President James Buchanan's Legacy Quiz

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15 Questions

What was the main issue at work behind the scenes in the Dred Scott case?

The question of whether Congress or local governments had the power to outlaw slavery in the territories.

What did the Supreme Court rule regarding the rights of blacks, as mentioned in the text?

Blacks were not considered citizens and therefore had no right to sue in federal court.

What was the significant implication of the Dred Scott decision discussed in the text?

Slavery could only be abolished when states, not territories, passed laws to do so.

What event led to the rising tensions between the North and the South?

The Missouri and Kansas territories conflict

What was the 'peculiar institution' mentioned in the text?


Why did Dred Scott and his wife Harriet decide to sue for their freedom in the courts of Missouri?

They had married while in Wisconsin with Dr. Emerson

What was one of the criticisms of President Buchanan's approach to the slavery issue?

He failed to acknowledge the realities around him

What was Buchanan's stance on the slavery issue?

He believed it was a matter for individual states to decide for themselves

What event led to further division within the Democratic Party during Buchanan's presidency?

The demand for a popular vote to decide the issue in Kansas by Senator Stephen A. Douglas

What was the result of the Democratic Party being divided into a Northern and Southern half?

Abraham Lincoln, a relative unknown lawyer, won the presidency

What was Buchanan's initial hope regarding the Southern states' decision to secede?

He hoped for a peaceful resolution through presidential diplomacy

What event led Buchanan to shift his tactics and take a more stern approach?

The firing upon Ft. Sumter in Charleston, S.C.

What was the outcome when the ship approached Ft. Sumter in Charleston, S.C.?

It was fired upon by South Carolina's militia

How did Buchanan's presidency impact the beginning of the Civil War?

It escalated tensions and ultimately led to the start of the Civil War

What would be an accurate summary of James Buchanan's handling of the situation?

He was initially diplomatic but ultimately failed to prevent the nation from falling apart

Test your knowledge of President James Buchanan's presidency and legacy with this quiz. Explore his handling of the nation's rapid changes, growth, and division, and the criticisms surrounding his rigidity in applying constitutional principles.

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