Research external image moz-screenshot.jpgexternal image moz-screenshot-1.jpgexternal image moz-screenshot-2.jpgexternal image franklin-pierce-picture.jpg

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Political Party Democrat

· Years in office (1853-1857)

· Brief historical background Pierce's policies hastened the disruption of the Union. A true "dark horse".
Won by a very narrow margin; Democratic party was more stable than the Whigs.Two months prior to inauguration, he witnessed his eleven-year old son killed in train wreck.

o Path to president Attended Bowdoin College. After graduation, he began studying law, and then politics. Elected into the New Hampshire Legislature (24 years old), two later became the speaker. 1830s brought him to Washington, first as a Representative, then as a Senator. in 1852, his friends nominated him for President after his service in the Mexican War.

o Highlights/Lowlights of career Bought land - Southern Arizona & Southern New Mexico.
Led to civil War: Kansas-Nebraska Act

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Two domestic policy issues Kansas-Nebraska Act
Purchase of land for $10 million

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Two foreign policy issues
Purchase of land from Mexico
Tried to persuade Spain to sell Cuba
He pressured Great Britain to relinquish its special interests along part of the Central American coast

Presidential Report Card
(Be sure to include a letter grade and at least two comments)

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Character: B- He tried to get along with everyone. He did have "favorites" - opened the question of slavery again with Kansas-Nebraska Act.

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Morals: B- Was able to sort of lead the country after his son's death. Support for Southerners through the possibility of allowing slavery in new territory.

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Economics: C Bought land and expanded the United States. Created uneasy tension within the country; also internationally with Mexico, Spain, & Great Britain.

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Effectiveness: C Basically led to the Civil War. "Turned against the North". Was not nominated again for re-election. Was a true "dark horse"


· Political Skill: B- Did not lead his people that well; considered a traitor of the North.

· Vision: B - Pierce wanted expansion yet caused so much trouble. He did not seem clear about what he desired to alter within the United States.

· Leadership: B Northerners lost complete respect for Pierce.

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OVERALL: C Franklin Pierce was not a great President; his mistakes outweigh his accomplishments.