As president, Buchanan tried to maintain peace between pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups within the government, but tensions only escalated. In 1860, after Abraham Lincoln was elected to succeed Buchanan, South Carolina seceded, and the Confederate States of America was soon established. In April 1861, a month after Buchanan left office, the Civil War began.
Definition: Broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements.
Learn more about Buchanan from WhiteHouse.gov
Citation: Democratic ticket : our principles, the constitution ... : for president James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania : for vice president John Breckinridge of Kentucky. Richmond, Va.: Lith. of Ritchie Dunnavant, 1856. Broadside 1856 .D38 BOX, Manuscripts & Special Collections, Library of Virginia
English: 4.7, 5.7
Analyze: Consider the principles listed on the ticket:
- The Constitution
- The Sovereignty and equality of the States
- The repeal of the Missouri Restriction
- The people of the Territories in forming State Governments to adopt their own institutions.
If you were a voter in 1856, how would you interpret each of these?
In His Shoes: Write a journal entry as if you were James Buchanan and dealing with the first round of seceding states. Based on your political views, would you take responsibility? If so, how would that responsibility conflict with your personal beliefs about slavery?