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    Миллард Филлмор

    Об этой статье мне рассказал мой дядя бизнесмен, который очень занятой человек. В его командировках ему помогает, которая предоставляет возможность летать в любое время и место в комфорте. Writing in 1888, the Briton James Bryce noted that in the United States the vice presidency was usually given to a "man in the second rank” and as a result "if the President happens to die, a man who may . . . be of no great personal account steps into the chief magistracy of the nation.” Such seemed to be the case in 1841 when John Tyler succeeded William Henry Harrison, and it seemed true when Millard Fillmore succeeded Zachary Taylor. But such a conclusion ignores Fillmore’s valuable contributions: He was instrumental in preventing a civil war in 1850, in arranging a compromise between North and South that same year, and in expanding American overseas 106 Millard Fillmore trade. In a life that took him from a hardscrabble farm in New York to the White House and a career that spanned three political parties, he developed a reputation for dignity, intelligence, and selflessness that made him a credit to the presidency. k Millard Fillmore was born on January 7, 1800, to Nathaniel Fillmore and Phoebe Millard Fillmore in Cayuga County, located in westcentral New York. There he grew up on his father’s farm, contributing backbreaking work as the elder Fillmore struggled in poverty. Millard obtained little formal education. Later he recalled "an old deserted log house, which had been furnished with a few benches without backs, and a board for writing upon. In this school I learned my alphabet, at the age of six or seven. . . . I learned to plow, to hoe, to chop, to log and clear land, to mow, to reap.” At age 14 Millard apprenticed to a cloth maker and then soon after to a textile mill. While working at the machines he taught himself to read, using a small dictionary he had bought. After a Quaker judge, Walter Wood, recognized the young man’s talent and drive, he convinced Millard to study law. In 1822 Fillmore began clerking in a Buffalo law office. At age 24 he was admitted to the bar, and in 1826 he married Abigail Powers, the daughter of a minister. They had two children. Fillmore was a strikingly handsome man, an impeccable dresser, good-tempered and intelligent, and committed to making sure he never again lived in poverty. He developed a prosperous practice while dedicating himself to helping Buffalo grow and was one of the leaders in improving the terminal facilities of the Erie Canal. Fillmore saw politics as a way to climb further from his impoverished roots and serve the larger community. In the 1820s he first identified with the Antimasonic Party, which condemned secret societies, especially the Freemasons. Subsequently, as a proponent of federal funding for internal improvements, he allied with the National Republicans after Thurlow Weed, a newspaper editor and power broker, merged that party with the Antimasons. Fillmore supported John Quincy Adams for reelection as president in 1828 and himself ran for the state legislature. He won despite a huge victory for the Democrats that swept Adams from the White House and brought in Andrew Jackson. In the assembly Fillmore worked to reform the legal system and to abolish imprisonment for debt. He established a relationship with Thurlow Weed best described as a working one rather than a close one. Over the years Weed promoted and supported Fillmore when it was politically beneficial to himself. Fillmore never trusted him, a wise move borne out by Weed’s later treachery. Millard Fillmore won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from western New York in 1832, and two years later, as the National Republicans dissolved, he joined Weed in organizing the Whig Party. Through his hard work, the Whigs built a strong organization in western New York, attracting many former Antimasons. Among his many projects, Fillmore converted the Commercial Advertiser into an influential Whig newspaper. Fillmore’s preoccupation with building a political party and his desire to be at home with his wife, who disliked Washington and insisted on staying in Buffalo, caused him to leave Congress in 1834. Two years later, however, he accepted the Whig nomination from his district and defeated his Democratic opponent to return to the House of Representatives. Fillmore’s victory was all the more impressive because he bucked a Democratic landslide in New York. Back in Washington, Fillmore opposed President Martin Van Buren’s plan to establish an independent treasury consisting of federal depositories that would hold government money separate from state and private banks. Fillmore had previously criticized the destruction of the national bank by President Andrew Millard Fillmore 107 Jackson and thought the independent treasury would do nothing more than lock away funds that could be used for economic investment. He preferred what he called a "free-banking system” whereby federal funds would be deposited in state banks, similar to the method then being used, but one devoid of political influence. He said, "I . . . hope to see the day when . . . the moral pestilence of political banks and banking shall be unknown.” A severe economic depression in 1837 led to the Whigs gaining control of the New York legislature. At the same time, Fillmore and Weed had a falling out when the congressman rejected Weed’s entreaties to run for state comptroller. Further worsening relations, Fillmore disliked Weed’s choice for governor, William H. Seward, who won the office in 1838. After the Whigs and William Henry Harrison captured the White House in 1840, Millard Fillmore ran for Speaker of the House against Kentuckian Henry Clay. He had long been at odds with Clay, particularly since Clay’s slaveholding antagonized the increasingly strident abolitionist movement in western New York, and he wanted to diminish his fellow Whig’s influence. Although Fillmore lost, as a reward for finishing second in the balloting he obtained the powerful position of chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. In that role Fillmore crafted Whig legislation meant to deal with the depression and supported a bankruptcy act that allowed businesses to have their old debts forgiven. On a more controversial issue, he promoted a higher tariff that would protect industries from foreign competition. Most Southerners opposed such legislation, for it would mean higher prices on manufactured goods they either purchased from the North or imported from overseas. To circumvent them Fillmore promoted a bill that would distribute the federal income from the sale of public lands on a proportional basis to the states. He argued that this would help the state treasuries then being emptied by the depression. But Southerners suspected that northern Whigs wanted to lower funds in the national treasury so they could then argue the tariff needed to be increased to replenish the money lost. They were right; this had been Fillmore’s plan all along. Despite southern objections, his distribution bill passed Congress, though it was modified to provide a cap on the amount of land-sale money that could be transferred to the states. When the bill reached President John Tyler, he vetoed it. Fillmore then worked to write a compromise, which Tyler signed after it passed Congress in 1842. The bill gave Fillmore and the protectionist Whigs almost everything they wanted: It stopped the downward trend in the tariff and boosted it to the 30 percent level; it taxed some imports at 40 percent, even 50 percent; and it protected woolen textile manufacturers and pig-iron producers by rates that jumped from 20 percent to 40 percent. Fillmore’s victory was great enough to antagonize the South. The Charleston Mercury in South Carolina said Whigs "carry their reason, patriotism, conscience and religion in their purses . . . and . . . know no other voice but that of Mammon.” Just as Fillmore’s political star reached new heights, he surprised many in 1842 by again retiring from Congress in order to return to Buffalo. In 1844 Thurlow Weed met with Fillmore and promised to support him for that year’s Whig vice-presidential nomination. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune and a prominent Whig himself, pronounced the arrangement sealed when he placed Fillmore’s name on his newspaper’s masthead. Weed, however, reneged on his promise, and Fillmore lost to Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. Then Weed decided that, given the surging antislavery views in New York and Fillmore’s own dislike for slavery, the former congressman would make a formidable candidate for governor. Fillmore’s presence on the Whig ticket, he reasoned, would help Henry Clay, the party’s presidential candidate. Although Fillmore disliked Clay and distrusted Weed for his maneuver with Frelinghuysen, he reluctantly agreed to run for governor as a way to help the party. On 108 Millard Fillmore hearing about his nomination he said, "So I am in for it and there is no escape.” As it turned out, Clay lost the presidency, and Fillmore lost the governorship to Democrat Silas Wright. Accustomed as he was to winning office, the defeat stunned Fillmore. He resumed his lucrative law practice but remained in public view, particularly with his criticism of President James K. Polk’s war against Mexico. Fillmore considered the conflict part of a plot by Southerners to grab more land for slavery. His stand was popular in western New York, where antislavery sentiment continued to strengthen. The tortuous relationship between Millard Fillmore and Thurlow Weed continued. In 1846 Fillmore acted to contain Weed’s power by using his influence to get the Whigs to nominate a gubernatorial candidate Weed opposed. The following year, Fillmore won election as New York comptroller with Weed’s support, a powerful post that put him in charge of the state’s finances. He superintended New York’s banks, wrote a new banking code, and developed a state currency system. As the 1848 elections approached and the Whigs seemed likely to nominate General Zachary Taylor, hero of the U.S.-Mexican War, as their presidential candidate, talk circulated that Millard Fillmore would make an attractive running mate. Whigs—especially New York Whigs—who were suspicious of Taylor’s background as a slaveholder believed Fillmore would add much-needed balance to the ticket. To many the New Yorker’s candidacy was essential to keep the party’s two main factions, southern planters and northern industrialists, together. Thurlow Weed thought differently. He wanted the second spot for former New York governor William H. Seward, who was securely in his grasp. For his part, Fillmore had little interest in the nomination but wanted to help achieve a Whig victory. At the party convention, backers of Henry Clay for president (who failed to win the nomination) threw their support behind Fillmore for the vice presidency, as did Weed’s political enemies. Fillmore won on the second ballot, frustrating Weed. Fillmore knew little about the presidential candidate, Zachary Taylor, other than his military exploits. Undoubtedly Taylor knew even less about Fillmore. The New Yorker sent Taylor a letter. "Although I have never had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance,” he wrote, "nor can I flatter myself that you have ever heard of me before the late convention, yet as I feel quite acquainted with you from a general knowledge of your widely extended reputation, and as our fellow citizens have seen fit to associate our names for the next presidential contest, I take the liberty by introduction of enclosing a copy of my acceptance of the nomination. . . .” The Taylor-Fillmore team went on to defeat Democrat Lewis Cass of Michigan. Fillmore’s presence on the ticket proved crucial when it convinced many New York Whigs to accept Taylor rather than bolt the party for another candidate. As a result, he delivered New York’s electoral votes, the winning margin in the race. Fillmore entered the vice presidency opposed to slavery but unwilling to abolish it where it already existed. Whether slavery should continue, he believed, was best left to the states to decide. He told the South: "[I have always] regarded slavery as an evil, but one with which the National Government had nothing to do. That by the Constitution of the United States the whole power over that question was vested in the several states where the institution was tolerated.” In 1850 a sectional crisis steeped in slavery threatened to tear the nation apart. California and New Mexico, two territories acquired during the U.S.-Mexican War, wanted to enter the Union with antislavery constitutions. At the same time New Mexico and Texas approached armed conflict after Texas claimed a sizable part of New Mexico’s territory. Congress reacted by debating a series of resolutions, written primarily by Henry Clay. These would provide a compromise where California would enter the Union as a free state, while New Mexico would Millard Fillmore 109 organize a territorial government and resolve its slave issue later by a vote of its residents. The compromise would also settle the border dispute, prohibit the slave trade in Washington, D.C., and establish a stronger law for the return of runaway slaves to their masters. As the debate continued, a Senate committee decided to combine the measures dealing with California and New Mexico into one omnibus bill. President Taylor opposed the bill, mainly because he wanted New Mexico to enter the Union as a state so its territory could be more assuredly protected from Texas. Many Northerners condemned the compromise as a sellout to the "slaveocracy.” They wanted California and New Mexico both in the Union as free states. They also believed the Texas land claim was nothing less than an attempt to expand slave territory, and they despised the fugitive slave law. The compromise was so unpopular that Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster saw his political support plummet when he joined with Clay to push the legislation. The crisis confronted Vice President Fillmore with the possibility of having to break a tie vote in his role as president of the Senate. As much as Fillmore disagreed with slavery, he thought a compromise crucial in keeping the Union together. At the same time he wanted to avoid rupturing the Whig Party by opposing President Taylor. After much consideration, Fillmore informed the president that he would vote his conscience. "If I should feel it my duty to vote for it, as I might,” he later said, "I wished him to understand, that it was not out of any hostility to him or his Administration, but the vote would be given, because I deemed it for the interests of the country.” Fillmore never was required to cast the vote. While he was working on correspondence late Tuesday evening, July 9, 1850, someone knocked on his door. He opened it to find a messenger, excited and pale, who told him that President Taylor, taken ill a few days earlier, had died. Fillmore met with Taylor’s cabinet and said, "I have no language to express the emotions of my heart. The shock is so sudden and unexpected that I am overwhelmed.” The next day he took the oath of office making him president. Millard Fillmore asked Taylor’s cabinet members to stay on the job for a month; they agreed only to one week, forcing him to move quickly in forming his administration. More than anything else, the sectional crisis shaped his cabinet choices, and he selected those who supported some form of compromise. His appointments included Daniel Webster as secretary of state. Like Taylor, Fillmore opposed the omnibus bill. By now Congress had changed it, much to his dismay. An amendment added in the Senate left the border dispute between New Mexico and Texas unresolved while prohibiting New Mexico from forming a territorial government in the disputed land—an arrangement that would allow Texas to exert its authority and perhaps obtain all it was demanding. While moving to kill the omnibus bill, Fillmore added 750 men to the U.S. Army in Texas and in a message to Congress warned: "If Texas militia . . . march into any one of the other States or into any territory of the United States, there to execute or enforce any law of Texas, they become at that moment trespassers.” In response, several southern newspapers vilified Fillmore. One said, "Why should the sword . . . be brandished with something like a menace over a State?” Along with the sword, though, Fillmore sought compromise, and as a result Congress wrote a bill that gave Texas 33,000 square miles, about one-third of the land it had claimed from New Mexico, mainly in the panhandle, leaving New Mexico with the area it most wanted. The Texas and New Mexico Act, as it was called, organized New Mexico as a territory but left the slavery issue to popular sovereignty, meaning a vote by the local residents. The act stated "that, when admitted as a State, the said territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union, with or without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission.” 110 Millard Fillmore All the other resolutions passed Congress in September and were signed by Fillmore. Together they made up the Compromise of 1850. The resolutions "were not in all respects what I could have desired,” he later said, "but they were the best that could be obtained after a protracted discussion that shook the Republic to its very foundation.” In hindsight the compromise appears an illfated attempt to save the Union, but at the time many Americans believed it would work. Certainly President Fillmore’s firm stand toward Texas on the boundary issue prevented civil war in the year 1850. Had he led Texas to believe the national government would do nothing in the event of an armed attack on New Mexico, in all likelihood Texans would have invaded. That would have sparked a war with New Mexico, and from there North and South would likely have chosen sides, leaving no alternative but a larger conflict. Later that year, recognizing as he did the importance of foreign trade to national prosperity and hoping that by developing it the Union would be made more secure, President Fillmore sent a mission to Japan. Commodore Matthew Perry arrived there in 1851 with four ships and presented the Japanese emperor with a note from the president. "Great and good friend,” it read, "I send you this letter . . . to bear to you my greeting and good wishes, and to promote friendship and commerce between [our] two countries. . . . We wish that our People may be permitted to trade with your People. . . .” The peaceful greeting combined with the show of force left its impression; after Fillmore retired from the presidency, trade with Japan began. Well before the presidential election of 1852, Millard Fillmore let it be known that he would not seek another term. Wearied by the sectional crisis and never desirous of the presidency to begin with, he wanted to return to Buffalo. But the Whig Party was moving toward self-destruction with the increasing possibility it would nominate General Winfield Scott, who was much disliked in the South for his friendship with the antislavery New Yorker William H. Seward. Scott’s selection would tear the party apart. Realizing this, Fillmore’s supporters promoted him for president, and he reluctantly postponed any formal announcement of his retirement. As Fillmore’s friends beseeched him to seek the nomination and save the Whig Party, he relented and allowed his name to be entered at the national convention in June 1852. On the first ballot he won more votes than Scott, with solid support from the South. A third candidate, Daniel Webster, prevented anyone from receiving a majority. The voting continued until the exhausted delegates chose Scott on the 53rd ballot. As predicted, the Whig Party shattered when its southern members refused to support the nominee. In the general election Democrat Franklin Pierce won the presidency. The breakup of the Whigs and turmoil among the Democrats over slavery left an opening for third parties to gain power, and in 1852 the National American Party was formed. More popularly called the Know-Nothing Party, after the practice of its members to use the phrase "I know nothing” as a secret password, within two years it gained a considerable following. The Know-Nothings stood for nativism, an antiimmigrant stand that called for all Catholics and foreigners to be excluded from public office and for an extended 21-year residence before immigrants could qualify for citizenship. In January 1855 Millard Fillmore made himself available as the Know-Nothing candidate for president. He said, "I have for a long time looked with dread and apprehension at the corrupting influence which the contest for the foreign vote is exciting upon our elections.” He believed America should be open to settlement by immigrants but that its public offices should be restricted to the native-born. Then the man who years earlier had criticized secret societies as an Antimason joined the secretive Order of Millard Fillmore 111 the Star Spangled Banner to qualify him for party membership. In the ensuing presidential campaign, Fillmore said little about nativism and instead emphasized his strong commitment to the Union. While insisting he would side with neither North nor South, he charged the Democrats and the new Republican Party with being under the control of sectional interests. "When I left the Presidential chair, the whole nation was prosperous and contented,” he said. "But where are we now? Alas! Threatened at home with civil war. . . .” Sectionalism doomed Fillmore’s candidacy when dramatic events in 1856 made slavery the leading issue. In May proslavery settlers attacked antislavery settlers in Lawrence, Kansas; a few days later violence hit Kansas again when abolitionist John Brown hacked five proslavery men to death. Soon after that, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina caned Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in Congress while Sumner sat in the Senate chamber. Republican newspapers subsequently launched an unremitting attack on the "slaveocracy.” With emotions running so strong, the Know-Nothings appeared too mild and too irrelevant; many Democrats who liked Fillmore decided to stay with their party in order to turn back the Republicans. On election day 1856, the New Yorker finished third behind Democrat James Buchanan, who won, and Republican John C. Fremont. Fillmore captured just eight electoral votes, all from the state of Maryland. Defeated, Millard Fillmore retired from seeking political office. A widower since 1853, he married wealthy widow Caroline McIntosh in 1858. When the Civil War began he helped recruit volunteers for the Union army. He grew disenchanted with Abraham Lincoln, however, for what he called "military despotism,” and in 1864 he supported Democrat George Mc- Clellan for president. McClellan lost the race and Fillmore lost much respect in New York, where some questioned his patriotism. In April 1865, though, he headed a committee that escorted Lincoln’s funeral train as it entered Buffalo. Millard Fillmore died on March 8, 1874, shortly after suffering a stroke. Although not ranked among the greatest presidents, he exceeds James Bryce’s depiction of the typical vice president elevated by death to the White House. His devotion to the Union and his ability to compromise in order to save it kept the
    peace, albeit a short and uneasy one.

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