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James Buchanan and the Political Crisis of the 1850s

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When Buchanan entered the White House in March 1857, he seemed well positioned to accomplish his main objectives. A canny and seasoned politician from Pennsylvania with a reputation for moderation on slavery-related issues, Buchanan had a straightforward agenda: the amelioration of sectional tensions, the promotion of American prosperity, and the extension of the Democrats' control of the federal government. Four years later, Buchanan left Washington convinced that he had done his best and accomplished much. In ...
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Overview

When Buchanan entered the White House in March 1857, he seemed well positioned to accomplish his main objectives. A canny and seasoned politician from Pennsylvania with a reputation for moderation on slavery-related issues, Buchanan had a straightforward agenda: the amelioration of sectional tensions, the promotion of American prosperity, and the extension of the Democrats' control of the federal government. Four years later, Buchanan left Washington convinced that he had done his best and accomplished much. In fact, he left behind a shattered Democratic party, a new Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, and a ruptured Union. Except for a cadre of faithful Pennsylvania friends, Buchanan's reputation lay in ruins. He has consistently been ranked among the least effective presidents in American history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945636892
  • Publisher: Susquehanna University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Pages: 215

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Introduction: Getting to Know James Buchanan, Again 17
Another Look at the Election of 1856 37
Dough in the Hands of the Doughface? James Buchanan and the Untameable Press 68
"No Bed of Roses": James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Presidential Leadership in the Civil War Era 93
James Buchanan, the Neutrality Laws, and American Invasions of Nicaragua 123
James Buchanan, the Election of 1860, and the Demise of Jacksonian Politics 146
The Presidency of James Buchanan: A Reassessment 171
Selective Bibliography 203
Contributors 210
Index 212
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