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Presidents and the Dissolution of the UnionLeadership Style from Polk to Lincoln$
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Fred I. Greenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151991

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151991.001.0001

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The Disastrous Presidency of James Buchanan

The Disastrous Presidency of James Buchanan

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 6 The Disastrous Presidency of James Buchanan
Source:
Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union
Author(s):

Fred I. Greenstein

Dale Anderson

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151991.003.0006

This chapter assesses the strengths and weaknesses of James Buchanan, focusing on six realms: public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Buchanan was a Northern politician with Southern principles—a common phenomenon of the Civil War era. He had been a presence in American politics for more than four decades when he assumed the presidency. It was widely expected that his extensive political experience would enable him to reverse the spiral of conflict between the free and slave states, but when he stepped down, several Southern states had left the Union and war was imminent, in no small part because of his pro-Southern policies.

Keywords:   American Civil War, American presidents, James Buchanan, public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, emotional intelligence

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