Franklin pierce

Pierce's Presidency

  • Gadsden Purchase

    Gadsden Purchase
    As the US expanded West, the need for a transcontinental railroad became evident. In 1853, Pierce authorized bought a 29,670 mile strip of land in present day Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico for $10 million. This purchase, referred to as the Gadsden Purchase, was meant as a potential route for the new railroad, but it only served to increase sectional rivalries.
  • Ostend Manifesto

    In 1854, Pierce began trying to diplomatically purchase Cuba from Spain (the beginnings of Imperialism?), but Spain was not willing to co-operate. Eventually, envoys in Belgium sent a private document to the president making a case for the seizure of Cuba by force.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    In January of 1854, the territory of Kansas was proposed. However, debate raged over the status of slavery in the area, and the territory was eventually split into two by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Act also required the territories to use popular sovereignty to determine slave status, repealed the Missouri Compromise, and eventually led to "Bleeding Kansas."
  • Caning of Charles Sumner

    Caning of Charles Sumner
    On May 20th, Charles Sumner gave a speech entitled "The Crime Against Kansas". In his speech, he called for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law and personally insulted Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina. Two days later, Butler's nephew Preston Brooks used his own cane to savagely beat Sumner to a bloody pulp. It took Sumner 4 years to recover, during which time he became a martyr for the cause of abolition.
  • Pottawatomie Massacre

    Pottawatomie Massacre
    In May of 1856, the fervent abolitionist John Brown and 6 of his followers (4 of which were his sons) murdered 5 pro-slavery settlers in Kansas in the dark of night. The massacre only served to increase sectional strife in the area.