The oddly named president whose shortsightedness and stubbornness fractured the nation and sowed the seeds of civil war
In the summer of 1850, America was at a terrible crossroads. Congress was in an uproar over slavery, and it was not clear if a compromise could be found. In the midst of the debate, President Zachary Taylor suddenly took ill and died. The presidency, and the crisis, now fell to the little-known vice president from upstate New York.
In this eye-opening biography, the legal scholar and historian Paul Finkelman reveals how Millard Fillmore's response to the crisis he inherited set the country on a dangerous path that led to the Civil War. He shows how Fillmore stubbornly catered to the South, alienating his fellow Northerners and creating a fatal rift in the Whig Party, which would soon disappear from American politics—as would Fillmore himself, after failing to regain the White House under the banner of the anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic "Know Nothing" Party.
Though Fillmore did have an eye toward the future, dispatching Commodore Matthew Perry on the famous voyage that opened Japan to the West and on the central issues of the age—immigration, religious toleration, and most of all slavery—his myopic vision led to the destruction of his presidency, his party, and ultimately, the Union itself.
|Publisher:||Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.|
|Series:||American Presidents Series|
|File size:||347 KB|
About the Author
Paul Finkelman is the author of Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History and Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson. The author or editor of more than twenty-five books, he is a distinguished professor at Albany Law School and a noted specialist in American legal history, race, and constitutional law. He lives in Slingerlands, New York.
Paul Finkelman (PhD, University of Chicago) is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. His many books include Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court (2008) and A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States (2002), which he coauthored; The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (2006) and The Encyclopedia of the New American Nation (2006), which he edited; and Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson (2001). For the Bedford Series in History and Culture he edited Dred Scott v. Sandford: A Brief History with Documents (1997) and Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South: A Brief History with Documents (2003). Finkelman has also published numerous scholarly articles on American legal history and civil rights, and he lectures frequently on these subjects.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
& not a glowing review of the 13th prez & his shaping the civil war.
This series is well written and is often selected for biography assignments. The books are well researched and at 150-160 pages are an easy read for most high school students. They include a bibliography and index for convenience.
A r quick yet informative read that provides more of the progression and history of slavery during the 1840/50's than it does of the background of Fillmore. The book provides a clear description of why Fillmore is rated as one og the worst Presidents and the sorry state of politics at that time. Clear, concise, and informative...if you are looking for a book that gives a good/brief story of Fillmore and his time then this a good book. If you want detail...no.