By John Quist, Michael J. Birkner

ISBN-10: 081304426X

ISBN-13: 9780813044262

“Provides students with a clean and considerate exam of the 1st management that needed to care for Southern secession.”—Jonathan M. Atkins, writer of Parties, Politics, and the Sectional clash in Tennessee, 1832–1861


In 1856, the violence that swept “Bleeding Kansas” and the brutal beating of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner at the ground of the Senate mirrored the anger and distrust of a humans divided over slavery. Whispers of disunion now turned audible. in the middle of this emerging drawback, american citizens selected James Buchanan to supply the management that would calm sectional tensions and stop the shattering of the state. within the opinion of many students, Buchanan did not meet the problem, and his presidency resulted in secession and eventually civil war.

John W. Quist and Michael J. Birkner have assembled a set of essays by way of prime historians who reexamine and problem that traditional knowledge. This assortment revisits normal questions reminiscent of Buchanan’s meddling within the Dred Scott case, his position in urgent for Kansas statehood, and his determined efforts to save lots of the Union within the secession wintry weather of 1860–1861. The authors additionally freshly research his behavior of overseas affairs, impetuous dealings with the Mormons, and afflicted management of a splintering Democratic Party.

Several essays show that Buchanan’s governance used to be extra complicated and, in a few respects, extra winning than ordinarily believed. Others depict him in less-than-flattering phrases. Regardless, the authors supply a chance to reassess a president on the vortex of occasions in a vital hour of U.S. background. the amount explores the explanations the Pennsylvanian, who a path in most cases sympathetic to the South, chanced on himself deserted via his previous allies and steadied by means of staunch unionists on the finish of his term.

Taken including the contributions of 2 distinctive students in antebellum political historical past, the essays in James Buchanan and the arrival of the Civil warfare provide a deeper, extra nuanced figuring out of a incorrect president in the course of his turbulent and consequential time period within the White House.


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Extra info for James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War

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But the outcome would have been clearly sectional: five Southern justices supporting this outcome; two Northerners concurring in the result but not in any other part of the decision; and two Northerners dissenting. Taney and the other Southerners—especially the moderate John Catron 40 · Paul Finkelman of Tennessee—wanted to have at least one Northerner join them. Thus began the correspondence between Buchanan and Catron. On February 3 Buchanan wrote to Justice Catron, asking whether the Court would decide Dred Scott before the inauguration.

56. Buchanan, Inaugural Address, 2962. 57. Baker, James Buchanan, 1–2. 58. In 1858 Buchanan tried to bring Kansas into the Union as a slave state under the Lecompton Constitution, which had been written by an undemocratically elected convention and ratified in a patently fraudulent election. Stephen A. Douglas, who always claimed he did not care if slavery was voted “up or down,” nevertheless opposed Kansas statehood under Lecompton, because this was clearly an undemocratic process. As a result, Buchanan had Douglas stripped of his position as chairman of the Senate Committee on the Territories and then tried to prevent his reelection to the Senate in 1858.

Thus, while California entered the Union as free state, the rest of the Mexican Cession was set aside for slavery. 14 At this point in American history every territory that had been organized without a ban on slavery had become a slave state. 15 This land included more than 180,000 square miles that were north of the 36°30' parallel. This abrogation of the Missouri Compromise line was not technically an abandonment of the Compromise itself, because the line still applied to the unorganized territory that remained from the Louisiana Purchase.

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James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War by John Quist, Michael J. Birkner

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