Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)

Franklin Pierce, born as a governor’s son in the state of New Hampshire, studied law at the University in Northhampton, Massachusetts, and became an official lawer in 1827.

His political career he started by joining the Democratic Party in New Hampshire. He later was a member of the House of Representatives and the US Senate. All of his political support was directed at the President of that time, Andrew Jackson aka Old Hickory, which gave him the nickname “Young Hickory”. Pierce was overshadowed by other, more acknowledged politicians and decided to quit his political engagement and go back to his law career.

Pierce entirely stopped being a public figure until he was nominated for the presidential elections in 1852. Main issues at that time being the problem of slavery and the Whig Party presenting themselves as a rather harsh and aggressive Party, Pierce won the election and surprisingly became the 14thPresident of the United States. A down quickly followed this up when Pierce and his wife Jane had to witness their only son’s tragic death as he died from a railroad accident.

In both foreign and domestic affairs Pierces didn’t rarely create popular outrages, when he for example tried to pressure Great Britain into disclaiming their territories in Central America or convince Spain to sell Cuba. In 1854, Pierce signed the Kansas- Nebraska- Act in which the Missouri-Compromise was taken back and brought back up the topic of slavery in the West of the US. The Act lead to a bloody fight between followers and opponents of slavery as has been known ever since as “Bleeding Kansas”.

At the end of his presidency, the Democrats refused to nominate Pierce one more time as the presidential candidate and nominated the less controversial James Buchanan instead.

Being only 47 years old made Franklin Pierce the youngest President the United States had had up to that point.

"The dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded." (Franklin Pierce)