James Buchanan: The Fifteenth President

James buchanan was the fifteenth president of the united states of america. His term was surrounded with trying to avoid the civil war. Learn more!

In the Campaign of 1856 the Democrats choose James Buchanan as their presidential candidate. They did not want anything else to do with Franklin Pierce, because they felt he was incompetent. James Buchanan had been the Minister to Great Britain, and had stayed out of the controversies surrounding Franklin Pierce. Buchanan's opponent was John C. Fremont of California; he was the first presidential candidate for the new Republican Party. Because the Democrats had broad support throughout the United States, James Buchanan had no problems winning the Campaign of 1856 and becoming the fifteenth President of the United States.

James Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pa. He grew up with a father who was a merchant and a farmer. Buchanan had decided to become a lawyer, so he attended Dickinson College, there he was not the ideal student. After college he became a lawyer and became engaged to a young woman by the name of Anne Coleman. They were engaged to be married in the summer of 1819: then Anne abruptly broke off the engagement. After this love tragedy for Buchanan, he never sought to remarry. He is known as being the only bachelor president in history.

Buchanan took office in 1857; the only issue facing him was preventing Civil War. The issue was slavery and allowing it to extend into the new territories. Buchanan's outlook on slavery was that not many Americans disputed slavery in the Southern states, and if these states could legally permit slavery within it's borders than the federal government had no right to limit it or deny it. As far as the new territories, they should have they right to choose for themselves if they wanted to be a free state or a slave state. But, slavery abolitionist believed slavery was wrong and should be outlawed everywhere.



The country still had numerous questions concerning Kansas as being a free state or a slave state. Buchanan had appointed Robert Walker of Mississippi, to be the territorial governor. His appointment of Walker was to try to set up a constitution for the state, to decide if it was going to be a free state or a slave state. Buchanan had made a mistake, all this appointment did was outrage the Northerners, due to Walker was pushing proslavery issues. Finally, Buchanan asked Congress to step in and answer the questions. The questions were soon answered when Congress admitted Kansas into the Union as a free state in January of 1861, this was the icing on the cake, the country was boiling and the most feared Civil War was about to happen.

Buchanan had failed to prevent the Civil War, at the end of his Presidency it happened, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas seceded from the Union although it was illegal.

In 1861, these states formed the Confederate States of America and they had elected Jefferson Davis as their President.

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