James Buchanan was the 15th president of the United States. He served from 1857 to 1861, during the build-up to the Civil War.
Offices before president
He was elected five times to the House of Representatives; then, after an interlude as Minister to Russia, served for a decade in the Senate. He became Polk's Secretary of State and Pierce's Minister to Great Britain. Service abroad helped to bring him the Democratic nomination in 1856 because it had exempted him from involvement in bitter domestic controversies.
The reason people hate him
Buchanan was in the middle of the fight for or against slavery and quite frankly didn't know what to do. When he said slavery was "happily, a matter of but little practical importance" he said it because two days later the matter would be decided upon by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, he doesn't know that the decision will be that Congress had no constitutional power to deprive persons of their property rights in slaves in the territories, but in the end he didn't contribute to prev