U.S. President James Buchanan was the only president who was a lifelong bachelor. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives but also served as minister to Russia under Jackson and secretary of state under Polk. He turned down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court. James Buchanan, a Democrat, won the presidency in a three-way race with John Fremont and Millard Fillmore. As a northerner with Southern sympathies, he was called a “doughface.” He viewed secession as illegal, although he felt going to war to prevent it was also illegal. Historians consider his failure to deal with secession the worst presidential mistake ever made.
There are three separate branches of government in the United States; the legislative, executive and the judicial. The president is the head of the executive branch, the elected head of state and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. The executive branch is responsible for executing and enforcing federal law, appointing heads of all executive agencies and federal commissions. The president is responsible for promoting diplomacy with other nations, issuing executive orders, signing pardons and international treaties. When legislation is passed in Congress, the president has the power to sign or veto bills. The Constitution states that the president must be a natural born citizen of the U.S., at least 35 years old, and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Elections are held every four years and the president is limited to two, four-year terms.
The James Buchanan biographical history mug is part of our Presidential series. The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
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