James Buchanan, the only president who never married, was born in Pennsylvania. Though he sometimes got into trouble as a kid, he eventually became a lawyer. He then worked as a state assemblyman, U.S. congressman, minister to Russia and Great Britain, senator, and secretary of state under President James K. Polk. When he was elected president in 1857, the issue of slavery was tearing the nation apart. People hoped he would be the one who could keep the nation together. Unfortunately, Buchanan didn’t seem to know how serious the problem was or how to fix it. As the nation headed toward war, he did little to stop it.
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