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S. ships and helped set Japan on its way to modern industrialization. Like the other presidents between Jackson and Lincoln, Fillmore could not win a second term. He lost the backing of Whigs in the North with his support of the Compromise of 1850—especially the provision called the Fugitive Slave Act, which required the federal government to help capture and return runaway slaves to their owners. In retrospect it has been realized that his goal in accepting the compromise was much the same as Lincoln’s a decade later.
Time and again angry crowds burned him in effigy, even within sight of the White House. Nevertheless, he managed to accomplish a great deal. He led Congress to reorganize the Navy, to establish the nucleus of the present Naval Observatory, and to promote a national telegraph system, which became the heart of the Weather Bureau. His leadership helped to end the costly Seminole Indian wars. His mediation led to the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which established the boundary of Maine and Canada. His calm judgment ended Dorr’s Rebellion against the state government of Rhode Island.
South Carolina also threatened to secede from the Union if the federal government tried to enforce the tariff in the state. At the end of 1832, disgruntled with Jackson’s policies, Calhoun resigned as vice president. Van Buren replaced him. The situation grew dire as Jackson threatened to send troops to South Carolina to collect the tariff. The crisis was averted in 1833 when Congress passed two compromise bills. The first bill reduced the tariff; the second, named the Force Bill, authorized the president to use the military to enforce federal laws.