The election of 1860 was among the many pivotal presidential poll in American It pitted Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln against Democratic Party nominee senator Stephen Douglas, Southern democratic Party nominee man Breckinridge and Constitutional Union Party nominee john Bell. The main worry of the choice was slavery and also states’ rights. Lincoln emerged victorious and also became the 16th president of the unified States during a national situation that would certainly tear states and families apart and test Lincoln’s leadership and also resolve: The polite War.

Lincoln’s political

Abraham Lincoln’s political ambitions started in 1832 when he was just 23 years old and also ran for the Illinois home of Representatives. When he shed that election, two years later, he was elected to the state legislature together a member that the Whig party, wherein he publicly announced his disdain for slavery.

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In 1847, Lincoln was elected to the U.S. House of to represent where, on January 10, 1849, he introduced a invoice to abolish slavery in the district 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 as a Republican against Illinois Democrat Stephen A. Douglas. He lost the election but gained importance for himself and also the newly developed Republican Party.

1860 Republican national Convention

The Republican Party held its 2nd national convention on might 16, 1860, in Chicago, Illinois. It embraced a moderate stance on slavery and also was versus its expansion, although part delegates want the school abolished altogether.

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

Democrats split Over enslavement

The autonomous Party was in shambles in 1860. Lock should have been the party the unity, however instead were divided on the problem of slavery. Southern Democrats thought slavery have to be expanded however Northern Democrats opposed the idea.

States’ rights were also hotly debated. Southern Democrats feel states had the appropriate to govern themselves while northern Democrats supported the Union and a nationwide government.

With together confusion amongst the ranks, it was unclear just how the autonomous Party would ever before nominate a candidate because that the 1860 election. Yet on April 23, 1860, castle met in Charleston, southern Carolina come decide their platform and also identify a nominee.

Stephen Douglas was the frontrunner, but Southern Democrats refused to support him because he wouldn’t adopt a pro-slavery platform. Plenty of walked out in protest, leave the staying delates there is no the bulk needed to nominate Douglas; the convention finished without a nominee.

The democrats met again two months later on in Baltimore. As soon as again, numerous Southern delegates left in disgust, however enough remained to nominate Douglas together their presidential nominee and his to run mate, former Georgia branch Herschel Johnson.

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

Constitutional Union Party

The constitution Union Party to be mainly consisted of of disgruntled Democrats, Unionists and former Whigs. On may 9, 1860, they hosted their very first convention and also nominated Tennessee slaveholder john Bell together their presidential nominee and also former Harvard college President Edward Everett together his to run mate.

The constitution Union party claimed to be the party the law. They take it no main position on enslavement or states’ rights, however promised to defend the Constitution and also the Union.

Still, Bell wanted to market a damage on the subject of slavery by expanding the Missouri compromise line throughout the joined States and also make enslavement legal in new states to the south of the line and illegal in brand-new states phibìc of the line. They hope to guide voters who were upset through the divisiveness that the autonomous Party.

1860 Presidential project

None of the 1860 presidential candidates did almost everywhere near the level of campaigning seen in modern-day elections. In fact, other than for Douglas, they mostly kept come themselves and also let renowned party members and citizens project for them in ~ rallies and parades. Lot of the campaigning, however, was dedicated to obtaining voters come the ballot box on choice Day.

Lincoln’s political experience and also speeches spoke for themselves, yet one the his main campaign goals was to keep the Republican party unified. That didn’t desire his party to reveal any of the discord of the Democrats and also hoped to division the democratic votes.

Douglas campaigned in the North and South to hopefully comprise for the split voter base in the South, and gave a collection of project speeches in favor of the Union.

1860 election Results: The south Reacts

On November 6, 1860, voters saw the ballot crate to actors their poll for chairman of the unified States. Lincoln won the choice in one electoral university landslide through 180 electoral votes, although he secured less than 40 percent the the popular vote.

The North had actually many an ext people 보다 the South and also therefore control of the Electoral College. Lincoln dominated the northern states however didn’t bring a single Southern state.

Douglas got some north support—12 electoral votes—but not nearly enough to offer a serious an obstacle to Lincoln. The southern vote to be split in between Breckenridge who won 72 electoral votes and also Bell that won 39 electoral votes. The separation prevented either candidate indigenous gaining sufficient votes to victory the election.

The election of 1860 firmly created the Democratic and Republican parties together the majority parties in the unified States. It likewise confirmed deep-seated see on slavery and states’ rights between the North and also South.

Before Lincoln’s inauguration, eleven southern states had actually seceded native the Union. Weeks after his swearing-in, the Confederate army fired on fort Sumter and also started the civil 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 but the Union.” national Park Service. U.S. Room of the Interior.Constitutional Union Party. Texas State historical Association.Pre-Presidential career 1830-1860. National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior.Southern democratic Party. Ohio Central.United states Presidential choice of 1860. Encyclopedia Virginia.