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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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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.