James Buchanan (Boyer, 2008)

Paul S. Boyer, et al., eds., The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008), 412.
Yet Buchanan had compelling reasons to accept the Lecompton constitution as the basis for the admission of Kansas as a sate. The South, which had provided him with 112 of his 174 electoral votes in 1856, supported the constitution. Buchanan knew, moreover, that only about two hundred slaves resided in Kansas, and he believed that the prospects for slavery in the remaining territories were slight. The contention over slavery in Kansas struck him as another example of how extremists could turn minor issues into major ones. To accept the constitution and speed the admission of Kansas as either a free state or a slave state seemed the best way to pull the rug from beneath the extremists and quiet the ruckus in Kansas. Accordingly, in December 1857 Buchanan endorse the Lecompton constitution.
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