In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States of America, the repercussions of which led to civil war. However it was not only Lincoln's election that led to civil war but also the slavery debate between the northern and southern states and the state of the economy in the United States. Together with the election of Lincoln these caused a split, both politically and ideologically, between the North and South states which manifested into what is now refereed to as the American Civil War.
When Lincoln won the 1860 election it was not by a majority vote. As stated by the historian Neville he in fact won less than 40 percent of popular votes. However because the American election system is based on the college votes system (where each state is worth a certain number of points and if a candidate wins the majority of votes in that state he wins all the points for that state, regardless of how much he wins by.
To win the entire election a candidate must win the most amount of points) he was able to win the election with a minority of votes. Lincoln won all the states in the north and in the west which, because of their high population, were worth the most points.
This election caused the civil war because of what the southern states, the Confederate, perceived Lincoln to be. He was thought to be an abolitionist, meaning a person who wishes to abolish slavery completely. In fact Lincoln only wished to stop the spread of slavery, not to abolish it completely. He had no intention of changing the established social order in the south.
Historian J. J. Cosgrove sees Lincoln's election as the straw that broke the camel's back. He claims in his book,