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President James Buchanan

James Buchanan

President James Buchanan: Short biography of President James Buchanan and the key events during his presidency.

Life of President Fast Fact File
James Buchanan (1791-1868), nicknamed the "Do-Nothing President", was the 15th American President and served in office from 1857-1861. The Presidency of James Buchanan spanned the period in United States history that encompasses the events of the Secession Era. President James Buchanan represented the Democratic political party which influenced the domestic and foreign policies of his presidency.

The major accomplishments and the famous, main events that occurred during the time that James Buchanan was president included the establishment of the short-lived Pony Express, the Panic of 1857 and the Dred Scott Decision (1857). In 1859 John Brown seized the Southern town of Harpers Ferry. Other main events included the Crittenden Compromise (1860), the Fort Sumpter Incident (1861). The 1860 Crittenden Compromise failed and the Southern States begin secession which led to the Civil War. James Buchanan died on June 1, 1868 of respiratory failure, aged 77. The next president was Abraham Lincoln.

Birthday: April 23, 1791

Place of Birth: Pennsylvania

Political Party: Democratic 

Nickname: Do-Nothing President

Number: 15th President

Vice President: John C. Breckinridge

Age at Inauguration: 65

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 198 pounds

First Lady: Harriet Lane

Religion: Presbyterian

Date of Death: June 1, 1868

Date of James Buchanan Presidency: April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868

The Nickname of James Buchanan: Do-Nothing President
The nickname of President James Buchanan provides an insight into how the man was viewed by the American public during his presidency. The meaning of the James Buchanan nickname "Do-Nothing President" refers to his belief that secession was illegal and that the federal government were unable to prevent states from seceding - thereby earning the nickname 'The Do-Nothing President'. The meaning of his other derogatory nickname "Ten-Cent Jimmy" is in reference to his statement that ten cents a day was a fair wage for manual laborers.

Character and Personality Type of James Buchanan
The character traits of President James Buchanan can be described as outgoing, genial, generous, dignified, loyal and highly principled. It has been speculated that the Myers-Briggs personality type for James Buchanan is an ESTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perceiving). An outgoing, active, influential and resourceful character with the ability to improvise to achieve desired results. James Buchanan Personality type: Socially sophisticated, persuasive, competitive and easily bored.

Accomplishments of James Buchanan and the Famous Events during his Presidency
The accomplishments of James Buchanan and the most famous events during his presidency are provided in an interesting, short summary format detailed below.

Panic of 1857
Summary of the Panic of 1857: The
Panic of 1857 was a national depression that engulfed the country for nearly three years. It was triggered by the collapse of  a banking institution, the Cincinnati's Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company which together with a fall in land prices, failures of railroad companies and falling wheat prices led to the depression.

The Harris Treaty
Summary of the Harris Treaty: The
Treaty of Amity and Commerce aka the Harris Treaty was signed on July 29, 1858. It contained additional provisions to the final Kanagawa Treaty, concentrating on trade and commerce with Japan.

The Dred Scott Decision
Summary of the Dred Scott Decision:
Dred Scott was an African-American slave who attempted to sue for his freedom because he had been taken by his owners to free states and territories. The Dred Scott Decision was a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 1857 that ruled that slaves were property and also found that Congress could not prohibit slavery from spreading into the western territories.

John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry
Summary of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry:
John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry, on October 16, 1859, consisted of 21 men who were led by militant anti-slavery activist John Brown who tried to seize ammunition from an armory at Harpers Ferry with the intention of equipping an army and leading a slave rebellion in the south. John Brown was executed and proclaimed a martyr of the anti-slavery cause. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry ultimately hastened the advent of the Civil War and was one of the Causes of the Civil War

The Pony Express
Summary of the Pony Express: The legendary
Pony Express was a mail service that covered 2000 miles in 10 days from Missouri to California. The Pony Express began in April 3, 1860 and ended in October 24, 1861. The Pony Express was surprisingly only in operation for 18 months but the exploits of its riders, such as William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill", live on in the legends of the Wild West

Central Park
Summary of Central Park: The New York State legislature initially acquired 778 acres of land and construction work on Central Park began in 1857
and was the first landscaped public park in the United States. The winners of the design contest for Central Park were park superintendent, Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux.

US American History
1850-1865: Secession Era

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