James Buchanan, 1857 – 1861
Buchanan was the only lifelong bachelor to serve as president in history and stands at the very bottom of the Presidential Greatness list. He was the 15th U.S. Head of State and held his prestigious post for one term from 1857 to 1861. Buchanan had accumulated tremendous experience in politics because he served in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and also held a position of secretary of state under President Polk’s administration. When he was elected in office, he rejected slavery claiming it is an indefensible evil, but he like many of his democratic party members failed to challenge the constitutionally established orders.
As a pro-slavery politician, he believed that the increasing moral implications of slavery could be solved through the supreme court’s dreaded Dred Scott decision. The supreme court Dred Scott decision is lauded as the decision that denied African American U.S. citizenship. Other Buchanan failures as the U.S. chief in Command helped Kansas become a slave nation. President Buchanan failed to broker peace between warring nations and he also alienated member states of warring factions. Because of his ineffective presidency gave way to the Civil War and many scholars refer to as Buchanan War. Buchanan practically rolled out the U.S. red carpet for the American Civil War, before he turned the fractured country over to President Lincoln.