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Pierce vigorously pushed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which turned out to be a total failure, leading to a border war known as bleeding Kansas . Nebraska was sure to vote against slavery, so to keep the balance of slave and free states, pro-slavery people felt it was necessary to make Kansas a slave state. Besides rallies which brought in outside agitators and stirred up feelings, pro slavery thugs came in from Missouri to disrupt the election and abolitionists responded in kind. Pierce was much criticized for not sending in federal troops to stop the violence.

Pierce instigated an attempt to buy Cuba from Spain. His ministers in Europe eventually produced what became known as the Ostend Manifesto which demanded that Spain either sell Cuba to the US or lose it to a war with the US. After this document became public there was so much public outrage that he had to formally repudiate it. Besides causing a domestic and international uproar over the suggestion that the US would provoke a war to gain territory, Cuba was looked on as a potential slave state.

Pierce okayed the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico of a strip of land which is now the southern tip of Arizona and New Mexico for the purpose of building a transcontinental railroad there. (The building of a railroad was also part of the reason for the Kansas-Nebraska act.)

A rebellion in Nicaragua put a pro-slavery American in power there and the Pierce administration quickly recognized the new government there.

Pierce reorganized the navy command and his able Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis put the army into good order. The treasury was in good shape and the natiional debt was reduced.

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โˆ™ 2011-08-27 15:02:50
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Q: What issues did Franklin Pierce support?
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