James Buchanan

James Buchanan

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     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. He graduated from Dickinson College. After graduation he went on to study law. He was a member of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and then he was elected to Seventeenth and to the four succeeding Congressess. He was also chairman of the Committeee on the Judiciary in the Twenty-first Congress. With of these accomplishments he had created a great political background.
     Although his political background was excellent, his presidency was consider one of the worst ever. In his Inangural the President referred to the territorial question as "happily, a matter of but little practical importance" since the Supreme Court was about to settle it "speedily and finally." One of the main issues during his presidency was the very controversail issue of slavery. Although he opposed slavery, he acted very Kerry like by changing his beliefs. Buchanan decided to end the troubles in Kansas by urging the admission of the territory as a slave state. Although he directed his Presidental authority to this goal, he further angered the Republicans and alienated memebers of his own part. After all of this Kansas remained a territory.
     Another hot issue was regarding the sucession of southern states. President Buchanan, very dismayed and hesitant, denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the Federal Government legally could not prevent them. He hoped for compromise, but secessionist leaders did not want compromise so he just let them do what the wanted to do.
     Then Buchanan took a militant tack. As several Cabinet members resigned, he appointed northerners, and sent the Star of the West to carry reinforcements of Fort Sumter.

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On January 9, 1861, the vessel was far away.
     Throughout Buchanan's presidency, he did what the constitution directly said he could do. He didn't try to stretch the ideas of the constitution and create controversy. He chose to do nothing about the important issues. He did nothing on the issue of slavery. He also did nothing to the issue of the southern states seceeding from the union. These are the very reasons James Buchanan is considered the worst president in U.S. history.
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