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States’ Rights and Agendas – Map 1 of 5

Our National Bird as it Appeared When Handed to James Buchanan, March 4, 1857: The Identical Bird as it Appeared, A.D. 1861. (New York: Thomas W. Strong, 1861).
Our National Bird as it Appeared When Handed to James Buchanan, March 4, 1857: The Identical Bird as it Appeared, A.D. 1861. (New York: Thomas W. Strong, 1861).
The iconic national bird, representing the Union, is strong and healthy at the beginning of Democrat James Buchanan’s administration, but by the time Republican Abraham Lincoln assumed the Presidency, it is gaunt and emaciated reflecting the secession of 11 southern states from the Union. This political cartoon highlights the rising tensions over states’ rights during the antebellum period and the ultimate dissolution of the Union in 1861. The fact that Buchanan’s administration was riddled with corruption and charges of bribery and graft, only worsened the toll that years fighting over slavery and states’ rights had taken on the nation’s vitality.

 

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