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    Франклин Пирс

    Эту статью мне посоветовала моя знакомая, которая недавно узнала про такую услугу, как http://www.oceanland.ru/remont-basseina.html, и сразу обратилась в надлежащую компанию. Ее домашний бассейн отремонтировали, и теперь вся семья знакомой очень довольна. Shortly before Franklin Pierce became president, the writer Nathaniel Hawthorne said about him, "He is deep, deep, deep. . . . Nothing can ruin him.” But it seemed everything conspired to do just that. No previous president was so overwhelmed by events and so incompetent to handle them. As his inauguration approached, he and his wife were horrified when, during a trip near Boston, the train in which they and their 11-year-old son Bennie were riding overturned, crushing Bennie to death. Pierce never recovered from the tragedy, and the dark pallor that cloaked the White House replicated that which spread 114 Franklin Pierce across the nation as sectional strife moved Americans closer to civil war. k Pierce came from a frontier community in New Hampshire. He was born on November 23, 1804, in his family’s log house along a branch of the Contoocook River in Hillsborough County. His father, Benjamin Pierce, served in the militia, fought in the Revolutionary War, and rose from local sheriff to become governor of the state in the 1820s. His mother, Anna Kendrick Pierce, was kind, outgoing, and a hearty drinker. Pierce later said, "She was a most affectionate and tender mother, strong in many points and weak in some but always weak on the side of . . . deep affection. . . .” Soon after Franklin’s birth, Benjamin Pierce moved into a bigger house along a highway and opened a tavern. In this countryside of hills, hollows, and deep forests, with short summers and long winters, Franklin took to hunting, fishing, and swimming in the local ponds. After obtaining some education at a nearby one-room schoolhouse, he enrolled at an academy in Hancock. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1824, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1827. Two years later Pierce won election to the state legislature, with the spotlight on him as the governor’s son, and in 1831, at age 26, he was chosen speaker of the house. By then the senior Pierce had left the governorship, but father and son continued to reinforce each other’s beliefs as staunch Jacksonian Democrats. For Franklin, the party became central to his life, a fraternity from which there could be no deviation, and he compiled one of the strongest voting records in support of Jacksonian programs. Pierce won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1832 and then unhesitatingly supported Andrew Jackson in the president’s war against the national bank. He voted early in 1834 to endorse Jackson’s removal of government funds from the bank, and like most Democrats he opposed federal funding of internal improvements. Pierce’s biographer Ron Franklin Nichols has said the congressman held President Jackson in such high regard he "was a devout hero worshipper.” Also in 1834, Franklin Pierce married Jane Means Appleton, daughter of the president of Bowdoin College. They had three children: one who died in infancy; Frank Robert, who died at age four; and Benjamin, or Bennie, who died in the train wreck. Withdrawn and deeply religious, Jane never considered Pierce’s family her equal and never liked his political endeavors. Despite her feelings and the brooding atmosphere from the tragedies in their lives, Franklin developed a close attachment to her. In 1835 Pierce first confronted the issue of slavery, which would help ruin his presidency, when the House of Representatives received a petition to make the "peculiar institution” illegal in Washington, D.C. A few weeks earlier, Pierce had written a friend that in New Hampshire there existed overwhelming sentiment against "fanatics” who disturbed tranquility by promoting opposition to slavery. Such rabble-rousers, he said, succeeded at exciting only a few villages. Speaking in Congress he noted there was "not one in a hundred” in his home state "who does not entertain the most sacred regard for the rights of their Southern brethren—nay not one in five hundred who would not have those rights protected at any and every hazard.” In the Senate, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina criticized Pierce for portraying the abolitionist movement in New Hampshire as smaller than it actually was, to which the congressman stood his ground and replied that when he had used the figure "one in five hundred” he excluded women and children. These were the people, he said, who were at the heart of the abolitionist movement and were the ones signing the antislavery petitions submitted to Congress. With his remarks Pierce made his stand: He hated abolitionists and ridiculed them as "women and children,” he believed slavery best left to the states to handle, and he Franklin Pierce 115 expressed strong sympathy for the South. Much as with his Jacksonian beliefs, he never deviated from these ideas. In 1836 the New Hampshire legislature elected Pierce to the U.S. Senate, making him the youngest man serving in that body. Some two years later, a close friend said about him: "With no very remarkable talents, he at the age of 34 fills one of the highest stations in the nation.” As senator, Pierce voted to receive a petition criticizing slavery, not because he sympathized with it, but because he believed if the Senate refused to hear it, the abolitionist cause would use the vote as ammunition against the slave interests. In casting his vote he sided with the Whig Party, one of the few instances in which he broke ranks with his fellow Democrats. Soon after this, he voted for resolutions introduced by John C. Calhoun stating that any decisions regarding slavery were to be made by the states and that any attempt to abolish slavery in the territories or in the nation’s capital would be an attack against the South. Pierce said he supported Calhoun "to preserve inviolate the public faith and the provisions of the Constitution under which we have so long lived in prosperity.” The Senate adopted the resolutions. Pierce’s service in the House and the Senate caused him great personal damage. Attracted to the conviviality of his colleagues and to the swirl of parties, he drank heavily. Knowledge of his alcoholism spread, and although he later abstained and joined the temperance movement—some historians claim he gave up drinking around 1840—evidence indicates he returned to the bottle while president, and most certainly in his later years. Some rumors claimed his drinking muddled his mind. Whatever the case, it certainly proved a hardship on his family. Largely for that reason he quit the Senate in 1842, resumed his law practice, and hoped that in New Hampshire he could escape the temptations of drink. In addition, his wife hated politics, hated Washington, and wanted to return home. When the U.S.-Mexican War began in 1846, he volunteered for the army and served first as a private, then as a colonel, and finally as a brigadier general. In this role he led 2,500 men from Veracruz to Mexico City and along the way repulsed six attacks. Misfortune struck, though, during one battle when his horse threw and injured him. He returned to duty only to be injured again, at which point General Winfield Scott thought him incompetent. Pierce came home from the U.S.-Mexican War with combat experience but without the glory he desperately wanted. He received national political attention when, after serving as president of the New Hampshire constitutional convention in 1850, he led a successful effort to replace his party’s antislavery gubernatorial candidate with one more sympathetic to the South. In June 1852 he benefited from a deadlock at the Democratic National Convention at Baltimore. Amid stifling heat and short tempers, the delegates went through ballot after ballot unable to decide on a presidential candidate among frontrunners Lewis Cass of Michigan, Stephen Douglas of Illinois, and James Buchanan of Pennsylvania. Into the frustration stepped Pierce’s supporters, who insisted their man would unite the party and give offices to all the factions that supported him. The delegates chose Pierce on the 49th ballot. Franklin Pierce never expected the nomination and reacted in disbelief. Here was a man who had been out of Congress for a decade; now he was running for president of the United States. Jane Pierce fainted when she heard the news. Yet Pierce’s relative obscurity pleased most Democrats. They believed they could effectively sell to the voters someone who had been largely removed from the sectional firestorm that surrounded the Compromise of 1850, which had alienated Northerners and Southerners alike with its various provisions. 116 Franklin Pierce In a peculiar twist, Pierce ran against his former commanding general in the U.S.- Mexican War, Winfield Scott, the Whig candidate. By most accounts the election generated little interest. One anti-Pierce newspaper said, "In our recent travels in New York and New England we should not have known from any indication of popular feeling, that a Presidential election was pending.” Some controversy erupted when newspapers reported remarks Pierce had made months earlier in which he called the Fugitive Slave Law immoral but said it must be enforced to maintain the Compromise of 1850. His words were repeated by those who wanted to drive a wedge between him and the South. Pierce sidestepped the issue by calling the news reports distorted. For its part, Scott’s campaign focused on Pierce’s character and released a book ostensibly about the Democrat’s heroism. Small in size, it contained nothing but blank pages. On election day, with the turnout down slightly from the presidential contest of 1848, Pierce won 254 electoral votes to Scott’s 42. The loss greatly weakened the Whig Party. The year 1853 should have been a celebratory one for the start of Pierce’s presidency, but nothing went right. First came the death of Bennie, a tragedy that sent Pierce into depression and stole his confidence. To a friend he said, "How I shall be able to summon my manhood to gather up my energies for the duties before me, it is hard for me to see.” Jane Pierce became a semirecluse who spent much of her time writing letters to her dead son. One visitor to the White House remarked, "Everything in that mansion seems cold and cheerless. I have seen hundreds of log cabins which seemed to contain more happiness.” Then, soon after Pierce’s inauguration, Senator Charles G. Atherton of New Hampshire died. Pierce had expected Atherton to be his spokesman in the Senate. More turmoil came on April 19 when Vice President William R. King died while in Cuba seeking to restore his health. To add to the president’s miseries, he stirred opposition from almost every quarter when he put together a cabinet that reflected diverse opinions—from Free Soilers to southern rights advocates. In trying to please everyone, he pleased no one (though the cabinet remained intact and functioned reasonably well). At the same time, sectional discord within Congress ended any hope that divisive issues could be avoided, and rumors circulated that the president was drinking again. By the end of Pierce’s first year, one Democratic leader was lamenting that a great mistake had been made in placing him in the White House. A strong states’ rights supporter, with few exceptions President Pierce opposed federal funding of internal improvements. In fighting a public domain land grant to a railroad he said, "Is it not the better rule to leave all these works to private enterprise, regulated and, when expedient, aided by the cooperation of the State?” Much as Pierce wanted the nation to avoid sectional issues, primarily the emotion-laden one of slavery, almost everything Americans did in the 1850s raised that specter, even in the building of railroads. Slavery’s effect on the Union was evident in a proposal by Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat and ardent expansionist, who wanted a railroad built from Chicago to the Pacific Coast. His hope was to boost his state’s economy, that of the nation, and the value of land in which he had invested. He wanted to act quickly in order to stop a move by Southerners, backed by President Pierce, to build a transcontinental line along a route connected to the South. Douglas asked: "How are we to develop, cherish and protect our immense interests and possessions on the Pacific with a vast wilderness fifteen hundred miles in breadth; and filled with hostile savages, and cutting off all direct communication?” The answer: Organize the western territories to encourage settlement and provide stable government. As chair of a Senate committee, Douglas wrote a bill in January 1854 to establish a territorial government in Nebraska, with slavery to Franklin Pierce 117 be determined by popular sovereignty, meaning by a vote of the people living there. Southerners objected; they said if a vote resulted in favor of slavery it would still be prohibited by the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which made the peculiar institution illegal in the western territories north of latitude 36°30’. They wanted the compromise repealed. Northerners, however, considered the compromise a sacred trust, and Douglas realized that if he supported repeal there would be a huge protest. Nevertheless, he wanted the railroad built. Thus, he revised his measure to divide Nebraska into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and to declare the Missouri Compromise "inoperative and void.” Unfortunately for President Pierce, Senator Douglas’s bill soon became his, as did all the criticism it carried. Pierce disliked the Missouri Compromise but thought that overturning it would only rekindle the slavery controversy. As a result, he first regarded the Kansas-Nebraska Act with disfavor. Then Douglas and several other senators met with him and applied pressure; so did Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, a Southerner. They then arranged a deal whereby the senators agreed to support Pierce’s candidate for the position of collector at the Port of New York, and Pierce agreed to support Douglas’s bill. The outrage from the North and its intensity and fury stunned even Douglas. James G. Blaine of Maine later said of the Kansas-Nebraska Act: "It produced a frenzy of wrath on the part of thousands and tens of thousands in both old parties who had never before taken any part whatsoever in antislavery agitation.” Several Democratic leaders condemned the measure and called it the work of a conspiracy among slaveholders. The entire furor surrounding the act split the Democratic Party and helped give rise to the Republicans and their Free-Soil platform that opposed slavery in any of the western territories. Despite the uproar, in March 1854 the Senate approved the Kansas-Nebraska Act by a vote of 37-14, with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it. The fight in the House lasted longer, but the measure passed in May, 159-75. Elections in the fall were disastrous for the Democrats. With the Whig Party dissolving and the Know-Nothing Party gaining strength, about 115 congressmen who opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act won election. Faced with this outcome, many Democrats concluded that Pierce was a liability. Another controversy shook the nation in March 1855 when northern newspapers published the Ostend Manifesto, which had been signed by three U.S. diplomats in Europe in October 1854. The document proposed offering Spain $130 million for Cuba, which was declared to be indispensable for the security of American slavery. The manifesto also recommended that if Spain refused to sell the island, the United States should take it by force. As Northerners pointed to the manifesto to prove Pierce was in league with proslavery Southerners, he backed away from it. The document, however, angered Spain and other countries, turning it into a foreign policy blunder. Nevertheless, Pierce made some diplomatic progress during his presidency. Late in 1853 he obtained what is today southern New Mexico and Arizona, including Tucson, in the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico, and in 1854 Commodore Matthew C. Perry signed a treaty of peace, friendship, and commerce with Japan that opened two of that nation’s ports to American trade. The storm over the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Ostend Manifesto having extracted a heavy toll on political civility, it took the House 133 ballots over nine weeks in 1855 to choose a Speaker—and then only by a three-vote margin. As that mess unfolded, Pierce took the unprecedented step of releasing his annual message before the Speaker was chosen. In a second message he blamed the troubles over Kansas on northern agitators. Certainly northern opinion had shifted markedly. Work by abolitionists and Free-Soilers intensified the opposition to slavery’s expansion; then the Kansas-Nebraska Act seemed to confirm the warnings about a slaveholders’ conspiracy. Where once there existed only minor opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law, it now 118 Franklin Pierce spread across the region. President Pierce never understood this depth of feeling. He insisted the Fugitive Slave Law must be enforced and southern property rights in slaves protected. The Kansas controversy overwhelmed Pierce. After the federal government opened the territory for settlement in May 1854, a mad scramble for land ensued and settlers arrived from both the North and the South. Many who came from neighboring Missouri, a slave state, were intent on making sure Kansas formed a proslavery government. Tension between them and the Free-Soilers quickly escalated, made all the worse by Pierce. In 1855 he appointed Wilson Shannon, a proslavery politician from Cincinnati, as governor. Free-Soilers reacted by forming their own territorial government with a constitution that excluded blacks from settling in Kansas. This revealed the Free-Soiler belief that slavery should be restricted mainly to protect lands for white settlement. In January 1856 President Pierce said he preferred a proslavery government and would enforce all laws passed by the territorial legislature to protect slavery. He also called the Free- Soilers troublemakers. Anyone familiar with Pierce’s long-held ideas could have predicted the stand he would take. He believed the South had been wronged by the North and that slavery should be left alone. In his view Congress lacked any authority to restrict slavery while a territory was organizing to become a state. He once wrote: "While the people of the Southern States confined their attention to their own affairs, not presuming officiously to intermeddle with the social institutions of the Northern States, too many of the inhabitants of the latter . . . organized in associations to inflict injury on the former by wrongful acts.” In May 1856 violence flared in Kansas when a proslavery mob attacked a Free-Soil settlement at Lawrence. The mob caused no deaths, but they burned the Free State Hotel to the ground, pillaged several houses, and destroyed two newspaper presses. Northern newspapers excited passions with sensationalist stories about what they called the "Sack of Lawrence.” A few days later, a fanatical abolitionist, John Brown, accompanied by six followers, massacred five proslavery settlers in Kansas at Pottawatomie Creek. Guerrilla fighting then erupted throughout the territory—a civil war in what was called "Bleeding Kansas.” During that same month, the violence in Kansas spilled into Congress. After Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts presented a vitriolic speech in which he condemned a "slave oligarchy” and insulted several southern congressmen, representative Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina responded by smashing him over the head with a cane in the Senate chamber. Southerners applauded Brooks, while Northerners expressed outrage. Several congressmen started carrying knives and pistols for protection. In September peace was restored in Kansas after Pierce appointed a new governor, John W. Geary, a moderate determined to suppress the violence. Yet the damage had been done. "Bleeding Kansas” came to symbolize the failure of Pierce’s administration. He understood neither compromise nor how to achieve it. Biased against the North, unable to grasp the magnitude of what was happening, he reacted to sectional disputes defensively. The proslavery element could do no wrong, the antislavery element no right. According to Larry Gara in The Presidency of Franklin Pierce, when the president presented his final message to Congress he permeated it with his belief "that all the sectional troubles stemmed from northern interference and aggression. . . .” Although southern Democrats supported Pierce in 1856, hardly anyone else did. As a result, when the Democratic Party met that June in Cincinnati for its national convention, the delegates refused to renominate him. After 15 ballots the president withdrew his candidacy. Because the delegates wanted to avoid anyone tainted by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, they turned to James Buchanan. After Pierce left office, he and his wife traveled in Europe for two years. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln won the presidency as a Republican, a party Pierce hated for its appeal to northern secFranklin Pierce 119 tional interests. Near the time Lincoln was elected, northern newspapers intercepted and printed a letter written by Pierce to his friend Jefferson Davis. In it the former president said, "If I were in the Southerners’ places, after so many years of aggression, I should probably be doing what they are doing. If our fathers were mistaken when they formed the Constitution, then the sooner we are apart the better.” On July 4, 1863, Pierce spoke at a Democratic rally in Massachusetts and condemned the Civil War. A few hours later, news came of the North’s victory at Gettysburg. With his letter and speech—and with the turn of events in the war pointing to a southern defeat—Pierce became reviled in the North. After his wife passed away later that year, he took again to heavy drinking. He died on October 8, 1869, abandoned by most everyone, his name seldom recalled, not even in New Hampshire. Most likely no president could have survived the sectional tempest of the 1850s unscathed. But Franklin Pierce’s limited talent and bad decisions assured his failure. Historian Eugene H. Roseboom has called his decision to repeal the Missouri Compromise "one of the costliest blunders in White House history.” Certainly it darkened the national mood and
    hastened America’s movement toward civil war.

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