The Times (UK) US presidential rankings - the 10 worst to have held office

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42-33: a panel of experts from The Times has ranked every one of the Commanders-in-Chief - and here are the very worst:

42. James Buchanan

1857-61 (Democratic)

A poll of American historians recently selected Buchanan’s failure to prevent the American Civil War as the greatest single mistake made by any president and our panel agree that he was the worst ever President.

Despite being a northern man, Buchanan had strongly southern principles and he struggled to maintain the fragile peace as the southern states agitated for more freedom.He denied the legal right of states to secede from the Union but at the same time he insisted that the federal government was not legally able to prevent them.

By the time he left the White House his Democratic Party had split in two, seven slave states had rebelled and formed the Confederacy and the country was embroiled in the American Civil War....

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