divisions• John Brown’s Raid had a powerful effect on Southern voters, who were now convinced that abolitionists in the North would never allow slavery to continue, even if it took violence to stop it.
divisions•They ultimately blamed the Republican Party for the raid and much of the other anti-slavery talk that was in the North.
divisions•The Democrat Party, the only true national party, met in Charleston, SC in April, 1860, to choose a candidate for President.
divisions• Many Northern Democrats had come to Charleston hoping to nominate Stephen Douglas, but there was no way that Southerners could support him given what he had said at Freeport during the Senate debates of 1858.
divisions• Southerners demanded that the Democrats include as part of their platform the idea that Congress and territorial legislatures did not have the authority to exclude slavery from a territory
divisions•They also called for a federal protection for slavery in the territories.
divisions•Douglas won a plurality of support among the six nominees, but fell 50 votes short of winning the nomination.
divisions•The Democrats adjourned their convention and agreed to meet again in Baltimore, MD in June.
divisions•Still, the Southerners made demands about the future of slavery in the United States that were not met.
divisions•When this did not happen, Democrats from what became known as the “Lower South” walked out.
divisions•Northern Democrats nominated Douglas, while Southern Democrats nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky.
divisions• Some Southerners who were afraid of what would happen if the Union divided formed the Constitutional Union Party and nominated John Bell from Tennessee.
opportunity•With the division in the Democrat Party so pronounced, the Republicans sensed an opportunity for victory.
creation•At a meeting held Ripon, Wisconsin in the summer of 1854, a group of disgusted Northerners launched the Republican Party.
creation•Its members stated that slavery was a great “moral evil” and that its expansion must be stopped.
creation•Republicans came from all walks of life and classes and would soon challenge the Know- Nothings for votes in the North.
opportunity• On the third ballot, they chose the well-spoken man from Illinois who had competed so well against Douglas in the Illinois Senate race in 1858, Abraham Lincoln.
opportunity• Lincoln was more moderate on slavery itself while being firmly against its expansion into the territories and it certainly helped that the Republican convention was in Chicago.
election•The race itself quickly became just like everything else in the country, sectional.
election• In many Southern states, Lincoln did not even appear on the ballot, so it was really a race between Breckinridge and Bell, who between them won over 80% of the vote.
election•In the North, it was a contest between Douglas and Lincoln, who between them won over 80% of the vote.
election•Lincoln received only 40% of the popular vote, but a clear majority of the Electoral vote and became the 16 th President of the United States.
election•As much as the South complained about it, Lincoln would have won the Electoral vote even if there had been only one other candidate.
election• What should have been truly upsetting to Southerners was that almost 70% of the voters in the country had taken a position opposed to the expansion of slavery.