Lessons on American Presidents.
Ready-To-Print Handouts, MP3 & Online Quizzes - Franklin Pierce

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Franklin Pierce was born in New Hampshire in 1804. He was the 14th President of the United States. Pierce Bowdoin College. After graduation he studied law and then politics. At the age of 24 he was to the New Hampshire legislature; two years later he became its . During the 1830's he went to Washington, as a Representative, then as a Senator.

He decided to volunteer to in the Mexican-American War and rose to the rank of colonel. He rose through the and became a brigadier, taking command of his own brigade. During the Battle of Contreras he was wounded in the leg when he fell off his horse. Despite the , he returned to battle the next day. He proved his as a military commander by going on to capture Mexico City.

After the Mexican War Pierce for the 1852 Presidential nomination. He won with a margin of the popular vote. In his Inaugural speech he proclaimed an era of and prosperity at home and a more forceful foreign policy. This included trying to persuade Spain to Cuba. He also purchased the area now comprising southern Arizona and part of New Mexico for $10,000,000.

Pierce the delicate north-south balance in 1854 when he the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This reopened the of slavery in the West as it allowed residents of the new territories to decide the slavery question for themselves. The result was a by southerners and northerners into Kansas. Shooting out, and "bleeding Kansas" became a prelude to the Civil War. Pierce died in 1869.

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