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15 - James Buchanan (1857-1861)

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James Buchanan
(1857-1861)

From Wikipedia

James Buchanan, Jr.
(April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) 
was the 15th President of the United States (1857–1861). He is the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor. His niece Harriet Lane played the role as lady of the house.

james_buchananx2.jpg

Buchanan (often called Buck-anan by his contemporaries) was a popular and experienced state politician and a successful attorney before his presidency. He represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He was also Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After he turned down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Minister to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.

Buchanan was nominated in the 1856 election. Throughout most of Franklin Pierce's term he was stationed in London as a Minister to the Court of St. James's and therefore was not caught up in the crossfire of sectional politics that dominated the country. Buchanan was viewed by many as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. His subsequent election victory took place in a three-man race with John C. Frémont and Millard Fillmore. As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies, who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, first and foremost an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law."

When he left office, popular opinion had turned against him, and the Democratic Party had split in two. Buchanan had once aspired to a presidency that would rank in history with that of George Washington. However, his inability to impose peace on sharply divided partisans on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents. Buchanan biographer Philip Klein puts these rankings into context: "Buchanan assumed leadership ... when an unprecedented wave of angry passion was sweeping over the nation. That he held the hostile sections in check during these revolutionary times was in itself a remarkable achievement. His weaknesses in the stormy years of his presidency were magnified by enraged partisans of the North and South. His many talents, which in a quieter era might have gained for him a place among the great presidents, were quickly overshadowed by the cataclysmic events of civil war and by the towering Abraham Lincoln." Buchanan was the last president born in the 18th century.

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Other videos in channel "The Presidents":

01 - George Washington (1788-1797) 01 - George Washington (1788-1797) 03 - Thomas Jefferson 03 - Thomas Jefferson 06 - John Quincy Adams 06 - John Quincy Adams
07 - Andrew Jackson 07 - Andrew Jackson 15 - James Buchanan (1857-1861) 15 - James Buchanan (1857-1861)
16 - Abraham Lincoln 16 - Abraham Lincoln 26 - Theodore Roosevelt 26 - Theodore Roosevelt 28 - Woodrow Wilson 28 - Woodrow Wilson
32 - Franklin D. Roosevelt 32 - Franklin D. Roosevelt 33 - Harry Truman 33 - Harry Truman
34 - Dwight D. Eisenhower 34 - Dwight D. Eisenhower 35 - Jack Kennedy 35 - Jack Kennedy 36 - Lyndon Baines Johnson 36 - Lyndon Baines Johnson
37 - Richard Nixon 37 - Richard Nixon 39 - Jimmy Carter 39 - Jimmy Carter 40 - Ronald Reagan 40 - Ronald Reagan
41 - George H. W. Bush 41 - George H. W. Bush 42 - Bill Clinton 42 - Bill Clinton Eisenhower Farewell Address Eisenhower Farewell Address
George H. W. Bush's George H. W. Bush's "Toward a New World Order" Speech JFK - JFK - "Ich bin ein Berliner" (1963) JFK Cuban Missle Crisis Address JFK Cuban Missle Crisis Address
Jimmy Carter: Crisis of Confidence Jimmy Carter: Crisis of Confidence Kennedy-Nixon Debate Kennedy-Nixon Debate President Eisenhower 1953 Inaugural Address President Eisenhower 1953 Inaugural Address
President Franklin Roosevelt 1933 Inauguration President Franklin Roosevelt 1933 Inauguration President George W. Bush - The 9/11 Interview President George W. Bush - The 9/11 Interview President Johnson 1965 Inaugural Address President Johnson 1965 Inaugural Address
President Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Address President Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Address President Nixon's First Watergate Speech (April 30, 1973) President Nixon's First Watergate Speech (April 30, 1973) President Nixon's Third Watergate Speech (April 29, 1974) President Nixon's Third Watergate Speech (April 29, 1974)
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