James Buchanan (1857-1861)

Approval Rate: 26%

26%Approval ratio

Reviews 37

Sort by:
  • by


    Sun Feb 22 2009

    I had a terrific and funny High School teacher who said it best- James Buchanan is the only president from Pennsylvania. . .and we aren't proud of him. I know a few small historical anecdotes. . .but in summation it seems that everything this guy touched wilted.

  • by


    Wed Dec 10 2008

    Worst President in our nation's history. The guy was horrible.

  • by


    Fri Oct 31 2008

    A strong case can be made for this guy as the worst president in history. With the country lurching from crisis to crisis, and plodding with grim but unsteady steps towards civil war, he and his administration did precisely nothing. Hell of a way to discharge the oath of office.

  • by


    Fri Oct 31 2008

    James Buchanan was actually the only president who never married.  I learned that off of an old re-run of 'Welcome Back Kotter.'  All the sweathogs went to Buchanan High if you didn't know already.

  • by


    Thu May 24 2007

    Not strong or forceful said session was wrong but keeping those states in the Union was wrong also.

  • by


    Sat Mar 24 2007

    Just because he was gay doesnot mean he was bad.

  • by


    Tue Feb 20 2007

    He could have done more. He let the country slide into chaos.   He generally was bad news although the situation was probably hopeless.

  • by


    Wed Dec 13 2006

    There is only one U.S. president worse than Buchanan, and that is George W. Bush. Buchanan should have been tried for treason; there is no doubt his slave-owner sympathies and inaction brought on the calamitous U.S. Civil War.

  • by


    Wed May 03 2006

    He should definately be ranked below average because of incompetent crisis leadership but I'm not as hard on him as most historians. He tried his best to keep the union together during his term and avoid a horrible war. He was a lame duck when the first states seceeded. He was unsure of Lincoln's intentions and the public was not overwhelmingly in favor of the war prior to Ft. Sumter. A pre-emptive strike could have caused all of the border states to seceed and make the task nearly impossible for Lincoln.

  • by


    Sun Dec 11 2005

    this is my government project on james buchanan and i want to know if u guy/girls think it is "A" quality Less than average president ( James Buchanan ) The only president who never married, Buchanan was almost 66 years old when he succeeded his presidency. He was president when the fight over slavery began. President Buchanan was a prominent figure in American political life for nearly half a century, holding some of the nation's highest offices. With his diplomatic experience, Buchanan also became involved with foreign policy in the Senate, eventually chairing the Foreign Relations Committee. By the end of his ten terms in the senate, he was one of the most powerful senators in Congress. At the Democratic convention in 1856, Buchanan won the presidential nomination on the 17th ballot. In the fall he won an electoral victory, although he failed to get a popular majority over John C. Fremont, the Republican, and Millard Fillmore. Millard Fillmore was known as the know... Read more

  • by


    Thu Jul 28 2005

    Writer Christopher Buckley said it best, The Greatness That Was the Buchanan Era included Dred Scott, the economic panic of 1857, secession, and Fort Sumter. You have to look hard to find four more dismal nodes in American history. Open the Buchanan file to any random page and you'll find such accolades as: never regarded as a brilliant speaker, neither a brilliant nor visionary thinker, and even expelled from college. Ouch!

  • by


    Mon Jul 18 2005

    Think stating that one person or one factor started the Civil War is an oversimplification. Still, Buchanan was an inadequate administrator and president.

  • by


    Sat Apr 30 2005

    He tried his best to keep America out of war, I don't think that's wrong or bad at all.

  • by


    Sun Mar 06 2005

    simply ineffective

  • by


    Thu Feb 24 2005

    The most do nothing president the U.S. has ever had. Was more interested in himself than he was doing anything for the country. The pompous twit actually declared himself the last President of the United States at one point, apparently feeling that the Union would fall to the CSA. I don't know if he was gay or not, and I have no idea why some people feel the need to paint everyone in history as potentially gay, but I do know he was not a good president, gay or straight.

  • by


    Sun Jan 23 2005

    For those of us who went to school, the south started the civil war, not Buchanan. Although he was a democrat, he was not a bad president

  • by


    Thu Nov 04 2004

    Not the worst, but close there to. Did nothing, and thus he'll recieve nothing. He wrote a book defending his presidency. I would have read it, but I really don't want to read about his defending what he did not do.

  • by


    Wed Sep 15 2004

    He was from PA. And he wasn't named Bush. That makes him O.K. in my book.

  • by


    Wed Sep 15 2004

    MUCH better than W. I don't care if he was gay.

  • by


    Sun Aug 22 2004

    America's Neville Chamberlain. Did nothing to avert the Civil War (maybe he was too busy packin' Da Fudge). Pity that he was Pennsylvania's only president. Frank Rizzo would have been a better President.

  • by


    Thu Aug 19 2004

    A moral and diplomatic failure. There might not have been a Civil War if he had acted strongly. Yes, he was our worst president.

  • by


    Sun Jun 27 2004

    Really caused the Civil War.

  • by


    Fri Jun 11 2004

    does anybody know this guy??

  • by


    Tue Apr 20 2004

    Superb leader, paved the way for the Civil War which he left Lincoln to clean up. If we had Liberalism like Buchanan's still rife in the world we would be able to sort our conquests out much quicker. Didn't have a wife, interesting.

  • by


    Fri Apr 02 2004

    All in all an ineffective leader, but liberals make like the fact that he is considered the first homosexual president. There are several documented stories about his long-term relationship with Senator Rufus King of Alabama. In fact, they were known in some circles as Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.

  • by


    Tue Mar 16 2004

    Horrible... putrid... I could go on for days with adjectives about this president, some even that I can't say on this site. Along with all his panic policies and his constant brown nosing towards the south, he also was the first president without a wife, and add all that together, you have the worst president of all time.

  • by


    Sat Jun 07 2003

    James Buchanan was elected President just as the bloodshed in Kansas was raging and the nation was on its way to Civil War. He made no secret of his feelings on slavery- he believed it to be a states' rights issue. His predacessor had made the same mistake, and lives were lost because of it. (1)Crisis Leadership: 1 out of 5 stars- Buchanan was just another one of those Presidents in the 1850s who did nothing to stop the war. His narrow-minded views on slavary brought us even closer to Civil War. The battle raged in Kansas, and Buchanan, in a narrow-minded move, begged Congress for Kansas's admission as a slave state. This failed and the issue of slavery in Kansas would not be resolved until 1861, when it was admitted as a free state. He also sided with the South when he offered a reward for the capture of John Brown, a black abolishionist who had been murdering pro-slavery advocates in the South. Brown's execution angered Northerners everywhere. The South, also was angered because it s... Read more

  • by


    Mon Mar 03 2003


  • by


    Tue Feb 18 2003

    He did nothing but put off the enetible

  • by


    Fri Feb 01 2002

    Tough tim to be president. Did his bet. Love that Ostend Manifesto!

  • by


    Thu Dec 13 2001

    The only thing that kept me from rateing him a 1 is that he hung a man while in office. That took some balls with plublic image

  • by


    Sat Jun 16 2001

    "He never did anything to harm this nation." I saw that in one comment. Answer--he did plenty. Probably the worst president (and has been rated so by scholars) his arrogance and foolishness crippled the country. Firstly, we have the Panic of 1857--a panic for the North and not the South, which he did nothing to end, which served to cripple the unity of the country. Secondly, we have the Dred Scott Decision which Buchanan tried illegally to influence form the White House. Thirdly, we have his standby leadership when the Union was crumbling. Although he was in a tough spot, Buchanan could have done SOMETHING. By far a scholarly and intelliegtn man, he was ineffective and weak as a president and chosen unenthusiastically by the Democrats as a candidate in 1857 with "nothing on him."

  • by


    Sun Mar 18 2001

    I agree with abichara, not a good leader.

  • by


    Thu Feb 08 2001

    Should have been neutered.

  • by


    Thu Nov 23 2000

    A president is supposed to be a leader; Buchanan was not. His main goal was to appease the South, a leader does not appease, he tells the nation what has to be done in bad times. One of the worst presidents.

  • by


    Mon Mar 27 2000

    He didn't particularly do anything wrong during his tenure. In fact, he is a member of a small fraternity of presidents that have been elected to multiple terms (not that such is a prerequisite for greatness). Nonetheless, he never robbed Americans of their liberties or their Constitution. He oppossed Southern succession, but he (correctly) assumed that he didn't have any Constitutional right to prevent such action. While he doesn't deserve a full four stars, I will grant him this to counter the rather unfair lower ratings.

  • by


    Thu Mar 23 2000

    Left the country in shambles for Lincoln.