Excluding the 1824 election, the 1860 presidential election was the only occasion prior to the introduction of the secret ballot where a winning candidate was so unpopular in a particular region that it was impossible to organize and print ballots for a slate of eligible voters pledged to vote for that candidate in an entire state. In late … Hamlin was surprised by his nomination, saying he was "astonished" and that he "neither expected nor desired it. Lincoln lost the Se… Bates outlined his positions on the extension of slavery into the territories and equal constitutional rights for all citizens, positions that alienated his supporters in the border states and Southern conservatives, while German Americans in the party opposed Bates because of his past association with the Know Nothings. By the time of Lincoln’s inauguration in March, seven Southern states had seceded, and barely a month after Lincoln became president, the country became engaged in civil war. In April the American Civil War began. In the midst of the American Civil War, incumbent President Abraham Lincoln of the National Union Party easily defeated the Democratic nominee, former General George B. McClellan, by a wide margin of 212–21 in the electoral college, with 55% of the popular vote. To overcome his disadvantage, Lincoln adopted an unobtrusive publicity campaign. He had not yet announced his intentions to run, but it was superb speech. Lincoln ran under the National Union banner against his former top Civil War general, the Democratic candidate, George B. McClellan. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/event/United-States-presidential-election-of-1860, History Central - Presidential Elections 1860, Encyclopedia Virginia - United States Presidential Election of 1860, Social Studies for Kids - The Election of 1860, Maps of World - U.S. Presidential Election 1860, United States presidential election of 1856, United States presidential election of 1864, Presidency of the United States of America. That was a compromise position, a practical stance in the 1858 senate campaign. He also was firmly opposed to nativism, which further weakened his position. Former Senator Edward Everett from Massachusetts, Former Senator William A. Graham from North Carolina, Former Senator William C. Rives from Virginia, The Constitutional Union Party was formed by remnants of both the defunct Know Nothing and Whig Parties who were unwilling to join either the Republicans or the Democrats. This absurdly low total was partly due to the fact that four candidates were on the ballot, but it remains the poorest showing by any winning presidential candidate in American history. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Lincoln received almost 40 percent of the popular vote with over 1.8 million votes. Houston, never enthusiastic about running for the Presidency, soon became convinced that he had no chance of winning and that his candidacy would only make it easier for the Republican candidate to win. He set about ensuring that he was the second choice of most delegates, realizing that the first round of voting at the convention was unlikely to produce a clear winner. Bell himself had hoped that he would take over the former support of the extinct Whig Party in free states, but the majority of this support went to Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln won two presidential elections, first in 1860 and then again in 1864. Lincoln’s administration, divested of Legislative power, cannot injure the South, if so disposed." Nonetheless, different electors appeared in some counties for Breckinridge and Bell, resulting in lower totals for them and a split electoral outcome. This larger group met immediately in Baltimore's Institute Hall, with Cushing again presiding. The Republican victory resulted from the concentration of votes in the free states, which together controlled a majority of the presidential electors. North Carolina held a referendum on having a secession convention, which failed. Lincoln won in every state he carried in 1860 except New Jersey, and also carried a state won four years earlier by Stephen Douglas (Missouri), one carried by John C. Breckinridge (Maryland) and all three newly admitted states (Kansas, Nevada and West Virginia). ") Less radical Southerners thought that with Northern antislavery dominance of the federal government, slavery would eventually be abolished, regardless of present constitutional limits. The 3 Douglas electors were elected and 4 of those pledged to Lincoln. , Bertram Wyatt-Brown argues that secessionists desired independence as necessary for their honor. "Lincoln for President: an unlikely candidate, an audacious strategy, and the victory no one saw coming" (2009) Ch. The Wide Awakes young Republican men's organization massively expanded registered voter lists, and although Lincoln was not even on the ballot in most Southern states, population increases in the free states had far exceeded those seen in the slave states for many years before the election of 1860, hence free states dominated in the Electoral College.. By 1860, very little remained of the Liberty Party, after most of its membership left to join the Free Soil Party in 1848 and nearly all of what remained of it joined the Republicans in 1854. Texas was the only Middle South state that Breckinridge carried convincingly. Additionally, the slate was almost equally divided between the supporters of Breckinridge and Douglas. Flag banner promoting Abraham Lincoln for the presidency in 1860. The 1860 election is regarded by most political observers as the first of three “critical” elections in the United States—contests that produced sharp and enduring changes in party loyalties across the country (although some analysts consider the election of 1824 to have been the first critical election). Since this was decided before the party split, both Douglas supporters and Breckinridge supporters claimed the right for their man to be considered the party candidate and the support of the electoral slate. Meant all the southern delegates who walked out in Charleston left. United States presidential election of 1860, American presidential election held on November 6, 1860, in which Republican Abraham Lincoln defeated Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell. Lincoln did not attend the convention in person, and left the task of delegate wrangling to several close friends. Campaign poster for the Constitutional Union Party, with John Bell (left) and Edward Everett, 1860. , The first round of voting predictably produced a lead for Seward, but not a majority, with Lincoln in second place. There was no mention of Mormonism (which had been condemned in the Party's 1856 platform), the Fugitive Slave Act, personal liberty laws, or the Dred Scott decision. Delegates were in attendance from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Massachusetts. 13 Answers. The Republican convention was held in Chicago on May 16–18. The first 1860 Democratic National Convention adjourned in Charleston, South Carolina, without agreeing on a nominee, but a second convention in Baltimore, Maryland, nominated Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois for president. , Into this mix came Lincoln. The Democratic Party chose its slate of electors before the National Convention in Charleston, SC. However, historian Bruce Chadwick observes that Lincoln and his advisors ignored the widespread alarms and threats of secession as mere election trickery. In the eleven states that would later declare their secession from the Union and be controlled by Confederate armies, ballots for Lincoln were cast only in Virginia,[nb 3] Except in some border areas, the Republican party did not attempt any organization in the South and did not print ballots there because almost no one was willing to acknowledge publicly they were voting for Lincoln for fear of violent retribution. The 1864 election occurred during the Civil War; none of the states loyal to the Confederate States of America participated. The 1860 presidential election conventions were unusually tumultuous, due in particular to a split in the Democratic Party that led to rival conventions. Bell and Douglas both tried to tack towards a moderate position. Lincoln won the second-lowest share of the popular vote among all winning presidential candidates in U.S. Stephan A. Douglas, "The little giant" , was the incumbent senator from Illinois who defeated Republican Lincoln in 1858. The Fusion vote used here is the vote for the high elector on the slate, who was pledged to Douglas. Breckinridge also did little campaigning, giving only one speech. Bell carried three slave states (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia) and lost Maryland by only 722 votes. Illinois attorney Abraham Lincoln's 1860 election to the presidency was the result of the nation's turmoil. , The People's Party was a loose association of the supporters of Governor Samuel Houston. A. Stephen Douglas B. Abraham Lincoln C. Jefferson Davis D. John C. Breckinridge Nonetheless, loyal army officers in Virginia, Kansas and South Carolina warned Lincoln of military preparations to the contrary. He finished second in the Electoral College with 72 votes, carrying eleven of fifteen slave states (including South Carolina, whose electors were chosen by the state legislature, not popular vote). Toward the end of 1859, D. W. Bartlett published in New York Twenty-one Prominent Candidates for the Presidency in 1860, and in early 1860 a Philadelphia publishing house printed John Savage's Our Living Representative Men, Prepared for Presidential Purposes. The building had been the First Presbyterian Meeting House (Two Towers Church) on Fayette Street, between Calvert and North Street, demolished before 1866 and occupied by the United States Courthouse. The Virginia convention and the reconvened Arkansas convention both declared secession, as did the legislatures of Tennessee and North Carolina; all four states joined the Confederacy. In comparison, the six states of the Deep South making up one-fourth the Confederate voting population, split 57 percent Breckinridge versus 43 percent for the two pro-union candidates. , John Bell was a former Whig who had opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act and the Lecompton Constitution. Cartoon of the 1860 U.S. presidential election showing three of the candidates—(left to right) Republican Abraham Lincoln, Northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, and Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge—tearing the country apart while the Constitutional Union candidate, John Bell, applies glue from a tiny useless pot. Unlike every preceding president-elect, Lincoln did not carry even one slave state. In the "Middle" South states, there was a unionist majority divided between Douglas and Bell in Virginia and Tennessee; in North Carolina and Arkansas, the unionist (Bell and Douglas) vote approached a majority. May 18, 1860 Republican Convention is held in Chicago, Illinois. The Douglas ticket in Rhode Island was supported by Breckinridge and Bell supporters. [nb 6] Moreover, Lincoln's share of the popular vote would have been even less if there had been a popular vote in South Carolina. The 1860 presidential election conventions were unusually tumultuous, due in particular to a split in the Democratic Party that led to rival conventions. 4 of the electors pledged to Lincoln were elected since the Breckinridge and Bell electors finished behind all other candidates. (The noted secessionist William Lowndes Yancey, speaking at New York's Cooper Institute in October 1860, asserted that with abolitionists in power, "Emissaries will percolate between master [and] slave as water between the crevices of rocks underground. Virginia convened a secession convention, which voted against secession but remained in session. Voter turnout was 81.2%, the highest in American history up to that time, and the second-highest overall (exceeded only in the election of 1876). Texas, with five percent of the total wartime South's population, voted 75 percent Breckinridge. The second round eliminated most of the minor contenders, with votes switching to Seward or mostly to Lincoln. Eventually, the state party worked out an agreement: if either candidate could win the national election with Pennsylvania's electoral vote, then all her electoral votes would go to that candidate. The delegates who walked out of the convention at Charleston reconvened in Richmond, Virginia on June 11. The split in the Democratic party is sometimes held responsible for Lincoln's victory despite the fact that Lincoln won the election with less than 40% of the popular vote, as much of the anti-Republican vote was "wasted" in Southern states in which no ballots for Lincoln were circulated. He withdrew from the race on August 16, and urged the formation of a Unified "Union" ticket in opposition to Lincoln. By Lincoln’s inauguration in March, seven Southern states had seceded. Douglas's support for the concept of popular sovereignty, which called for each territory to decide itself on the status of slavery, alienated many Southern Democrats. After 1860 the Democratic and Republican parties became the major parties in a largely two-party system. Starting in the 1856 United States presidential election and certainly by 1860, the Republican Party had replaced the defunct Whig Party as the major opposition to the Democrats. , Even with such support from his home state, Lincoln faced a difficult task if he was to win the nomination. His “main object,” he had written, was to “hedge against divisions in the Republican ranks,” and he counseled party workers to “say nothing on points where it is probable we shall disagree.” With Republicans united, and with division within the Democratic Party and surrounding Bell’s candidacy, the primary fear that Republicans had was that some disunity might appear and hamper their chances. For the results of the subsequent election, see United States presidential election of 1864. '04? Lincoln wins on the third ballot. He had also been abandoned by his longtime friend and political ally Horace Greeley, publisher of the influential New-York Tribune. Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, and John Bell of the Constitutional Union Party ran all against Lincoln in 1860. Representatives: 1932 to 2010", United States presidential election of 1860, 1860 election: State-by-state Popular vote results, United States Presidential Election of 1860 in, Abraham Lincoln: Original Letters and Manuscripts, 1860, Overview of Constitutional Union National Convention, Presidential Election of 1860: A Resource Guide, Bill Bigelow, "The Election of 1860 Role Play", elections in which the winner lost the popular vote, Notable third party performances in United States elections, South Carolina 1954 (Democratic Write-In), Third party officeholders in the United States, Third-party members of the United States House of Representatives, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1860_United_States_presidential_election&oldid=999126219, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2020, Articles needing additional references from November 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2018, Pages using bar box without float left or float right, Articles with Encyclopædia Britannica links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Abraham Lincoln, former representative from Illinois, Edward Bates, former representative from Missouri, John McLean, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, William L. Dayton, former senator from New Jersey, James Guthrie, former treasury secretary from Kentucky, Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter, senator from Virginia, Daniel S. Dickinson, former senator from New York, John C. Breckinridge, Vice President of the United States, Jefferson Davis, senator from Mississippi, John J. Crittenden, senator from Kentucky, Edward Everett, former senator from Massachusetts, William A. Graham, former senator from North Carolina, William C. Rives, former senator from Virginia, Gerrit Smith, former representative from New York. When the convention seated two replacement delegations on June 18, they walked out again or boycotted the convention, accompanied by nearly all other Southern delegates and erstwhile Convention chair Caleb Cushing, a New Englander and former member of Franklin Pierce's cabinet. 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