Chapter 6 considers the presidential election of 1848, the Compromise of 1850, and the election of 1852. During these years the friendship of Buchanan and King first intensified, then cooled, as each man took a separate path to political power. In 1852 the Democratic Party refused to place Buchanan and King on the same ticket, because the pair had become too closely associated together to balance its growing sectional and ideological divisions. Instead, the Democracy chose the dark horse Franklin Pierce for president and then selected King as his running mate to pacify Buchanan and his supporters. King’s precipitous decline in health, followed by his death in April 1853, ended the decades-long political and personal friendship with Buchanan. In response, Buchanan prepared for another round of exile abroad, this time as American minister to England.
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