Key Players in the Paraguayan Debate, 1858

Jacob Collamer, the Vermont senator who was the upper chamber's most intellectually accomplished anti-imperialist.
New Hampshire's John Hale. Now a Republican, Hale was always ready with choice quotes attacking an expansionist foreign policy.
Stephen Mallory, a Florida Democrat and the wild card in the Paraguay debate: he opposed the administration for personal, financial reasons.
Jefferson Davis. The future president of the Confederacy was a Mississippi senator in the 1850s. He battled with Illinois's Stephen Douglas for the position of the Senate's most aggressive expansionist.
President James Buchanan, the man whose audacious agenda of obtaining advanced congressional approval for his adventures in imperialism launched the tumultuous debates of the 1850s.