Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Thoughts on the Presidency of Millard Fillmore

After Zachary Taylor's death, Millard Fillmore becomes our 13th President. 

Fillmore didn't do too much of notice domestically. His biggest issue was trying to handle the slavery issue. Frankly his actions were probably like putting duct tape on something broken. It solved the problem for the moment, but it would eventually come apart. 

But to give respect, Fillmore did some more notable stuff in his foreign policy. One of his roles helped open Japan up to foreign trade. After a whole bunch of drama in the land of the rising sun like the Boshin war, Japan finally woke up and became more Western. A move that worked out more for their sake than us Americans. 

He did protect the Hawaiian Islands from annexation by the French ruler Napoleon III. A very wise move. 

He did fumble a bit when it came to Cuba. Southerners wanted it as another slave state, and after a failed invasion made Fillmore give an apology to the Spanish. 

One of the last things of importance was the arrival of Lajos Kossuth. He was a man who was exiled from Hungary and one of the first promoters of democracy there. He urged that America should intervene with Europe, and stop staying netural. He had the support of most German-American immigrants, and they probably cost Fillmore the Whig nomination since their numbers were too large to ignore. 

Was Fillmore a bad president? Eh, I'm a little iffy on that one. I'll give him a little slack for being stuck in a shitty political time. I admire some of the things he did, but I really can't rank him more than decent. 

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