The choice of 1860 was among the most pivotal presidential vote in American That pitted Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln versus Democratic Party nominee senator Stephen Douglas, Southern autonomous Party nominee john Breckinridge and Constitutional Union Party nominee man Bell. The main concern of the choice was slavery and states’ rights. Lincoln emerged victorious and also became the 16th chairman of the unified States throughout a national situation that would certainly tear states and also families apart and also test Lincoln’s leadership and also resolve: The polite War.

Lincoln’s politics

Abraham Lincoln’s politics ambitions began in 1832 as soon as he was simply 23 years old and ran for the Illinois house of Representatives. When he lost that election, 2 years later, the was chosen to the state legislature as a member that the Whig party, wherein he publicly announced his disdain because that slavery.

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In 1847, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. Residence of representatives where, ~ above January 10, 1849, he introduced a bill to abolish enslavement in the ar of Columbia. The bill didn’t pass, yet it opened the door for later on anti-slavery legislation.  

In 1858, Lincoln ran for the Senate, this time together a Republican versus Illinois Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. He shed the election however gained prominence for himself and also the newly created Republican Party.

1860 Republican national Convention

The Republican Party held its second national convention on may 16, 1860, in Chicago, Illinois. It embraced a moderate stance on slavery and was against its expansion, although some delegates want the school abolished altogether.

The 2 frontrunners because that the Republican presidential nomination to be Lincoln and brand-new York Senator william Seward. After three votes, Lincoln was nominated through Hannibal Hamlin together his running mate.

Democrats break-up Over enslavement

The democratic Party was in shambles in 1860. Castle should have actually been the party that unity, however instead were separated on the problem of slavery. Southern Democrats thought slavery need to be expanded but Northern Democrats opposed the idea.

States’ legal rights were additionally hotly debated. Southern Democrats feel states had actually the ideal to govern themselves while north Democrats sustained the Union and a national government.

With such confusion among the ranks, it was unclear exactly how the democratic Party would ever nominate a candidate for the 1860 election. But on April 23, 1860, castle met in Charleston, south Carolina come decide their platform and also identify a nominee.

Stephen Douglas to be the frontrunner, however Southern Democrats refuse to support him due to the fact that he wouldn’t adopt a pro-slavery platform. Numerous walked out in protest, leave the continuing to be delates without the majority needed to nominate Douglas; the convention ended without a nominee.

The democrats met again 2 months later on in Baltimore. When again, countless Southern delegates left in disgust, yet enough continued to be to nominate Douglas together their presidential nominee and his to run mate, previous Georgia governor Herschel Johnson.

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Southern democrats nominated john Breckinridge, a support of slavery and also states’ rights, to represent them in the election. Oregon councilor Joseph roadway was his to run mate.

Constitutional Union Party

The constitution Union Party to be mainly made up of disgruntled Democrats, Unionists and also former Whigs. On might 9, 1860, they hosted their an initial convention and also nominated Tennessee slaveholder john Bell as their presidential nominee and also former Harvard college President Edward Everett as his to run mate.

The constitution Union party claimed to be the party of law. They took no official position on slavery or states’ rights, but promised to safeguard the Constitution and also the Union.

Still, Bell want to offer a deteriorate on the subject of enslavement by extending the Missouri compromise line across the joined States and make enslavement legal in new states come the south of the line and also illegal in brand-new states phibìc of the line. They hope to guide voters that were upset v the divisiveness of the democratic Party.

1860 Presidential project

None the the 1860 presidential candidates did all over near the level of marketing seen in modern-day elections. In fact, other than for Douglas, they mainly kept to themselves and let well-known party members and also citizens campaign for them in ~ rallies and parades. Lot of the campaigning, however, was devoted to getting voters come the ballot box on choice Day.

Lincoln’s politics experience and also speeches spoke because that themselves, yet one that his main project goals to be to save the Republican party unified. The didn’t desire his party to reveal any of the discord of the Democrats and also hoped to divide the autonomous votes.

Douglas campaigned in the North and also South come hopefully comprise for the divided voter basic in the South, and also gave a series of campaign speeches in donate of the Union.

1860 election Results: The south Reacts

On November 6, 1860, voters saw the ballot box to actors their poll for chairman of the unified States. Lincoln winner the election in an electoral college landslide with 180 electoral votes, although he secured much less than 40 percent the the famous vote.

The North had many an ext people than the South and also therefore regulate of the Electoral College. Lincoln overcame the north states but didn’t carry a solitary Southern state.

Douglas got some north support—12 electoral votes—but not virtually enough to market a serious difficulty to Lincoln. The southern vote to be split between Breckenridge who won 72 electoral votes and Bell who won 39 electoral votes. The break-up prevented one of two people candidate from gaining enough votes to success the election.

The choice of 1860 firmly established the Democratic and also Republican parties as the bulk parties in the unified States. It additionally confirmed deep-seated views on slavery and also states’ rights between the North and also South.

Before Lincoln’s inauguration, eleven southern states had seceded indigenous the Union. Weeks ~ his swearing-in, the Confederate army fired on ft Sumter and started the polite War.


1860 Presidential general Election Results. David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.

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Abraham Lincoln. Union Party. “No North, No South, No East, No West, Nothing yet the Union.” national Park Service. U.S. Room of the Interior.Constitutional Union Party. Texas State historic Association.Pre-Presidential career 1830-1860. Nationwide Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior.Southern democratic Party. Ohio Central.United claims Presidential choice of 1860. Encyclopedia Virginia.