Election Of 1860

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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The election of 1860 was one of the most important elections in U.S. history. The reason I say this is because it was one of the closest and had a major impact on the future. If Abe Lincoln were not elected we probably wouldn't have had the Civil War for at least a couple of years. His election upset the South so much that they seceded from the Union. But on the other hand he was, in my personal opinion, the greatest president this country has ever had and it would have been very difficult for even the greatest president to keep our Union together at that point. This because it was on very shaky ground and probably would have went to war no matter who was elected.

The race for the president was close as I said before. There were four candidates. Abraham Lincoln, John Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen Douglas.

Abe Lincoln was the representative of the newly formed Republican Party. He narrowly beat William Seward, a New York senator, for the nomination of his party. He was against slavery in the territories and everywhere else but in his campaign he was only focused on it in the territories. Douglas defeated him in the 1858 election for the U.S. Senate but the debates between the two of them gave Lincoln national exposure. In this election he beat Douglas hands down. Lincoln won 180 of the 303 electoral votes. The states he carried were California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Lincoln got 1,866,352 votes or about 40% of the vote. His Vice-President was Hannibal Hamlin.

Stephen Douglas was favored coming into the election but only won one state, Missouri. This is because...