Biography of James Buchanan - the 15th President of the US

James Buchanan was born in the year 1791 in an affluent family of Pennsylvania. Graduating from Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, James Buchanan was later shifted to Lancaster where he studied
James Buchanan
Law for the next three years and joined the bar in the year 1812. James Buchanan strongly opposed the War of 1812 and like a dedicated Federalist believed that it was an un- necessary conflict.

The Political career of James Buchanan began with his participation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1814-1820. Elected five times to the House of Representatives, James Buchanan went on to serve as Minister to Russia and later served the Senate for a decade. Acting as Polk's Secretary of State and later Pierce's Minister to Great Britain, James Buchanan had acquired a lot of Political experience.

The nomination of James Buchanan by the Democrats in the year 1856 was a fall out of the fact that he was in England during the Kansas-Nebraska debate and therefore was not involved in it.

Presidency in a rapidly dividing Nation taught James Buchanan to realize the Political realities of the time. James Buchanan had expected the crisis to reduce if he maintained a sectional balance in his appointment procedures. He also tried to make the people accept the the Constitutional Laws as interpreted by the Supreme Court. the troubles in Kansas were almost terminated by James Buchanan by admitting the territory as a Slave State. This decision had serious repercussions and it angered the Republicans as well as some members of his own party.

Sectional strife within the Democratic Party led to a split in the party into the Northern and the Southern wing. This division made the election of the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln only obvious. But the Southerners preferred Secession rather than a Republican administration. James Buchanan tried to prevent this secession but finally he took a policy of remaining inactive and continued it till he was in the office. He retired in 1861 and died seven years later.

Full Name:James Buchanan
Date of Birth:April 23, 1791, Cove Gap, Pennsylvania
Died on:June 1, 1868, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Burial site:Woodward Cemetery, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Parents:James and Elizabeth Speer Buchanan
Education:Dickinson College (B.A., 1809)
Government ranks:Pennsylvania state representative; U.S. Representative and senator from Pennsylvania; minister to Russia and England; secretary of state under James K. Polk
Political Party:Democratic
President Term:March 4, 1857-March 4, 1861
Age when assumed office:65
Presidential Term and its details
Dates:March 4, 1857-March 4, 1861
Vice President:John C. Breckinridge (1857-61)
Outcome of the Elections
1856Presidential / Vice Presidential CandidatesPopular votesElectoral votes
James Buchanan / John C. Breckenridge (Democratic)1838169174
John C. Fremont / William L. Dayton (Republican)1341264114
Millard Fillmore / Andrew Jackson Donelson8745348
Snapshot of James Buchanan's life
1791Born in Pennsylvania
1813Admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania and opens a law practice in Lancaster; elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature as a Federalist and reelected in 1815
1821-30Serves in the U.S. House of Representatives
1831Appointed U.S. Minister to Russia
1834-45Elected to U.S. Senate as Democrat from Pennsylvania
1845-49Serves as secretary of state under President James K. Polk
1853-56Serves as U.S. Minister to Great Britain
1857-61Serves as fifteenth U.S. President
1859John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, furthers tension among abolitionists and supporters of slavery
1868Dies in Pennsylvania

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Last Updated on: September 29th, 2017