James Buchanan

(James Buchanan, Jr. | James McGill Buchanan, Jr.)

James Buchanan
James Buchanan
  • Born: April 23, 1791
  • Died: June 1, 1868
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President; Economist









James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States (1857–61), serving immediately prior to the American Civil War. He represented Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives and later the Senate, then served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He was named Secretary of State under President James K. Polk, and as of 2016[update] is the last former Secretary of State to serve as President of the United States. After Buchanan turned down an offer to sit on the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Ambassador to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the Ostend Manifesto.; James McGill Buchanan, Jr. was an American economist known for his work on public choice theory (included in his most famous work The Calculus of Consent), for which he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in 1986. Buchanan's work initiated research on how politicians' and bureaucrats' self-interest, utility maximization and other non-wealth maximizing considerations affect their decision making. He was a member of the Board of Advisors of The Independent Institute, a member (and for a time the President) of the Mont Pelerin Society, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, and professor at George Mason University.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Ulysses S. Grant I voted for Buchanan because I didn’t know him and voted against Fremont because I did know him.
Edna Greene Medford Politics was just about as dirty in those days as it is now.
Anonymous Miss Nancy Aunt Fancy
John Quincy Adams I had a visit from Mr. James Buchanan, Secretary of State. He told me that he had formerly visited my father at Quincy [MA], and said that in speaking to him of some of the Tories during our Revolutionary War, he said they were men of great respectability, fine talents, and excellent private character, but that they were all deplorably loyal—an epithet which Mr. Buchanan said had greatly diverted him.
John J. Crittendon The retiring head of the minority wing of a divided party that had been repudiated at the polls.
Edward Dicey When the President [Abraham Lincoln] leaves the White House, he will be no more regretted, though more respected, than Mr. Buchanan.
Ulysses S. Grant I voted for [James] Buchanan because I didn't know him and voted against [John C.] Fremont because I did know him.
Andrew Jackson It was as far as I could send him ..., where he could do the least harm. I would have sent him to the North Pole if we had kept a minister there.
Lyndon B. Johnson I want to know what he did and who he failed.
Robert Tyler Mr. President, I believe that we can supersede the Negro-Mania with the almost universal excitement of an Anti-Mormon Crusade ... and the pipings of Abolitionism will hardly be heard amidst the thunders of the storm we shall raise.
Quote Topics Cited
… the imbecile and indolent Mexican race Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Destiny beckons us to hold and civilize Mexico. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Exert the greatest vigilance in discovering and defeating any British attempt to take over California. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
God bless my country! Slogans & Mottoes
I am an old public functionary. Nicknames
I am the last President of the United States. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I found it impossible to prevent two or three companies of the Federal troops from joining in the procession to-day, with the volunteers of the district, without giving serious offence to the tens of thousands people who have assembled to witness the parade.... The troops everywhere else join such processions in honor of the birthday of the Father of his Country, and it would be hard to assign a good reason why they should be excluded from the privilege of the capital founded by himself. They are here simply as a posse comitatus, to aid the civil authorities in case of need. Besides, the programme was published in the National Intelligencer of this morning, without my personal knowledge. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
I have seldom met an intelligent person whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I like the noise of democracy. Democracies & Republics
If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering the house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
If you throw a welfare state into the middle of a democracy, it’s very hard to get rid of the beast. Welfare
It is our glory that whilst other nations have extended their dominions by the sword we have never acquired any territory except by fair purchase or, as in the case of Texas, by the voluntary determination of a brave, kindred, and independent people to blend their destinies with our own. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
It is, beyond question, the destiny of our race to spread themselves over the continent of North America, and this at no distant day. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Let us look the danger fairly in the face. Secession is neither more nor less than revolution. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Money would be no object when compared with the value of the acquisition. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Next in importance to the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union is the duty of preserving the Government free from the taint or even the suspicion of corruption. Corruption
Our present financial condition is without parallel in history. No nation has ever before been embarrassed from too large a surplus in its Treasury. Budgets & Budgeting
Our Union rests upon public opinion, and can never be cemented by the blood of its citizens shed in civil war. Public Opinion & Polling
Pints [of liquor] are very inconvenient in the house [the White House] as the article is not used in such small quantities. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
Politicians and bureaucrats aren’t benevolent or malevolent. They are just like the rest of us. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Public virtue is the vital spirit of republics, and history proves that when this has decayed and the love of money has usurped its place, although the forms of the free government may remain for a season, the substance has departed forever. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Ten cents a day is adequate pay for a workingman. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
That, Madam, is my misfortune, not my fault. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The Government of the United States possesses no power whatever over the question of religion. Religion & God
The host of contractors, speculators, stockjobbers, and lobby members which haunt the halls of Congress, all desirous ... to get their arm into the public treasury, are sufficient to alarm every friend of this country. Their progress must be arrested. Patronage & Pork Barrel
The long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern States has at length produced its natural effects. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The only alternative is war or national dishonor; and between these two, what American can hesitate. War & Peace
The present Administration had no alternative but to accept the war initiated by South Carolina or the Southern Confederacy. The North will sustain the Administration almost to a man, and it ought to sustain it at all hazards. War & Peace
The squandering of the public money sinks into comparative insignificance as a temptation to corruption when compared with the squandering of the public lands. Environment & Environmentalism
The Union as it was. The Union as it is, and the Union as it shall be. Miscellaneous
War would not only present the most effectual means of destroying [the Union] but would banish all hope of its peaceable reconstruction. War & Peace
Whilst the agitation of the Slave question in the North may be sport to us, it may become also prove death to them. It produces an uneasy & excited feeling among the Slaves & places in jeopardy the safety of all they hold most dear on earth. Devotedly attached to the union as they are, they (the Southerners) soberly declare that if the North should persist in applying the match to the magazine of gun powder in which they live, self preservation will compel them to separate from us. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Without the authority of Congress, the President cannot fire a hostile gun in any case except to repel the attacks of the enemy. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.
The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. Leaders & Leadership
To avoid entangling alliances has been a maxim of our policy ever since the days of Washington, and its wisdom no one will attempt to dispute.
What is right and what is practicable are two different things.