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President James Buchanan, Secession

How President Buchanan Deepened Divisions Over Slavery Before the Civil War

When James Buchanan gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1857, he was remarkably optimistic that the United States’ debate over slavery was about to end. Knowing that the Supreme Court would soon rule against Dred Scott—a man who’d escaped enslavement in the south only to be more

Swiss mountain troops, circa 1940.

How the Neutral Countries in World War II Weren't So Neutral

Two days after Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany, and World War II erupted. Dozens of countries, still recovering from the horrors of World War I, tried to remain neutral to avoid invasion and more bloodshed. But a declaration more

Teddy Roosevelt and the Battle of San Juan Hill, Spanish American War

The Buffalo Soldiers at San Juan Hill: What Really Happened?

It remains one of the most mythologized images of the Spanish-American war: Theodore Roosevelt charging on horseback, leading his Rough Rider volunteers up Cuba’s San Juan Hill through the smoke and chaos of battle to claim decisive victory. Carefully crafted by Roosevelt more