Buchanan & The Mysticism of the Law

Buchanan & The Mysticism of the Law


On Thursday, November 4, Alvernia University’s Dr. Tim Blessing will join LancasterHistory virtually to discuss 15th US President James Buchanan’s relationship with the rule of law.

Photo of Dr. Tim Blessing.
Tim Blessing, Ph.D.

James Buchanan was a states’ rights politician who advocated the strict constructionist position that “Congress [had] no power… to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several states.” As a presidential candidate in 1856, he promoted the Democratic Party’s platform of “popular sovereignty,” meaning that the individual states—and by extension, the territories—had the right to determine the state of their “domestic institutions,” such as the institution of slavery, without federal interference. …But did Buchanan always follow the rule of law? Or did he adhere to it only when it favored his political agenda?

Tim Blessing, Ph.D. is a Professor of History and Political Science at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Tim received his MPA, MA, and Ph.D. at Penn State. Tim’s specialties in history include the American Presidency, the early American Republic, leadership in popular culture and political history. He has several publications and presentations that include: “The Presidential Performance Study: A Progress Report,” co-authored with Robert K. Murray for the Journal of American History; “Robert W. Fogel and the Illusion of Empiricism,” for the Pennsylvania Journal of Economics; and “Three Swings and Ten Dynasties: The Temporal-Historical Aspects of Presidential Performance” for The Presidential Studies Quarterly.


This event will take place online via Zoom on November 4, 2021 at 7pm Eastern. This is NOT an in-person event.

The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration. Register online by clicking “Get Tickets” below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Your link to the Zoom event will be emailed to you upon successful registration. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, we highly recommend reading our Virtual Event Guide & FAQ in advance the of the event. Registration closes online on November 4 at 6:50pm ET.

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Online/Virtual Event Lecture

November 4, 2021 Online via Zoom 7pm Eastern FREE | Registration Required