Purdue University North Central will present a Social Sciences Colloquium with Dr. Michael Connolly, associate professor of History, speaking on “James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War” on Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. in the Library-Student-Faculty Building Assembly Hall, Room 02. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.
According to Connolly, historians have traditionally judged President James Buchanan as a failure. On his watch, the sectional politics of slavery worsened and culminated in the secession crisis of 1860-61, when seven southern states left the Union to form the Confederacy.
While he does not rise to the rank of "greatness," his status as a failure is open to question. Instead, Buchanan's role in the Dred Scott decision, his policy on Kansas statehood and his management of the secession controversy show a philosophically coherent vision based in the Burkean virtue of "prudence" with roots stretching back decades into his congressional career.