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Nineteenth American presidential election of 1860

1860 election map

AndyHogan14, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Date

The 1860 election took place on November 6, 1860.

Candidates

  • Republican party
  • Democratic party (also known as the Northern Democratic Party in this election)
  • Southern Democratic party
  • Constitutional Union party
  • Final tickets

    Abraham Lincoln (P) & Hannibal Hamlin (VP)

    An image of the Republican party ticket showing Abraham Lincoln for president and Hannibal Hamlin for vice president.

    Stephen Douglas (P) & Herschel Johnson (VP)

    An image of the Democratic party ticket showing Stephen Douglas for president and Herschel Johnson for vice president.

    John C. Breckinridge (P) & Joseph Lane (VP)

    An image of the Southern Democratic party ticket showing John Breckinridge for president and Joseph Lane for vice president.

    John Bell (P) & Edward Everett (VP)

    An image of the Constitutional Union party ticket showing John Bell for president and Edward Everett for vice president.

    Campaining & major issues

    This was arguably the most important election in American history. By 1860, the country was divided to the point it barely even felt like a country. James Buchanan, the sitting president, was the most unpopular president up to that point, and arguably, ever. The country was falling apart, and so was the Democratic party. In this election, the Southern (racist) Democrats split off from the party to create the Southern Democratic party. What remained of the regular Democratic party became the Northern Democratic party, with the moderates. The Know-Nothing party had folded and members had either joined the Northern Democrats or the Republicans. The Constitutional Union party, of course, was the party that wanted to avoid slavery and kicked it to the curb. So in a nutshell, the Republicans were the anti-slavery party, the Northern Democrats the compromisers, the Southern Democrats the pro-slavery party and the Constitutional Union the "Let's forget about it" party. A little-known dude by the name of Abraham Lincoln had gotten the nomination for the Republicans, but the party had gained momentum to the point where the pro-slavery southerners knew it as well. The southerners even proclaimed that if Lincoln was to become president, they were seceding from the country and creating their own. In ten southern states, he wasn't even on the ballot.

    Electoral college & turn-out

    The electoral college increased to 303 electors; 152 needed to win. 4,685,561 people voted in this election, or 81.2%. This was the highest turn-out up to that point, and the second highest turn-out percentage in American history next only to the 1876 election.

    Results

    180/303 electoral votes

    39.82% of the popular vote

    72/303 electoral votes

    18.10% of the popular vote

    39/303 electoral votes

    12.61% of the popular vote

    12/303 electoral votes

    29.46% of the popular vote

    Other attributions

    Attributions are shown in order of where the image is displayed on the page. The election map is not included here.

    Popular Graphic Arts, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    Miscellaneous Items in High Demand, PPOC, Library of Congress, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    Cornell University Library, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

    No attribution available, from Wikimedia Commons


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