Millard Fillmore: The Limits of Compromise


Thomas J. Rowland
Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, WI, USA

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: BIO011000

Arguably our most obscure president, and generally judged mediocre at best, Millard Fillmore came to the presidency in July 1850 when his predecessor, Zachary Taylor, unexpectedly died. Despite his relative anonymity, Fillmore was thrust into the nation’s greatest historical argument – the great debate concerning the future of slavery in the republic.

With considerable political aplomb, he helped guide the passage of the measures collectively known as the Compromise of 1850, including the sensitive and controversial Fugitive Slave Act. Rather than resolve the agitation, these measures gave way to a decade of rancorous conflict which brought about the Civil War. This interpretive study seeks to understand why this president remained anchored to a past that was no longer effective in his own time. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. Character: The Formative Years in the Empire State

Chapter 2. On to the National Stage

Chapter 3. Toward the Threshold of Greatness

Chapter 4. Returning to Washington

Chapter 5. Hail to the Chief

Chapter 6. President Millard Fillmore

Chapter 7. Foreign Affairs: Manifest Destiny Restrained

Chapter 8. Domestic Affairs and Closing Out a Presidency

Chapter 9. Post Presidential Career

Selected Bibliography


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