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Twenty-first American presidential election of 1868

1868 election map

AndyHogan14, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Date

The 1868 election took place on Tuesday. November 3, 1868.

Candidates

Final tickets

Image of Republican ticket showing Ulysses S. Grant for president & Schuyler Colfax for vice president

An image showing Ulysses Grant for president and Schuyler Colfax for vice president. Though the National Union slogan appears here, most Republicans dropped it by this election.

Image of Democratic ticket showing Horatio Seymour for president & Francis Preston Blair Junior for vice president

An image showing Horatio Seymour for president and Francis Preston Bliar Jr. for vice president.

Campaining & major issues

Remember how in 1864, how President Lincoln was able to be re-elected and the Civil War was still happening? Well, just over a month after Lincoln's second inauguration, two big things happened. First, The Confederates basically completely surrendered. The war technically didn't end until May 1865, but it was basically over by mid-April when forces surrendered in the South, the biggest being the surrender of Robert E. Lee's forces to Ulysses Grant's forces (wait, he sounds familiar!) The second thing that happened, was more tragic, however. Lincoln was assassinated in Ford's theatre and died the next morning on April 15, 1865. So Andrew Johnson, his vice president, took over. By 1868, Johnson was not so popular. He had been the first president to be impeached, and was acquitted from being removed from office by one vote. Yeah. One vote. (And y'all thought Donald Trump was bad?!) Anyways, most of the heat came from the Radical Republicans in Congress who believed in severely punishing the South and giving rights to African-Americans. Johnson, as a Pro-War Democrat, did not agree. His whole presidency was basically just Congress overwhelmingly supporting a bill, Johnson would veto it, and Congress would immediately overrule it (Like, within a day.) Schuyler Colfax, Grant's running mate, was one of those Radical Republicans, by the way. Horatio Seymour was interesting (Just look at his facial hair!) But seriously, this guy did not want to be president at all. He passionately said no, but the Democrats couldn't find anyone, and Seymour was popular. Now, you may think that with all of this, this election is a super important one in America's history. However, Andrew Johnson's actions would still promptly delay Civil Rights for around a century.

Electoral college & turn-out

As seen on the electoral map, some states still hadn't officially rejoined the Union. Therefore, the electoral college only went back up to 294 electors; 148 needed to win. 5,722,440 people voted in this election.

Results

Other attributions

Attributions are listed in order of when elements appear on the page.

McClean, Alexander.; Balmer & Weber., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Cornell University Library, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons


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