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tv   Book Discussion on The Presidents War  CSPAN  September 2, 2014 8:57pm-10:03pm EDT

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make up their mind. the deal was i wasn't going to write about until afterwards. but they were very serious to what is a crime, what is a high crime map what is a misdemeanor. what does that mean? you have to burglarize something or is it beyond that? what is accountability? this is a very serious set of questions. and it was sort of a model and impeachment. the stuff that goes on now just sort of got ruined when they talked about the impeachment with clinton and lying under oath and it was really too bad that this thing got out of control and was used so loosely. public servants, regular people and they made it happen and they help the country together while they did it. [applause]
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>> the public memory goes to those who rose to the occasion. elizabeth will be sitting here and signing books and they will line up this way. as usual, please help us with the chairs and thank you again. [applause] thank you, everyone. [applause] >> almanacs "washington journal", the militarization of police forces. ..
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>> and. >> i did my official book launch for both books here.
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aryan thinking is to seize been an end a booktv with others talking about books that is fantastic and this is the third time i have been on the program. so that is tremendously exciting to me. said this book "the presidents' war" six american presidents and the civil war that divided them" for me as a history lover and junkie for what i was before it became an author this is a story that has never been told. we have a right -- a record number of living presidents for the of civil war all live to witness america's national tragedy to oppose and advise president abraham
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lincoln. but the story began with a conversation with a friend of mine mentioning something about martin van buren. you don't normally associate with the civil war with mid-19th century and he said he was still alive. i knew instantly i had the idea for my next book. so to tell the story we had to figure out where to start. ; dan on a dinner given early from president jackson so the idea was to plug president andrew jackson that they could veto or refuse to be bound by solid which case tax placed of
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goods into the country for manufacturing them eliminated competition but it was a burden that was the exporting economy to rely on the terrace of free trade to be successful. so south carolina was threatening to nullify the national tariff. some of those decided to make their stance in honor of thomas jefferson the founder of the democratic party. should be a big night for celebration. they elected there first official president jackson and had so much to celebrate. but this issue divided them. then by protocol the organizers they would give the toasted order of their
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station. and to listen to the organizers and cheering the idea that states could ignore federal law. and then jackson as a senator from tennessee a strong supporter they expected him to give a favorable toast. this is not what happened. that the union must be preserved. no qualification no ifs or ian's or buts the union must be preserved like the exploded bomb. next and the doctrine of nullification that the union was dear to the hearts of
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sanders with that remarkable statement. [laughter] the insert was martin van buren and secretary of state of the latest dates and said let's remember this country was founded uncompromised. america itself was a compromise the constitution was a compromise them but as always remember compromise has kept us together the various crisis in the past. said that was the perfect place to start as the union must be preserved and is the most tear in remember compromise is kept us together and these are the three philosophies then
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jack's administration had a congenital defect and this seems ridiculous to divide the government it is called the petticoated fair. jackson brought friends with him to d.c. from tennessee and one of them he placed his cabinet married a woman to closely following the death of her husband for the likes of calhoun. so this woman and her husband were excluded from the various social functions. but martin film during is a along with the word he has no wife to pull him in one side or the other so it is very easy for him to support the president and the eaton family.
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and then to offer the resignation as secretary of state. and then to start a over so he was reluctant to a minister to england in martin fearing goes over and two senators henry clay and daniel webster conspired so that calhoun as vice president and they're only too happy to do it. this is precisely as they have paint -- planned.
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then immediately after the facts said to have broken the ambassador. but calhoun is dropped from the national ticket them during is added as jackson's running mate. so the legacy that jackson leaves with van buren is not a great one. but amid the speculation with the housing market to cause the national economic collapse. [laughter] fortunately we have learned from these mistakes. [laughter] and then figuring from nearly zero hours looks set day economic crisis. and then to defer to much credit. and van buren is defeated
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from the slow giving tippecanoe and tyler too and was part of the whigs party they agreed they did not like jackson which was a a good space this and didn't even bother to adopt the platform that they had the democrats on the ropes to win this race. so someone come over states' rights. and with that nullification crisis to get them to capitulate. some of them were angry over jackson's policies and would veto the charter of the bank. harrison and the famed indian fighter and john tyler from virginia who
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conspired over the issue of his removal at the bank it was the mid 19th century equivalent of the 2008 barack obama campaign with new innovation. jackson did increase to the suffrage in more people could vote than ever before more people could read in all these mechanisms for reaching voters and rallies in all kinds of funny events to engage the public in the election so the whigs were quite excited when they could defeat martin van buren but it was short-lived. harrison was a day 30 days following his inauguration. john tyler how he finds out embodies the role of the vice president he is on his knees playing marbles with his young children in
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virginia who days of vice president and the senate is not in session then someone arrives to tell when he has become president he was attracted to the whigs party because of the opposition in tears jackson but tyler himself was an opponent but objected on the way that he thought he could play it in his pocket of tyler disagrees with his party with the competition of the national bank. but then within tyler spurred a is the gentleman who led torrey accomplished more than most presidents could never dreamed of but
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he really wanted the job for himself but play said for years and it is my term. and then tyler becomes the youngest president in history because he may want to run again so he will have a fight over the national bank rather than find a compromise. and then is formally expelled from the whig party and the first president to do so maybe it got the last nuclear people firing the of buses outside so he is a man without a party thinking how
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he can get reelected looking at the democratic nomination. and then offers the seats on the supreme court. and then to rise back so tyler sets his site on texas to capture the imagination of the american people. with this country he did in'' -- eager for expansion so he sets his sights maniacally on it tai -- requiring texas and bring it into the union. and then figure is defeated one of the most important rules you have never heard of is called the two-thirds rule of the democratic
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convention. in those states required two-thirds of those delegates of the convention and this gave the southerners' veto power over the choice of the nominee. mexico is still considered part of the territory and it dictated in the time america was in a position to acquire more territory to cause a major problem and ultimately it would lead to the civil war. but clay was against an tyler considered running as a third-party candidate bedouin that party nominated teach golf as a firm supporter of texas annexation he would withdraw from the race but let polk
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narrowly defeats clay and then he opposes the annexation of texas. so throughout successfully the speaking of unions tithers wife died of he was in office and ended of carrying a 24 year-old when he was 54. not too bad. [laughter] and ended up getting married to set his sights on his wife which he names sherwood forest taken never say the tyler did not have a sense of humor. tyler's neighbors decided they would play a joke on him that was the thankless
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job and you also had to pay a fine if you did not accept the job. [laughter] but the road map was to fulfill the duties to requisition in people to put them to work whenever he needed so he waited until the harvest was ready. [laughter] he requisitioned everybody's slaves and then they say thank you it is time to hang up you have worked so hard that i have a responsibility to fulfill my duties and that is what i intend to do. [laughter] so he got the last laugh so
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president poehl will tap somebody then van deere in service as jackson's ambassador to russia and serves in the congress of the united states and as a soldier in the war of 18 to of. together they would navigate the aftermath of the annexation of texas sold some of the that does mean a war with mexico during the subsequent mexican-americans and more working on different areas those that were elected to congress as the mexican-american war ended his speech said they cost him his political career or near the cave is
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reelection. so the helped in this former district so then we have franklin pierce with the senator from new hampshire and a young senator his wife hated washington and politics that they were drinking in holding elected office. so to see that to get involved in a big way he becomes a general until the conclusion of the '04 that they would later defeat in a landslide for the presidency and millard fillmore that is back in buffalo and took
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some time off and it totally oppose the mexican-american war with james buchanan to be set up to be polk successor in those were the presidents of our active through the civil war itself but polk does science to one turned the sure dispose presidency ever serving a little less than three months before he dies. then general zachary taylor the most popular from that board to be one of the fur seven supporters of zachary taylor what do we know? his position on slavery because it has that territory in the left now
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pacific power with the new territory with something of the proviso amendment offered during the appropriations bill that seeks to prevent the expansion of slavery in the territories and that was taylor's position he never voted he said he was whigs but not ultra whigs clay wanted the nomination in the purest whigs wanted nominated but lincoln said we did principle of - - and now we need to win the. [laughter] said he was one of the first supporters to go out to be proactive so taylor is the nominee for president someone's whose beliefs that we know as the southern slave holder as one as the
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comptroller has still marceau's zachary taylor comes in as president the if taylor served out the term. as part of the joint union of the free state you have to give slave states you can come in the way you are. and then to support the belmont proviso so they started to secede there was to be a the convention in national per for which states would leaf. another -- a number of compromises come to the floor in congress initiated by henry clay as his finest ever to set up the disputes across the country. of the territories of
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arizona and new mexico addressing the slavery but for his perspective that won't work in the desert in any way so it will not work in here. and texas claimed a wide swath of new mexico land and wanted to invade over issa we will extend the boundaries but we will also pay off their debt to satisfy texas. the most controversial is a new fugitive slave law a mechanism for returning slaves to return them to their owners in the south. not very popular in the north. said these bills come dressing gold pill and taylor threatened to veto looking at a confrontation and the southern states.
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fillmore actually tells taylor if i am the tie vote i will do it. not animus to you but the country these the compromise to stay together. but to die during the height of the crisis henry clay is exhausted and a young senator from illinois but now that taylor is gone however. you had the pro slavery element with the centrist group of sanders. -- senators in an antislavery senators to created a majority that the north like to put the senate holds together to pass all these bills knowing that
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tomorrow will sign them. he knows he signs his political death warrant they will have a ton of revisionist criticism even contemporary criticism but it prevents the civil war. they call that the final settlement is bad idea in history to call if i know you're just asking for it to be undone. which is what happened so fillmore is not a candidate for reelection the wage nominate scott and whigs are dividing over the proviso sea will see a coalescing of parties that is very dangerous for the country to help cause the civil war. and then his colleague that served in congress for the
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first time franklin pierce had gone back to new hampshire after the mexican-american war with his wife's issues and scheming and 1854 remember with 1852 you have the two-thirds rule anyone as a front runner could automatically take so many slings and arrows. the front runners for the democrats were james a. cannon and stephen douglas. they took so many shots at each other the supporters will never come together. so they select franklin pierce to serve as the general of the mexican-american border and when the messenger showed up here arrived in his carriage been just gets the news. she hates it very much.
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[laughter] now her husband is going back to politics the biggest way possible. on the way to his inauguration in pierce is involved with a literal train wreck not legislator presidencies. [laughter] his son is sitting right in front of him and watches his son get killed the only casualty it slides over the ravine and everybody gets up end federalizes his only son is gone. later when abraham lincoln and loses his son lincoln writes a very heartfelt note to express condolences despite the sharp differences. said his presidency is characterized by the kansas nebraska act because they were largely held together
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by the missouri compromise. below the law in slavery was permitted above or not drink the territorial phrase. but then he finds he cannot get a pass but then he has to agree not to make it a free territory but the lady is that territories can decide whether or not they are afraid or slaves. so here to someone to detest the abolitionist despite being from the north with the prose of turn the sentiments it is not a big deal to him but to make sure the ground is well surveyed
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he leverage is all the power of the presidency with the idea that kansas is the territory and he uses the power of the political newspapers it -- and is barely able to get it passed and theoretically this could be the end of the story to try from a combination of fraud and intimidation in to steal the election despite being vastly outnumbered by anti's slavery they end up winning all of the elections for the legislative offices so the free state is
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marginalized leading to the civil war. this destroys the democratic party in the north of a series of former whigs, a small third party committee to the expansion in the west and former democrats will join together to form the republican party. of middle aged lawyer in illinois named lincoln going through a midlife crisis is determined at that point he will fill the late long dream -- the lifelong dream to become president of. . .
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an energetic and a bright man in sensing his presidency destroyed we start to see the party segregating polaris alliance, the democratic party straw in the south and this new republican party gaining steam throughout north.
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and 71856 and irony of ironies, franklin pierce wants to run for reelection. no and accomplice to this. he trusted his biggest competitor of the country, james buchanan. paxon of england. in the book had to tell how his first foreign policy objective was to try to convince james buchanan to take this job. he succeeds in sending him to england. you have a great shot at getting a second term. obviously that is all changed. the democratic party has talked to the one person who is untainted. so buchanan comes back tramping from england. the one person who has not taken up position. he is nominated by the democratic party for president. the republican party nominates john c. friedman as the first nominee for president general. this is the last election of the old america.
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you see a paradigm shift. the democrats have completely screwed things up. they brought the possibility of slavery. things are getting violent. they're murdering each other over the slavery issue. but come to life. so why the democrats win in 1856, well, i think that when in 1856, the last vote for the market "-- status quo. the markets are doing great. nominating stricken northern parties, republicans, were committed to preventing the expansion of slavery and might trigger civil war. civil war, they thought, was bad for business, but many of them were poised to become the country's first millionaires during the war but at the time, of course, they were concerned about such an office crisis. so james buchanan wins. his presidency is not going to be a happy one. he spends his life seeking the office, finally gets it. no with the second oldest
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president ever to get in. two days later the dread scott decision is reached by the supreme court. don't feel too bad. he actually lobbied the supreme court to reach a sweeping decision. he actually knew about the out, at a time. this is great. we will take the most controversial issue of the democratic process and have a court fined for one of the most extreme science which is basically a decision that one way could permit slavery anywhere in the country, people could bring their slaves and were. and people were genuinely going to believe some reason that a decision turning all the free states and the slave states was in the office. so this case will actually enflame the country. it will give great figure to the new york republican party. and in 1858 a rather important senators herrenvolk around what happened in kansas.
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and what happens with dread scott. and that is in illinois. the new york times said until the selection of illinois is settled will be the most interested dollars million in political speaking. abraham lincoln nominee, first and only trace of the republicans of illinois verses stephen douglas, an internationally famous u.s. senator. the two had known each other for a long time. lincoln considered douglases success compared to his relative failure to be as standing offense. douglas said had one series after another of successfully more important positions in politics. lincoln was born to run against douglas for the senate. of course in that time senators are chosen by state legislators. the thought was that if the parties named their senate nominees and campaigns throughout the state people could be persuaded to vote for
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one legislator or another based upon party. of course those a famous series of debates were they talk about the great issues of the day, the expansion of slavery, popular sovereignty, and the country discovers what lincoln's friends and political allies have long now, a brilliant, crafty, an exponent of these issues that he believed in. so in the process of winning this election he becomes a national celebrity. well, election -- lincoln actually was the most votes. remember, the district at the time are not run according to one man one vote. there were a number of holdover democratic senators who have been elected. lincoln was the majority of the votes, the majority vote for the republican plan, but douglas as novelist reappointed to the senate. lincoln is convinced that his political career was over. of course we know that not to be the case. douglass returned to the senate. now, douglas is furious that his
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experiment has been hijacked by the proslavery forces. the proslavery government which has hijacked a state of kansas has submitted that constitution to congress for approval. this constitution enshrines the right to slavery contrary to the wishes of the vast majority. buchanan is determined to force the constitution down the throats of congress. douglas and one of his finest hours decides to oppose the president. buchanan summons termless to the white house and reminds him of the names of all the different parties, dissidents who have been crushed over the years by the president. if you don't get behind me on this and going to ruin your career. he named some of the people who enter jackson and driven out of the party and said let me remind , general jackson is dead. he goes back to congress.
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well, ultimately the constitution is far from a compromise. represents the worst list of the postal it to the proslavery elements. so douglas is successful in stopping the constitution and the house of representatives. and at least to a schism in the democratic party. the democrats it together in 1860 denominator president. not quite sure what will happen. you have buchanan who has no hope of running and winning again. the democratic party, we have a two-thirds rule. the get together and came to grief. you have the southern forces who are angry at douglas for opposing. you have buchanans forces who are upset. you have daedaluses supporters who are holding firm. surveys by -- decide to split up and reconvene later in a separate convention once people have cool off. no one really knew who the democrats are going to nominate.
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some people were going to nominate pierce. how bad is that? franklin pierce for his part actually favored his secretary of war, jefferson davis who will win the president's selection of his own. so ultimately the people who walk don't, the first democratic convention. carry their banner. so and so they're looking around saying who are we going to get behind. so the former house speaker runs as the only presidential candidate of the constitutional union party, basically former ways and people his head was just not talk about slavery. that would be the easiest thing here. obviously the republicans will
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have a surprise of their own and their convention. abraham lincoln not meant to be a major factor. of course douglas and the publication of those debates, a nationally best-selling book making a huge celebrity. he will travel thousands of miles in the year leading up to 1860 and 1862 to bring himself in front of different audiences throughout the country and he becomes the leading possibility of a leading advocate of the hopes of william seward, former governor of new york, senator from the york. they thought he was to extremely anti slavery when. silicon is the surprise nominee of the republican convention in the city of chicago. all five to five all four former presidents who are alive at that time will oppose action. even bill millard fillmore for whom he had contained the
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election of 1848 him he had known personally because the four former presidents were concerned that lincoln's election, the election of his party opposed to the expansion of slavery would trigger civil war. they're worried the link of what actually destroy the institution of the presidency itself. despite those differences the former presidents of the presidency as the conciliator and chief, the person who contains the elements hostile to the union, the elements that tend to drive the union apart. so regardless is our presidents were always willing to make concessions and to do what was necessary to try to prevent civil war. in lincoln's face of very real possibility of a civil war. buchanan will support john c. breckinridge, as will franklin pierce, as will john tyler two is now pretty friendly in the democratic camp.
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tyler for his part actually wanted to get elected president. authorized his friends to put his arm forward at the convention of the opportunity arose. it did not. he actually ran as a delegate for the electoral college. actually some debates with some of the electoral sphere of the people perish the job of being the lincoln a lecture from virginia. talk about a thankless task. lincoln, of course received no votes in the south and very few votes in the border states. and so in the election of 1860 abraham lincoln, this is the first election of a brand new america. america is now not point to expand, them or capitulation to be a slave interest every time their rattle sabers. no more. air going to stand down. lincoln embodies that policy despite tremendous pressure to compromise. in the run-up to civil war which
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volatile states considering secession the most popular compromise that emerges is something called the a crib and then compromise. and it is a pretty simple measure. it will extend. it will ban slavery from places like arizona and new mexico. and so clear going to come back for more. they're going to want to go to war to require more territory to increase the number / states. this is where we're standing. iran and the issue of preventing slavery in the territory. better now than at any other time. and so in the midst of the crisis south carolina losing the union, president james buchanan who had assembled one of the most experienced cabinets in history also run a number of southerners supported the idea.
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the country's finest. we don't even need to have a civil war about this. and that is toward a very uncertain future as president telling his friends and family that had gathered to see him off to my leave not knowing when or whether time they return. at task before me greater than that which rested upon washington. someone who understood his history, knew a lot about his predecessors in office nine they had the biggest task ahead of him of all the. silicon gel becomes president of the united states. he is sworn in as president despite the assassination. the city of washington with something like an armed camp. they had to the capital for him to be sworn in.
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and he tells people at his inaugural address in your hands and not mine is this issue of civil war. registered to destroy the air in. the most solemn and sacred oath in order to preserve, protect a man defend the union. throughout his presidency lincoln, of course, while not enjoy what his successors had. he don't get involved. gillette the predecessor address the issue that you have. the former presidents to the issues of the day as too important to stand silent. in fact, so strong a presence or might even supposed to return to the city of washington. opposed presence he was a very meaningless position. franklin pierce, what is there to do but drink. during the presidency of abraham lincoln. so when shots were fired on fort sumter my presence all reacted
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very differently. millard fillmore, he encourages people to join the union army. doesn't matter who started this. the flag is been fired on. twenty-two years by a president. martin van buren will do the same. paid very close attention to the movement of union troops throughout the war. the developments unfolding is pretty encouraging men to join an analyst and the union cause. even james buchanan who had watched seven states seceded on his watch, president lincoln was simply following his policies. if you have been in lincoln's position he will be doing the same thing. buchanan sees his ultimate vindication and lincoln's success, and lancaster are even now he will indicate his own course of action. james buchanan will write an import and op-ed talking about
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the oath of the army officer who has resigned to go join. franklin pierce, a southerner at heart opposes the war effort. he gives speech saying that if the south can't be convinced on their own we cannot pursue them militarily. it is a fool's errand will be completely disagrees. he will give speeches denouncing lincoln and his policy on his courses and his suspension of civil liberty. he will campaign throughout the war. campaign manager for the new hampshire state legislature who will oppose linking. so he will remain a thorn in the side. franklin pierce will give a speech on my very important day, july 121863 talking about how the war is to be thailand cannot
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be one and that lincoln is to be defeated for reelection and his policies need to be discontinued reno on july 4th robert e. lee is retreating from the pennsylvania battlefield where his army had lost its offensive capability, heading back toward virginia. in this city of the expert giving them union control of the messes of the roadway and dividing the confederacy. very, very ill-timed speech. i call it a political bull run after the initial major conflict of the civil war where the union does not exactly shine. but franklin pierce will be accused of treason by lincoln's administration. a series of letters which pierce has published. at that moment he is the better of the administration because the administration is acting on faulty intelligence. this was very short-lived. pierce after jefferson davis has
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his celebrated this secret correspondence between peers and davis were appear sell some of the south to lose hastily without having a civil war on their hands is discovered and published national mean much to the discretion of our former president. and some and you have heard of by the name of nathaniel hawthorne. many dedicates his latest book to president pierce it becomes quite a big controversy. i don't know if changing hands carry an ira. compromised by buying the book but putting out the dedication. pierce, a very unpopular figure. millard fillmore who starts out as a strong supporter will totally in opposing him after emancipation. more willing to fight to reconstruct the in as it had been. less willing to fight for the destruction of slavery. abraham lincoln, when he issued the emancipation proclamation
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preliminarily and formally on january 15th now broadens the union war effort car reunification of the country to the unification and the destruction of slavery which will culminate in the 13th amendment which iran lincoln runs on. if you have seen the movie lankan, incredibly focused on his efforts in order to get the 13th amendment passed and forever prevent slavery. this will divide lincoln, return from war against him, that will turn pears against him. john tyler probably have the most interesting course, where he died as a first of all the presidents. john tyler was president of virginia secession convention and tried to drive viejo out of the union. his attempt to try to give virginia and, opposed by this former president who uses all of his influence and all of his persuasive ability to drive virginia have the union.
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tyler actually served in the provision of confederate congress and actually urges the confederate capture of d.c. after the defeat, the in indefeasible run. tyler, his wife of course live behind. married woman 30 years his junior, left hind a forest. and eventually run the blockade and return to live with a mother reluctantly in the city of new york. after lincoln's assassination a crowd of people will show up at the tyler residents and a man the confederate flag that hangs over mental. while it looks like a confederate flag, but it was actually designed to in years before the war by her sister. and the mob was mistaken. in a mollusk other house, attempted to define or former. the other presidents was a the face of challenges for their opposition. millard fillmore had his house vandalized because it did not display warning signs for the
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president. he felt terrible about the presence murder, but he was actually on vacation. franklin pierce displayed no signs of morning, and he had an angry mob come to this house in trenton and purity comes out and gives a speech in talks about how lazar match theirs despite his political disagreement. you very much joined them in sympathizing with the murder of the president, just on the eve of his triumph in the civil war. appeared poised to be able to reunite the country, to reconstruct the country, to bring it back together, many the only person who could have done separately taken away, very suddenly taken away, the first presidential assassination. now i should probably stop for questions. ten minutes of questions. let's do it. >> can you tell, looking at the modern trend of our former presidents and how they conduct
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themselves and their research you have done, before presence during civil war, talk a little bit of what you perceive to be the best way to conduct yourself and anything that stuck out and surprise you and how the five former presidents conducted themselves. >> a great question. actually wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" about the nature of the post presidency. george h. w. bush, and the gang is like 90 years old jumping and of airplanes. whereas the u.s.s. george is still the bush has been sent to the persian gulf in response to the possibility of another war to increased american involvement. george w. bush you initiated the conflict just says, must try to criticize my successor. i think the model for the post presidency is to always be available for advice. during the civil war there was actually a great deal of talk about the former president's coming together have a meeting.
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five former presidents, and get them together. surely they can, but the solution. pierce will try to initiate the meeting. van buren will end up successfully undermining because he knew that pierce was trying to subvert abraham lincoln and his war policy. so being able to a candidly and confidentially give advice. the thing with the ex-president's the is that they have served in the rule. the standing of a former president of the radical in there out of politics. they see no more political office for themselves and are in the best position to just issue candid vice, confidential advice to the president, the country. so i think the president's either support their successors with modest exceptions during election time, speaking about funds excellent speech of the democratic convention in 2012. the election time, the partisan
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corners and come back, stay out of politics largely. other questions? >> are of a race-based? >> well, all of his fangs, i think pierce just has absolutely zero personal qualms of slavery. he just doesn't care. he was upset when new hampshire passed a law preventing / from coming in and answer. the fact he did not care costs slavery. the danger of having a biracial country. the worst violation of the constitution in history when abraham lincoln used as
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commander in chief powers to free slaves and the territories and the rebellion. a number of different things about of a him. >> i would like you talk a little bit more if you can. lincoln is elected. did not take office until march. for six months he is still president. seven states received from the union. he does nothing about it. he leaves this problem for lincoln. what is going on there? >> you know, he gets a lot of grief for mystery, but not for the thing that he actually deserves to get grief over. so is dealing with southern states seceding, the issue of secession. he is 16,000 troops under his command. arizona, protecting settlers on the frontier. but even all 16,000 together in one place he can't even defeat south carolina with that number much less the nine south. he charged to compromise his way
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out of it. crenshaw by a state of virginia after serving as an emissary to the president and the confederate states. so they tried to work it out. he think about it, buchanan compromise in 1820, the compromise that ended the first session standoff in 1833. the final settlement. we have all these compromises. so a lot of hope and compromise and legitimately so happened on his watch. so i think this is sitting in waiting he actually did when can a great service in some ways and not in others. he would have driven the united south out of the union. one of the most important things of lincoln did was to preserve the border states. 's, perhaps, would love to have gone on my side, but i need kentucky. he cannot win this fight without the border states.
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missouri, kentucky, maryland, delaware and opted to succeed, the task, with a ben today to accomplish. by waiting and waiting for us out to initiate hostilities he was able to preserve the border states, keep the border states. so i think she really did not have much that he could do. it was not helpful when he kept the secessionists in cabinet or announce that he had no lawful authority to go after stays there were seceding even the recall secession illegal. those things were not helpful, but ultimately he has some new people around him. his attorney general. and he leaves again as well off as almost anyone could have. >> we got rid of lincoln's birthday and washington's birthday at present state. i always hated that because of his two of the subjects of your book, you know, pierce and buchanan are just lonesome characters to me. i mean, not just our we
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insulting lincoln and washington by taking away their holiday, but do these men deserve to even be respected the history or should we set up a couple the way that they are not part of the president? i was joking. six share your sentiments. there's a holiday. one of the things i learned about this book, they tend to be reviled. they all have their parts to play. i admired millard fillmore, his willingness to stand up for compromise and sign on popular legislation that destroyed his political career in order to prevent a civil war from happening ten years earlier. the south probably -- the decade of 18501860 really was the population and industrial advantage in the north, increasing to the point where there are nearly guaranteed to win any sort of civil war. i will come back to you.
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look, i mean, they guy was a general and the mexican-american war and served with distinction. you can serve his country more or less steadily for decades. john tyler opened up trade with china for the first time, pretty important issue. pretty important part of our economy. so they all have those things that they did right and it wrong. obviously the solution did not stand the test of time, but you can't understand the united states without understanding the civil war. brother killing brother, dividing families. lincoln's own son. brothers and long were killed on the war, dividing families. the civil war that is with us to the state. you can understand america without it and you can understand civil war without understanding five former presidents. so they all have a good and the bad. my favorite reviews so far on this book is ben that i have no axe to grind with these
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presidents. represent them as they are let you be the judge. you're certainly welcome to be the decision makers. other questions? >> can you discuss -- just briefly you mentioned tyler and his role within the confederate government and how that may differ -- differentiate it from franklin pierce and his role of being outside and advising. >> yes. both peers and john tyler bofa crew very meddlesome during his presidency. pierce politically so. i make the case in the book. just a continuation of politics by other means. the politics is actually a continuation of war by other means. he think about it, the objective of the war, the length of the war, determined by politics. the political question the administration, enough votes in congress to appropriate money for the war. so there will work hard to elect opponents to lincoln, including george mcclellan, lincoln's upon
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in 1964. tyler on the other hand, lancaster of a compromise, trying -- even offers to give for sumpter back to south carolina and ordered to give virginia to stay in the end and get the virginia secession commission to go home. tyler will hear none of this. he is all of his influence. so both of them proved to be problematic. lincoln on the inside than one on the outside. other questions? >> yes. >> as you mentioned and seems to repeat itself. a lot of the antics that preceded lincoln's term, it seems like their is a lot of similar activity going on nowadays, especially how it relates to the economy and how much we're spending on tournament. and with the in


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