American History Lecture 3/4/09 Presidential election of 1860: Collapse of the party that emerged in the 1830?s. No national party in existence. These parties are regional because they cannot draw much support from both regions. Last party on the eve of the war is the democratic party, they split down the middle. They are badly divided over a candidate, after ten days they simply adjourn and go home. Then in the summer there are two conventions, Northern and southern and they elect two separate candidates with two separate platforms. Northern is Stephen Douglas (champion of popular sovereignty). Southern is John Reckonridge (border state politician from Kentucky) Their position is the Calhoun/Dredd Scott position and that the government has no power to restrict slavery in the territories. New arty called the constitutional union party who stays away from the vital issues of the time and the only thing they endorse is ?the constitution, the union, and the enforcement of the law? and they just refuse to describe what that means. Their nominee is John Bell and they have no hopes of winning by popular vote, but they hope to win by house of reps. They hope that it will be compromised. Fourth and final candidate?republican party: meet in chicago Illinois; know that the last national party is gone and if they do not blow it they will have the election. Some republicans begin to argue that they had been to extreme in their first running. Had said that slavery is one of the twin things of barbarism. The other was polygamy. : ) 1856 is when they had said this. Their nominee had been John Freemont and they had done very well with that slogan in New England but they had done horribly in the South. They figured out that if they sweeped the north, they could win the Electoral College without the south. They are therefore determined to moderate their platform and their candidate. Abe Lincoln is not a frontrunner when the convention begins and he wasn?t even there because it would have shown interest and that was not allowed. That is straight up republicanism, that the candidates never speak on their own behalf when on the presidential level. Ultimately Lincoln supporters are going to tell delegates that Lincoln would be a good compromise candidate especially given the campaign plan. He was born in the South, lived his youth in Indiana, adult life in Illinois, so he is from the lower north. His position on slaver issues tended to label him as a moderate but he is not ashamed to say that slavery is immoral and that he looks forward to it being abolished. He tends to justify restriction of slavery because of the good things it would bring for whites. He would also say that he doesn?t believe in racial equality. Lincoln ultimately will be the nominee, the campaign that they run calls for free soil and it denounces john brown. It says explicitly that the party recognizes that the constitution protects slavery within states. It is going to be thought of as a moderate anti-slavery argument. Southern states call for an election sayin either they support or oppose secession. S Carolina frist, Texas last, this takes six weeks and then they decide to formally sever their relationship with the US. They call themselves the Confederate States of America. All of this was done under Buchanan?s presidency, he doesn?t know what to do so he does nothing. He blames the North for its agitation of sectional issues for creating a controversy that was unnecessary. They don?t really expect that the president would handle this at this time. While the president does nothing, congress does. They try to come up with a compromise, somewhat like the Missouri compromise. 1861 congress delivers a measure origionally proposed by a Kentucky senator by john critton. These are called the critton compromises. Two ultimately make it all the way through deliberation in congress. He has proposed constitutional amendments that are mostly for the South but has some things for the North as well. Critton recommends stretching the line around the globe so that any new territory would already have it?s slave status known. The other says that federal government can never prohibit slavery in any state. The first fails, but the second passes with about 40% of republicans voting with the democrats. So the new amendment (13th) would protect slavery internally but it is never ratified because civil war breaks out. Lincoln in inaugurated in March and seven states have left the union. Congress is furiously trying to compromise and Lincoln has said nothing. Lincoln arrives in march, incognito as a Scottish man and he gives his inaugural address. Lincoln believed that this was another of a series of southern blusters because they are annoyed but that it was just a grandstand gesture. He believes that the majority does not support this and that if he avoids a showdown that tempers will cool and we will look back at this as just another tense moment. In his inaugural address he has to do two things: pacify the South without making North think that he has no spine. Conciliation for the South and He states that the center principal of secession is anarchy. So the alternative is that the majority held by the constraint of the constitution is only answer. He says that if the South is not willing to submit to the majority rule then they are calling on anarchy. Majority rule is the only way. The tyrant in Washington has gone so far as to say that the form of government requires always that the majority rules. He also says that it is his responsibility to hold occupy and posses all federal property. What he has in mind in particular is fort Sumter, and he plans to re supply it as a sign of federal authority.
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