Words of Wisdom:

"Bringing anger is a joy." - Bockwoldt

The Contenders

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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For the presidential election of 1856, the Democrats nominated James

  Buchanan and John Breckenridge, the newly formed Republican party nominated

  John Fremont and William Drayton, the American [or Know-Nothing] party

  nominated former president Millard Fillmore and Andrew Donelson, and the

  Abolition Party nominated Gerrit Smith and Samuel McFarland.

          Buchanan started his political career as a state representative in

  Pennsylvania, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1821,

  appointed minister to Russia in 1832, and elected US Senator in 1834. He was

  appointed Secretary of State in 1845 by President Polk

  and in that capacity helped forge the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which

  ended the Mexican War. He was appointed by President Polk as minister to

  Great Britain in 1853. As such, he, along with the American ministers to

  Spain and France, issued the Ostend Manifesto, which recommended the

  annexation of Cuba to the United States. This endeared him to southerners,

  who assumed Cuba would be a slave state.

  He was one of several northerners supported over the years by southern

  Democrats for being amenable to slaveholders' interests, a situation

  originating with Martin van Buren.

      Buchanan's two major rivals for the nomination, Franklin Pierce and

  Stephen Douglas, were both politically tainted by the bloodshed in Kansas.

  Buchanan was untainted, since he had been abroad during most of the

  controversy. Even so, he did not secure the nomination until the seventeenth


      Fremont was best known as an explorer and a war hero. He surveyed the

  land between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, explored the Oregon Trail

  territories and crossed the Sierra Madres into the Sacramento Valley. As a

  captain in the Army, he...


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