How did the 1860 election reveal the divisions in the country? - American History  
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Arjun Rajesh
3/25/2010 07:45:40

The 1860 election, which brought Lincoln into the White House truly showed the seriousness of the country division situation. Since Lincoln was very much against slavery none of the southern states would vote for him. I think that this really shows the dependence the southerners have on slavery. I think that the south should have gone for a more industrial aspect like the north had and they would have more prosperity for sure. Still Lincoln beat his opponents without a single southern electoral vote. Naturally the southerners were outraged. If I was the south I would also be angry because I would feel like my vote counted for nothing. The South was very scared. Previously they remained slave states because the other presidents tolerated slavery to an extent. They knew Lincoln would strive to end slavery once and for all. South Carolina was so upset that they secluded from America. I think that when a state secludes from a nation there is a serious issue which must be attended to at once. Also to add to the problem six other states followed South Carolina's path and formed the Confederacy. At first Lincoln didn't want any trouble and he knew that the north had a lot of prosperity, so he let them seclude. Lincoln handed over territory but refused to hand over Fort Sumter. The Confederacy wasn't for this and they attacked and took Fort Sumter. This was attacking federal property. Up until now Lincoln was only going to fight the South if they attacked first and they did. That was how the war began. I think that this war could have been prevented if the confederates had been less dependent on slaves and if little things like the Fugitive Slave Act, Uncle Tom's Cabin, John Brown's raid, and other things that increased tensions had never happened.

Class Film

Jessica Reed
3/25/2010 10:59:39

When Abraham Lincoln was elected into presidency in 1860, the true division of America was shown. As a member of the Republican Party, Lincoln did not support slavery and he sought to preserve the ideals of the North. These ideals were getting rid of slavery, or at least stopping the expansion of it, and continuing the North’s industrial economy. Lincoln’s beliefs even before he was president greatly contrasted the ideas of the other half of America, the South. The South already had considered seceding from the Union if Lincoln became president because they were afraid he would focus only on helping the North and would destroy the lifestyle of the South. Consequently, when he did win South Carolina and six other states seceded. Yet, before he won presidency he was already a “marked man” as plans of assassination were plotted on the night of Lincoln’s inauguration. Similarly, from that night until his death in 1865, Lincoln was in grave trouble by conspirators eager to kill him. They were so willing to kill Lincoln because they thought that maybe if he died the North would lose some of the power it had gained from his election. In the end, Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 and plots against him proved the deep, underlying divisions in America at the time.

I think that the election of 1860 really made the divisions in the Union evident. I say this because if the people who were against him were so prepared to kill him just because they were upset by his election, then that meant that they truly had conflicting ideas. They obviously could not find any other way to communicate what they wanted. Instead, they killed Lincoln because they were intimidated by the power that the Republican Party and the North were gaining, and used this as an additional excuse. I think that these conspirators were not logical in how they wanted to resolve their problems.

Film Notes

Molly Buring
3/28/2010 10:59:17

The election really revealed the divisions in the country. One reason for that was because Lincoln was a republican so he opposed slavery. He didn't necessarily want it to completely end, he just felt the expansion should be stopped. He was a major abolitionist, just like most republicans. Even before becoming president, he had strong opinions about slavery. He was not a big fan of it, and the South. The South was very upset that Lincoln won the election since he was a republican, they were scared that he would end slavery for all of the South. Even with all of the South not liking him, Lincoln still won, without one Southern vote. If I was the south, I'd be extremely mad. If a president that none of my people liked won without one vote from any of the people living in me, I'd want to fight back, even if I don't think violence is the right answer. I'd hate to have a president that believes the exact opposite of what I think, no matter how many people have the same opinion as him.

Molly Buring
3/28/2010 10:59:42

my sources include the textbook and my dad

Jiayi Diao
4/5/2010 11:04:50

I think it's because Lincoln was a republican.And the republican party was against slavery at that time.A lot on Northerners were against slavery like the republican party.And the south was not happy about the election because that way, the United states will have a anti-slavery president,which was not good for the south slave farm owners.The government no longer pass laws to keep slaves under their farms anymore.Just like anyone else, people can't like someone who has the opposite opinion ,like Lincoln's election.Almost half of the states in the country was against him,that's what happened in 1860 Lincoln 's government.

sources : class zone(books)


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