James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th American President and served immediately before the American Civil War. He is, to date, the only president from Pennsylvania and the only president to remain a lifelong bachelor. When he left office, his popularity had suffered, and the Democratic Party had split. Early Years James Buchanan was born on April 23, 1791, in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania, to James Buchanan Sr., a merchant who had emigrated from Ireland, and Elizabeth Speer Buchanan. The young Buchanan graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and then studied law. Following his acceptance to the bar in 1812, he opened a successful legal practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As a member of the Federalist Party, Buchanan began his political career by serving in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1814 to 1816. In 1820, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he remained for the next decade. In Congress, Buchanan aligned himself ...

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Members of the Republican party, buoyed by a federal judge's action, have said that they intend to renew their attack on the immigration bill proposed by President Barack Obama. The conservatives are looking to tackle the immigration plans next week despite knowing that doing so would substantially increase the risk of a partial Department of Homeland Security shutdown on February 27. According to Reuters, a temporary court order on Monday blocking Obama's executive actions lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants has bolstered conservative support for a House of Representatives-passed Homeland Security spending bill that bans spending on Obama's actions. The court ruling "gives momentum to our position," said Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican to Reuters, who heads a group of about 35 hard line conservatives known as the House Freedom Caucus. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have pledged not to deviate from their demands which have seen Senate ...

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Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. Being a well-spoken intellectual, his priority was a united nation. However, his unsuccessful attempts to stem the partisan conflict, and the fact that, as a Northern Democrat, he signed the Kansas–Nebraska Act, set the stage for the Southern secession. Those choices have made him widely regarded as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Early Life Born November 23, 1804, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce was the son of Benjamin Pierce, a hero of the American Revolution who was twice elected governor of New Hampshire. The young Pierce graduated from Bowdoin College in 1824 and began studying law; he was admitted to the bar in 1827. At the age of 24, he won election to the New Hampshire state legislature, and became the speaker after two years. As a member of the Democratic Party and a steadfast supporter of Andrew Jackson, Pierce ...

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In his rise from a log cabin to wealth and the White House, Millard Fillmore demonstrated that by using methodical industry and some competence an uninspiring man could serve in the highest and most prestigious office in the country, President of the United States. Humble beginnings Born in the Finger Lakes country of New York in 1800, the young Millard Fillmore endured the struggles of the frontier lifestyle. He worked on his father's farm, and at 15 was apprenticed to a cloth dresser. He attended one-room schools, and fell in love with the redheaded teacher, Abigail Powers, who later became his wife. In 1823, he was admitted to the bar; seven years later he moved his law practice to Buffalo. As an associate of Thurlow Weed, a Whig, Fillmore held state office and for eight years was a member of the House of Representatives. In 1848, while Comptroller of New York, he was elected ...

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Obamacare has faced stiff opposition and has had its fair share of teething problems but it appears that people are making up their own minds about the service with millions now signed up for Obamacare. The White House announced through a twitter message that the private health insurance scheme known as Obamacare has seen some 11.4 million Americans sign up for the service, demonstrating that affordable care does seem to be something of interest to the American public. In a video linked to the tweet from the White House, President Obama said: "The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is working. It's working better than we anticipated, certainly working a lot better than many of the critics talked about early on.” According to a report by Reuters, administration officials have said they expected 9.1 million people to be enrolled in coverage and up to date on insurance payments by the end of the year. ...

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President Barack Obama is facing another hurdle in his bed to radically change the immigration rules in the United States with a federal judge blocking plans. According to a report by Reuters the federal judge from Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. Reuters explained that ruling in favour of some two dozen U.S. states opposed to the administration's plan, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, said in a decision posted on the Los Angeles Times website that the administration had failed to comply with procedure. President Obama announced in November his controversial plans to help immigrants who are living in the United States illegally to gain legal status.  This would effectively mean that around 4.7 million illegal immigrants would be lifted from the threat of deportation.  While for many the proposals are positive, for the majority of Republicans the plans were seen as totally ...

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The White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough has urged Congress to follow the President’s line on Islamic State and to not authorise any military action against the terrorist group. According to a report by Reuters the Republican-led Congress should not sidestep the president's request to formally authorise military action against Islamic State forces, saying lawmakers must not "take a pass". President Barack Obama has previously ordered the U.S. military to carry out a series of air strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria since last summer but has done so without explicit authorisation from Congress. President Obama is looking to have a clear policy on Islamic State and has already sent a formal request to Congress but the Republican led Congress is looking to impose stronger measures on the terrorist group. This is at odds with members of the Democrats who are nervous about increasing military actions as they fear it could potentially lead to another war ...

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US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has said that the reason she was pictured nodding off during the State of the Union address by president Obama was due to her drinking wine before. During an event with fellow Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said of the incident: "I wasn't 100% sober.” She said she "couldn't resist the fine wine" at the dinner which traditionally brings together some of the court's justices before the speech which is watched around the world. Justice Ginsburg is the oldest serving judge on the Supreme Court at the age of 81. According to the BBC Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked about the incident by the moderator at an event at George Washington University. Justice Ginsburg was repeatedly pictured slumbering in her chair as President Barack Obama addressed the joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives on 20 January, scenes of which have caused a ...

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Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. From War Hero to President Zachary Taylor earned the nickname “Old Rough and Ready” for his willingness to fight alongside his men while he was serving as a military commander. He led his men across the Rio Grande into Mexico, capturing the heavily fortified stronghold of Monterrey. Taylor then granted the Mexicans an eight-week armistice against the wishes of President Polk, who was conscious of the general’s growing political clout within his opposition, the Whig Party. Polk canceled the peace agreement and ordered Taylor to remain in northern Mexico while he transferred the best of Taylor’s troops to the army of General Winfield Scott. In February 1847, Taylor disobeyed these orders and marched his troops south to Buena Vista, using his artillery to defeat a Mexican ...

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Often referred to as the first "dark horse" American President, James K. Polk was the last of the Jacksonians to sit in the White House, and the last strong President until the Civil War. Early Life He was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1795. Studious and industrious, James Polk graduated with honors in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a young lawyer he entered politics, served in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson. Pathway to the White House In the House of Representatives, James Polk was a chief lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee. Until circumstances raised Polk's ambitions, he was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination for Vice President in 1844. Both Martin Van Buren, who had been expected to win the Democratic nomination for President, and Henry Clay, who was ...

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