Franklin Pierce: The American Presidents Series: The 14th President, 1853-1857

Franklin Pierce: The American Presidents Series: The 14th President, 1853-1857

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Overview

Franklin Pierce: The American Presidents Series: The 14th President, 1853-1857 by Michael F. Holt

The genial but troubled New Englander whose single-minded partisan loyalties inflamed the nation's simmering battle over slavery

Charming and handsome, Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was drafted to break the deadlock of the 1852 Democratic convention. Though he seized the White House in a landslide against the imploding Whig Party, he proved a dismal failure in office.

Michael F. Holt, a leading historian of nineteenth-century partisan politics, argues that in the wake of the Whig collapse, Pierce was consumed by an obsessive drive to unify his splintering party rather than the roiling country. He soon began to overreach. Word leaked that Pierce wanted Spain to sell the slave-owning island of Cuba to the United States, rousing sectional divisions. Then he supported repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which limited the expansion of slavery in the west. Violence broke out, and "Bleeding Kansas" spurred the formation of the Republican Party. By the end of his term, Pierce's beloved party had ruptured, and he lost the nomination to James Buchanan.

In this incisive account, Holt shows how a flawed leader, so dedicated to his party and ill-suited for the presidency, hastened the approach of the Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429922173
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/30/2010
Series: American Presidents Series
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 162,092
File size: 231 KB

About the Author

Michael F. Holt is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Michael F. Holt is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of six books, including the award-winning The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party and By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., (1917-2007) was the preeminent political historian of our time. For more than half a century, he was a cornerstone figure in the intellectual life of the nation and a fixture on the political scene. He won two Pulitzer prizes for The Age of Jackson (1946) and A Thousand Days (1966), and in 1988 received the National Humanities Medal. He published the first volume of his autobiography, A Life in the Twentieth Century, in 2000.
Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton University, is the author or editor of several books, including Chants Democratic and The Rise of American Democracy. He has also written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and other publications. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Franklin Pierce (American Presidents Series) 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Schantz More than 1 year ago
After reading about this president on Wikipedia, I became intrigued about his biography. This book was very informative and detailed about the Pierce's life. This was man who experienced many heartbreaks such as the death of all his children (while they were young and all of these deaths took place before he became president). The most recent death was of the only child who lived to be 12 and was killed a few weeks before Pierce was inaugurated. From the get-go his presidency was doomed because of the slavery issue and as a result he would serve only one-term. He was never able to solve the slavery dilemma without alienating his own party as well the country itself. Sadly, he has been rated as one of the worse president in history simply because he was seen as too accomodating to both sides of the issue because he didnt want to see a civil war break out by outright outlawing slavery. With every new territory that would join the country during his short time in office, disputes broke out over whether they would be slave or free states. In the end, his own party would discard him in favor of James Buchanan (who would suffer the same fate as Pierce four years later). The book did a great job of explaining his life, his presidency, and they way he conducted himself as a man. It was a short but good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry for being in school and sports okay? I cant be on 24/7 im sorry