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The Fragmentation Of The Political Party System In 1860s

933 words - 4 pages

The Fragmentation of the Political Party System in 1860s
A majority of Americans thought that the election of 1860 would determine the future of the Union. A compromise could not be reached on the slavery issue between the North and the South. Northerners wanted to abolish slavery altogether and Southerners wanted the expansion of slavery into the territories. There were four presidential candidates for the election, and only one of them was pro-slavery. John Breckinridge was the Southern Democratic candidate who supported slavery. All the other candidates, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and John Bell, did not support slavery. Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860 by a clear majority ...view middle of the document...

Douglas only agreed with Breckinridge's Fugitive Slave Law point.
Lincoln was the Republican nominee and was supported by the North. Lincoln was anti-slavery and had several points against it in his Republican National Platform. His Platform included the following points: " that the Constitution…carries Slavery into any or all of the Territories of the United States, is a dangerous political heresy…is revolutionary in its tendency, and subversive of the peace and harmony of the country" (Lincoln 30-31), "that the normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom… and we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory of the United States" (Lincoln 30-31), and "that we brand the recent re-opening of the African slave-trade, under the cover of our national flag…as a crime against humanity and a burning shame to our country and age; and we call upon Congress to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of that execrable traffic" (Lincoln 30-31). Although Lincoln was anti-slavery, he did not necessarily see the need to abolish it during his presidency if elected. Lincoln was more concerned with the preservation of the Union. One of Lincoln's key points in his Platform was "that the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the Federal Constitution, ‘That all men are created equal…' is essential to the preservation of our Republican institutions; and that the Federal Constitution, the Rights of the States, and the Union...

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