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Presidential Election of 1860 Essay

The United States Presidential Election of 1860 main issue was slavery and states’ rights. In the spring of 1860 the Democratic Party met in Charleston, South Carolina. A disagreement over the parties stand on slavery had many southern states withdraw candidates. In Baltimore of June 18-23, they met for a second time with a split vote. The North nominated Sen. Stephen Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson, and the south nominated Sen. John Breckinridge and Joseph Lane as the Democratic candidates. In Chicago May16-18 the republican convention was held. Being that the part had only form 10 years prior had already form strong views on slavery. The Republicans was opposed the spread of slavery thru the United States. Many of the party members was in favor for the abolition of slavery but didn’t want to remove it in the states that already had it. They nomination Abraham Lincoln of Illinois and Hannibal Hamlin of Maine to represent the party. A third party was also form while The Democrats was having a split decision on a candidate and the Republicans was trying to get support. The Constitutional Party wanted to preserve the Union. It ignored the slavery topic and focused on the Constitution and the Laws. They nominated John Bell, from Tennessee, as the candidate for their party. In hopes that the Border States would support them.

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Bell and Douglas thought that disunion would have the outcome of Lincoln winning the election. army officers in Virginia, Kansas and South Carolina warned Lincoln of military preparations for if he won. Secessionists supported Breckinridge with the attempts to force the anti-Republican candidates to organize their electoral votes. If they couldn’t get the votes, they would throw the election into the House of Representatives. Winfield Scott recommended to Lincoln that he assume the powers of a commander-in-chief before inauguration. Voting in the South was not uniform economically, culturally, and politically played a role. the South was had three regions, upper, middle and deep south. The Upper South would later be known as Border States; included Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri along with the Kansas territories. Popular votes were spread out between Lincoln, Douglas, and Bell. In the “Middle” South states, there was a unionist majority divided between Douglas and Bell in Virginia and Tennessee; North Carolina and Arkansas, Bell and Douglas vote move toward a majority. Texas was the only Middle South state that Breckinridge carried strongly. In three of The Deep South was made up of six states, Bell and Douglas won the divided majorities in Georgia and Louisiana; and neared it in Alabama. Breckinridge convincingly carried only three of the six states of the Deep South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi. Three Deep South states were amongst four Southern states with the lowest white populations; together, they held only nine-percent of Southern whites. Slave states with the highest voter turnouts was mostly one-sided. Texas had five percent of South’s population, voting 75 percent Breckinridge. Kentucky and Missouri voted 73 percent pro-union Bell, Douglas and Lincoln.

In evaluation, the six states of the Deep South made up one-fourth the Confederate voting population had split 57 percent for Breckinridge and 43 percent for the two pro-union candidates. The four states that were admitted to the Confederacy after Fort Sumter held almost half its population with a combined majority voted of 53 percent for the pro-union candidates. Ballots for Lincoln were cast only in Virginia, where he received 1.15 percent of the total votes. Lincoln votes were cast in border counties, what would soon become West Virginia, accounted for 1,832 of Lincoln’s 1,929 votes. Candidates had to print and distribute their own ballots in order to distribute valid ballots for a presidential election in a state. candidates needed citizens eligible to vote in that state who would guarantee to vote for the candidate in the Electoral College. if a voter had access to a ballot for Lincoln, casting one in favor of him in a strongly pro-slavery county would sustain social exile. ten southern slave states citizens would publicly pledge not to vote for Abraham Lincoln. Majority of Virginian publishers would not print ballots for Lincoln’s pledge. In Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware Lincoln came in fourth. In Delaware he finished in third in fifteen of the slave states. Lincoln won only two counties out of 996.

Works Cited

  1. Editors, History.com. history.com/topics/american-civil-war/election-of-1860. 1 January 2017. 21 November 2018.
  2. Levy, Michael. https://www.britannica.com/event/Untied-States-presidental-election-of1860. 29 Jun 2011.
  3. McClure, John. https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/United_States_Presidential_Election_of_1860. 28 May 2009 .
  4. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1860. n.d.

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