Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States and served from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857.

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What did Franklin Pierce do as President?

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As president he was not much of a success. He 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. The government paid for surveys and cost-studies for a trans-continental railroad) A rebellion in Nicaragua put a pro-slavery American in power there and the Pierce administration quickly recognized the new government there. Maybe the best things he did: Pierce reorganized the navy command and his able Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis put the army into good order. The treasury was well managed and the national debt was reduced from $67 million down to $31 million.
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What were the results of the 1852 presidential election?

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1852 Presidential election results popular vote Pierce (Dem) 1,607,510 (50.8%) Scott (Whig) 1,386,942 (43.9%) electoral vote Pierce 254 Scott 42 states carried Pierce 27 Scott 4 (TN, KY,VT, NH)
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What important events did Franklin Pierce do?

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Perhaps the high point of his life was his service in the Mexican War where he started out as a private and ended as a brigadier general. The aftermath was also good for him . He came home a war hero. He found a new young law partner who complemented his talents and his law practice became very successful . His wife who hated living in Washington took delight in their handsome little boy. As president he was not much of a success. He vigorously pushed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which turned out to be a total failure, leading to a border war known as bleeding Kansas which he failed to deal with in any effective way. He instigated 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.
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What photos of Franklin Pierce's children exist?

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The only picture of Pierce's children that I have ever seen is one of his wife and their son Benjamin. Click the related link to see it.
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What was president Franklin Pierce's life after leaving the White House?

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Life went downhill for Pierce after he left the White House. He did not get the nomination to run for a second term, so his political career was over. He made speeches that branded him as a Southern sympathizer and he became very unpopular in his hometown. His wife never did recover from her depression and then she died. Pierce took to drink and died before he was 65.
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Did Franklin Pierce own slaves?

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no- Pierce lived in New Hampshire all of his life except when he was in the army or serving in Washington. He did, however believe that the constitution protected the right to own slaves.
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Was Franklin Pierce the handsomest president?

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but one can make a strong case that he was the handsomest president ever when he was elected. Later presidents, Harding, Kennedy and Reagan might challenge him for the honor.
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How was president Franklin Pierce as chief diplomat?

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He was fairly successful , A treaty was signed with Mexico to annex the strip of land known as the Gadsden Purchase. A trade treaty was signed with Japan. A dispute with Austria involving an American accused of espionage was settled favorably. The big failure was his attempt to purchase Cuba from Spain which ended with the brouhaha known as the Ostend Manifesto. You realize that there was no telegraph or telephone connection with Europe or Japan, so Pierce was dependent on his ministers to handle the actual negotiations.
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What did Franklin Pierce do at his first battle?

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At the Battle of Contreras, his horse lurched suddenly throwing Pierce hard against the pommel of his saddle and wrenched his knee. He passed out from the pain. ( Political mudslingers said later that he fainted from fright in his first battle.)
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Why was Franklin Pierce's nickname Young Hickory of the Granite Hills?

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This nickname was campaign hype. "Old Hickory" was Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democratic Party that nominated Pierce. The Granite Hills refer to New Hampshire where Pierce lived.
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Who were Franklin Pierce's parents and siblings?

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Father: Benjamin Pierce, (1757-1839) Revolutionary War hero, hero in the War of 1812, two term governor of New Hampshire Mother: Anna Kendrick (1769-1838) Siblings: Benjamin Kendrick Pierce (August 29, 1790-1850) Nancy M. Pierce McNeil (November 2, 1792-1837) John Sullivan Pierce (November 5, 1796-1824) Harriet B. Pierce Jameson (1800-1837) Charles Grandison Pierce (1803-1828) Charlotte Pierce, d. in infancy. Henry Dearborn Pierce (September 19, 1812-1880) He also had a half-sister from his father's first marriage , She was Elizabeth McNeil.
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What did Franklin Pierce do for your country?

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He was a leader of the Jacksonian Democrats while in Congress. He helped hasten the Civil War by signing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, although he did not know that his signing of the bill would speed the clash between North and South. By repealing the Missouri Compromise, the K-N Act opened up the territory for slavery and reopened up the debate regarding the spread of slavery. He appeased the South by backing up the pro slavery groups in the western territories, especially in "Bleeding Kansas." He became the only elected president to be denied his own party's renomination. During the war he criticised the Emancipation Proclamation and was almost lynched by angry New Englanders.
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Why Was Franklin Pierce High School Named After The 14th Presidnt Franklin Pierce?

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There is possibly more than one Franklin Pierce High School, but the ones in Washington state undoubtedly honor Pierce because he was the President when Washington Territory was broken off from Oregon in 1853.
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What jobs did Franklin Pierce have?

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Franklin Pierce practiced law in his home town of Hillsborough, New Hampshire and later moved to the state capital, Concord. He served in the New Hampshire State House, was elected to the US Congress as a Jackson Democrat in 1832 and became a US Senator in 1836 . He turned down a belated offer from President Polk to serve as Attorney General of the US. He served in the army in the Mexican War (1846-48) and was a brigadier general when the war ended.
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How many states were there when Franklin Pierce was president?

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There were 31 states when Pierce was president. He carried 27 of them in the election.
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Dog's name of President Franklin Pierce?

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Pierce was given 7 miniature dogs brought back from Japan. History does not record their names. One that he gave to Jefferson Davis may have been named Bonin, perhaps by Davis.
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How was Franklin Pierce's childhood?

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His childhood was pleasant enough. He had five brothers and three sisters. They lived in the back country but the house was on a main highway. His father was a general in the Revolutionary War , was a local personage and active in politics. He liked to tell war stories to his children and others who would listen. His father was strict but his mother was affectionate and easy-going. He was sent away to boarding school which he did not always enjoy but it provided a good education for its day. Not much is known about Pierce's childhood because Pierce did not write or talk much about it and nobody tried to write a comprehensive biography of him until after the people who knew him as a child were all dead.
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What was Franklin Pierce's famous quote?

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Some Pierce quotes. I don't know which is the most famous or most important. A Republic without parties is a complete anomaly. The histories of all popular governments show absurd is the idea of their attempting to exist without parties. Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion. You have summoned me in my weakness. You must sustain me by your strength. The stars upon your banner have become nearly threefold their original number; your densely populated possessions skirt the shores of the two great oceans. The storm of frenzy and faction must inevitably dash itself in vain against the unshaken rock of the Constitution. With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined.
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Were any important inventions made when Franklin Pierce was president?

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Levi Strauss invented blue jeans and Alexander Wood invented the hypodermic syringe in 1853. Henry Bessemer patented his steel making process in 1855
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Who were Franklin Pierce's children?

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Franklin and Jane Pierce had three sons. All died as children. Franklin Pierce, Jr. (February 2, 1836 - February 5, 1836), cause of death unknown. Frank Robert Pierce (August 27, 1839 - November 14, 1843), died from typhus fever. Benjamin "Bennie" Pierce (April 13, 1841 - January 6, 1853), died in train accident in front of his parents, weeks before his father was inaugurated.
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Did Franklin Pierce change history?

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Every person no doubt changes history to some extent. Pierce was President of the United States, served in Congress and practiced law for many years. He surely affected some people's lives. As US president, he did not do much that made any clear mark of the progress of events. He went along with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which turns out badly. In general he was not a strong leader.
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When was Franklin Pierce the President of the United States?

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Pierce was the US president from March 4, 1853 until March 4, 1857. He served one full term as the 14th US President.
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What were Franklin Pierce's failures as president?

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Pierce supported the passing of the Kansas- Nebraska Act that created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska but also let them decide whether to have slavery. Since Nebraska was certain to vote to be a free state Kansas would have to be slave state in order to keep the balance of slave and free states and both sides sent outsiders into Kansas to try to influence the election. Violence erupted and Pierce did not do anything effective to stop it. The division of the nation over slavery came to the forefront again and the Compromise of 1850 appeared doomed to failure. Instead of seeing an end to hostility over slavery, Pierce saw the situation grow worse. Pierce also made a move to buy Cuba from Spain. which not only failed but caused a domestic and international uproar when news leaked that his administration was considering going to war to take Cuba if it could not be bought. The failure of the Kansas-Nebraska act to diffuse the slavery issue was Pierce's downfall. Pierce pushed for its passage and contributed to the problem by failing to act quickly when violence broke out in Kansas.
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How old was Franklin Pierce when he died?

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He died on October 8, 1869, six weeks before his 65th birthday.

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