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Transcript of James Buchanan
I Said That? ~Quotes from James Buchanan
Thank You for Listening!
History's View on James Buchanan
Issues in Office
James Buchanan Today?
View on Slavery
James Buchanan's Personality
Buchanan's Political Career
Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791 and died on June 1, 1868.
Buchanan never married or had any children. He was the only president to never marry. His niece Harriet Lane took over the position of First Lady.
He was born in Pennsylvania, to a family that could afford to send him to college.
Before Buchanan worked in politics, he studied law . Buchanan attended college at Dickinson College.
He became part of the military and fought in the defense of Baltimore during the War of 1812.
Who Was James Buchanan?
This is Dickinson College, which is still open today. Dickinson College is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania!
His political career was begun in 1814, at age 23.
Buchanan started off as a member of the Federalist Party in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Later, he would serve 5 terms in the United States HOR.
During Andrew Jackson’s term, he was appointed minister to Russia. When he came back from Russia, Buchanan became a member of the Senate as a Democrat for 10 years.
During James K. Polk’s term, he resigned to be his secretary of the treasury.
In 1852, he lost the presidential nomination to Franklin Pierce for the Democratic Party (he would also become Pierce’s minister to Britain).
I believe that James Buchanan didn’t like to take sides in any disagreement within the political United States. When he supported statehood to slave state Kansas, the Democratic party was thrown into conflict, and he was stuck in-between.
I think that Buchanan did want to do something for the country, yet didn’t rise up to the occasion to get anything done.
Again, Buchanan didn’t seem to take actions against a side in an disagreement. He didn’t do much at all to prevent the growing disagreement over slavery, as many thought he would. James Russell Lowell wrote about Buchanan’s inactivity in the nation’s problems:
“The theory that the best government is that which governs least seem to have been accept literally by Mr. Buchanan, without considering the qualifications to which all general propositions are subject.”
James Russell Lowell, the Atlantic Monthly, February 1861
James Buchanan personally didn’t agree with the concept of slavery, although publically he supported it, as he believed that the Constitution protected slavery.
“All agree that under the Constitution slavery in the States is beyond the reach of any human power except that of the respective States themselves wherein it exists. ... Most happy will it be for the country when the public mind shall be diverted from this question to others of more pressing and practical importance.”
James Buchanan, inaugural address, 1857
The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protected slavery everywhere in the United States, two days before Buchanan was inaugurated.
Buchanan was president over a nation that was divided.
The Dred Scott ruling was passed by the Supreme Court two days into Buchanan’s presidency. (Dred Scott stated that Congress didn’t have the power to take away property rights in slaves. ) Most of the south was fine with this, but the decision upset most of the north.
Kansas applied for statehood. Buchanan promoted it as a slave state. The south was pleased, but the north felt betrayed.
Buchanan was ultimately blamed for what happened just before the civil war Buchanan left office to Lincoln, as the nation speed towards the civil war.
South Carolina is the first of six states to secede from the union. Six other states followed.
Buchanan stated that it was against the law to secede, but the federal government couldn't stop them.
If Buchanan were to take on the issue of the recession, I think he would ask Congress to take action against paper money and bank credit, as he blamed the Panic of 1857 on paper money and bank credits.
Today, racism is still affecting societies all over the world. In America, racial profiling has become more of an issue.
I believe Buchanan would support the ending of racial profiling and racism as a whole, since he did, personally, believe in ending of slavery, although I’m not entirely sure he would do much about it.
James Buchanan today (and directly after his leave from office) is thought of as a president that didn’t do anything to help the growing conflict over slavery, as well as with handling the secession of seven states.
If he did handle these major issues carefully, Buchanan might now could have been though of as one of the better presidents.
On US News's 10 Worst President's list, James Buchanan was labeled as number 1
“Whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that I at least meant well for my country.”
Buchanan says here that whatever happens in office, he will take with him until he dies, that he really did want to do something to benefit the country.
“Sir, if you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man indeed.
-James Buchanan to Abraham Lincoln
Buchanan is saying how happy he is to leave the White House, using it in comparison to Lincoln’s entering the White House.
Racial Profiling is when authorities (such as the police) are more brutal on minority races (such as African Americans or Hispanics) because of their race.
James Buchanan was sworn in as the 15th president on March 4, 1857, after winning the election over John C. Freemont.
Buchanan served 1 term as president from 1857-1861.
This is James Buchanan