Introduction - James BuchananMaking our Worst US Presidents list is James Buchanan who was followed by one of the best U.S. Presidents in history, Abraham Lincoln. During his presidency the tensions between the southern states and northern states grew over the issue of slavery. He is often criticized by historians for not taking more action to ease these tensions. During his term, after the election Abraham Lincoln to be the next president, South Carolina seceded from the Union. A month after Buchanan left office the American Civil War began. On this page we list kid-friendly interesting facts about James Buchanan; answering such questions as why he is considered one of the worst US Presidents and how his policies contributed to the start of the American Civil War.
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James Buchanan Quick Facts
- James Buchanan was the 15th president.
- James Buchanan served as U.S. President from 1857 to 1861.
- Buchanan was a member of the Democratic Party.
- He was born on April 23rd of 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania.
- He graduated from Dickinson College which is located in Pennsylvania.
- His vice president was John Breckinridge. At the age of 35 when taking office he was 35 years old; the youngest vice president in the history of the United States.
- Buchanan died on June 1st of 1868 from Rheumatic Gout.
James Buchanan Political Career Synopsis
- Buchanan studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1812 after which he started a law practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
- In 1820 James Buchanan was elected to the United States House of Representatives.
- He was appointed as ambassador to Russia in 1831.
- In 1834 he was elected to the U.S. Senate where he represented Pennsylvania.
- In 1845 he was appointed U.S. secretary of state by President James Polk.
- President Franklin Pierce appointed him as minister to Great Britain in 1853.
- In 1856 he was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president. He won the election and was sworn in as the 15th president of the US.
Interesting James Buchanan Facts
- He is the only President of the United States to never be married. While he was president his niece, Harriet Lane, performed the social responsibilities of the first lady.
- His nicknames were "Old Buck" and "Ten-Cent Jimmy".
- Starting in 1858 Buchanan had to deal with a Congress that had a Republican majority. The friction between the Democratic President and the Republican Congress resulted in both sides having trouble getting their agenda pushed through.
- Buchanan unsuccessfully tried to keep the country from breaking apart over the issue of slavery. The friction between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery sides intensified during his presidency; especially as it was being decided if territory taken from Mexico after the Mexican-American War should allow slavery.
- Buchanan did not run for a second term as President.
- Towards the end of his presidency, with Abraham Lincoln elected to be sworn in as the 16th president, seven states seceded from the United States and created the Confederate States of America. Although Buchanan believed they did not have the right to do this he did nothing to stop it and took no action against them.