The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore

The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore

by Elbert B. Smith
     
 

Elbert B. Smith disagrees sharply with traditional interpretations of Taylor and Fillmore. He argues persuasively that the slaveholding Taylor--and not John C. Calhoun--was the realistic defender of southern slaveholding interests, and that Taylor did nothing to impede the Compromise of 1850.

Most historians have written that Taylor's death and Fillmore's accession

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Overview

Elbert B. Smith disagrees sharply with traditional interpretations of Taylor and Fillmore. He argues persuasively that the slaveholding Taylor--and not John C. Calhoun--was the realistic defender of southern slaveholding interests, and that Taylor did nothing to impede the Compromise of 1850.

Most historians have written that Taylor's death and Fillmore's accession led to an abrupt change in presidential policy, but Smith believes that continuity predominated. He argues that Taylor and Fillmore have been seriously misrepresented and underrated. They faced a terrible national crisis and accepted every responsibility without flinching or directing blame toward anyone else. Each in his own way made a vital contribution to the peaceful settlement. In foreign affairs, both acted with restaint, firmness, logic, and creative imagination. Each deserves the more accurate portrayal of his presidency that this book provides.

Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
Presents a concise, interpretive account that covers the most important questions of the Taylor and Fillmore administrations.
Journal of American History
This well-written book does justice to two presidents who have been little praised by historians.
the Kentucky Register Historical Society
Anyone interested in the immediate pre—Civil War period will find much to ponder in this well-written, tightly argued book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700603626
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
07/28/1988
Series:
American Presidency Series
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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