1860-1860 Problems

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For years prior to the Election of 1860, the Northern and Southern states of America were growing apart. Problems from many years before such as the South’s lack of railroads were coupled with more recent arguments over the future of slavery in America and whether it should be allowed in new territories. Following closely on the heels of many of these divisive problems was the Election of 1860, in which Abraham Lincoln won without carrying a single southern state. Although it was not his intention, Lincoln’s victory in the Election of 1860 proved to be the final straw for the south after years of growing resentment towards the north, and quickly caused the secession of seven southern states, and ultimately led to the deadliest war in American…show more content…
Lincoln was fortunate, as the Democratic Party was torn between steadfastly pro-slavery members, and those who wanted popular sovereignty in new territories. When unable to agree on a candidate at the Democratic Party Convention, the party split and two candidates were nominated, Stephen Douglas, and John C. Breckenridge. The Constitutional Union Party chose John Bell as their candidate. With the Democratic votes split between Douglas and Breckenridge, Lincoln won the election with only two fifths of the popular vote and without carrying a single southern state. This incensed the south, if someone could win the presidency without carrying a southern state, then southern states didn’t matter. The south had felt that the government had only the North’s interest in mind before, going back years to the Tariff of Abominations in 1828, or the disproportionate amount of railroads built in the north compared to the south. Southerners were tired of this feeling. Lincoln’s election would be the final affront to southern…show more content…
His victory served as the tipping point towards leaving the union for southerners who had felt neglected and unheard for years prior. The ensuing secession led to the deadliest war in American history while simultaneously upsetting the balance in the Congress and allowing for the Emancipation Proclamation to be put into effect. After the war ended the 13th Amendment was ratified and slavery was abolished altogether. Much of this would not have occurred if not for Lincoln’s victory in 1860 without carrying a southern state, and that it why some would say it is the most important event of the 19th century. Bibliography Boritt, Gabos S., and Matthew Pinsker. "Lincoln, Abraham Presidents: A Reference History." US History in Context. Last modified 2002. Accessed December 3, 2014.

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