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By Michael F. Holt

The genial yet stricken New Englander whose single-minded partisan loyalties infected the nation's simmering conflict over slavery

Charming and good-looking, Franklin Pierce of recent Hampshire was once drafted to damage the impasse of the 1852 Democratic conference. although he seized the White apartment in a landslide opposed to the imploding Whig get together, he proved a gloomy failure in office.

Michael F. Holt, a number one historian of nineteenth-century partisan politics, argues that during the wake of the Whig cave in, Pierce was once ate up by way of an obsessive force to unify his splintering occasion instead of the roiling nation. He quickly started to overreach. notice leaked that Pierce sought after Spain to promote the slave-owning island of Cuba to the U.S., rousing sectional divisions. Then he supported repeal of the Missouri Compromise, which restricted the growth of slavery within the west. Violence broke out, and "Bleeding Kansas" spurred the formation of the Republican social gathering. by way of the top of his time period, Pierce's cherished celebration had ruptured, and he misplaced the nomination to James Buchanan.

In this incisive account, Holt exhibits how a incorrect chief, so devoted to his social gathering and ill-suited for the presidency, hastened the strategy of the Civil War.

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