditional economist would approach the analysis of public policy through the concept of Pareto optimality (Lemieux 2004). Pareto optimality is defined as an efficient allocation of resources, where there is no way to reallocate resources to benefit some individual without harming another individual (Edgar Browning & Jacquelene Browning 1994). However, market failures can cause an inefficient allocation of resources. A few illustrations that generally lead to market failures include externalities and public goods....   [tags: Economics, Government, Democracy, Market failure]

Strong Essays
715 words (2 pages)

James Buchanan: Marking His Point In History Essay

- One of the nation’s leaders. A genius. An ambassador. This human being was a strong individual. James Buchanan was one of the United States’ most inspiring presidents. His remarkable contributions were a significant mark in history, as well as his education that he received. The year 1857 to 1861 were the four years that made a mark in history. April 23, 1791 was the day an amazing individual was born into this world that was made to change the country. James Buchanan was the second child out of his eleven brothers and sisters that was born in a log cabin near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania....   [tags: US History]

Strong Essays
1360 words (3.9 pages)

Analysis Of James Buchanan 's The Issue Of Slavery Essay

- James Buchanan 's attempt to address the issue of slavery is an example of a president not being able to control the debate over an issue, in particular because of the vulnerable position Buchanan found himself in. James Buchanan is what is known as a Disjunctive President, one that is in power when their party is no longer the resilient regime and whose ideas are on the way out. Unfortunately, Buchanan failed to acknowledge the Democratic parties vulnerable position, which was indicative in the way that he addressed the conflict of free and slave states....   [tags: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln]

Strong Essays
1642 words (4.7 pages)

James Buchanan Essay

- James Buchanan On April 23, 1791, a great man was born; fifteenth president of the United States, James Buchanan.He was born near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. His father, James Buchanan, and his mother Elizabeth Speer Buchanan, raised their son a Presbyterian. He grew up in a well to do home, being the eldest of eleven other siblings. His parents cared for them all in their mansion in Pennsylvania. They sent him to Dickinson College. Buchanan graduated in 1809, was admitted to the bar in 1812, and then moved to Lancaster to set up his law practice....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

James Buchanan Essay

- James Buchanan was born in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania on April 23, 1791. He became the fifteenth President of the United States of America on March 4, 1857. . He was the only President that was never married. His first lady was his niece Harriet Lane. He was the only citizen of Pennslvania to hold that office. He has been criticized for failing to take any positive action in order to attempt to pervent the country from sliding into the Civil War. Some have even speculated that he had gay tendencies with William Rufus King, the Senator for Alabama....   [tags: US Presidents]

Free Essays
449 words (1.3 pages)

Daisy Buchanan: the True Inhabitant of the Wasteland in "The Great Gatsby"

- Daisy it the true inhabitant of the wasteland because of the fact that even though she’s being betrayed by her husband and has been throughout their entire marriage she still stays with Tom even though Daisy has another man, Gatsby, that truly loves her and would be loyal to Daisy. The only reason why she doesn’t go to Gatsby is because Daisy wants to keep her social standing with “old money” even though Daisy might be unhappy having the last name of Buchanan and having the old money that comes with that last name means more to Daisy then being happy with Gatsby even though he has “New money”....   [tags: Daisy Buchanan, wasteland, Great Gatsby, Fitzgeral]

Strong Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Failure And Failure Of Failure

- People usually afraid of failure because they tried to do something and failed, or took a risk and it didn’t pay off, or made a decision and it turned out to be the wrong one. That fear of failure create the stress and anxiety when people want to do something hard or try something new. Just because you tried something two or three time and failing does not mean the entire idea is a mistake. Do you expect to get a Blackjack on every game that you played. That would be an impossible thing to do. There is no success that comes without failure, where failure is experiences and lessons that help you to perfect your works....   [tags: Failure, Success, Basketball]

Strong Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

Failure : Failure And Failure Essay

- Failure. No one wants to talk about failure. It’s the nasty blemish people hide under excuses and funny anecdotes. Although usually seen as a hindrance, failure helps shape character and deliver wisdom from the experience it provides. While undesirable, helps build an armor and teaches its victims to fight like knights for the cause they believe in. When I was a junior in high school, I had a personal experience with failure that shaped the way I approached life and helped me mature and grow. Though it was hard, and I still am feeling the shock waves of consequences, I’m glad to be stronger and wiser through my faults....   [tags: Failure, Education, Reliability engineering]

Strong Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

The Weight Of Failure And Failure Essay

- The weight of failure is something that everyone will feel and goes though in their lifetime. Many famous people have overcome the weight of failure; research had proven that failure does affect one’s life. How someone deals with failure and manages the weight of it, is how the world see them. To know what success is, failure is something that must be dealt with throughout life. Success is what people see, but failure is what they go through too accomplish success. Most don’t understand how much failure weighs on a person until they reach success....   [tags: Steve Jobs, Apple Inc., Dust Bowl, Failure]

Strong Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)