The Election of 1860 Reconsidered
Publication Year: 2012
The election of 1860 was a crossroad in American history. Faced with four major candidates, voters in the North and South went to the polls not knowing that the result of the election would culminate in the bloodiest conflict the United States had ever seen. Despite its obvious importance, surprisingly few studies have focused exclusively on this electoral contest itself. In The Election of 1860 Reconsidered, seven historians offer insightful essays that challenge the traditional view of the election, present fresh interpretations, and approach the contest from new angles.
In engaging essays on the main presidential candidates, the authors employ biography to explain the election. Michael S. Green deftly analyzes Abraham Lincoln and effectively overturns the view of the Republican as a passive candidate. James L. Huston provides an innovative reconsideration of Stephen A. Douglas in defeat with a profound look at the Little Giant’s campaign tours of the South. Using the lens of honor, A. James Fuller scrutinizes John C. Breckinridge in an enlightening study of the Southern Democratic candidate’s campaign. In another groundbreaking essay, Fuller reconsiders Constitutional Unionist John Bell as a Whig who stood for the republican principle of compromise. The biographical theme continues in John R. McKivigan’s splendid examination of Frederick Douglass as he carefully guides the reader through the changing attitudes and ambivalence of the abolitionist perspective.
As Douglas G. Gardner demonstrates in his fine exposition of the historiographical themes involved with the election, The Election of 1860 Reconsidered includes interdisciplinary concerns and new lines of inquiry. Addressing matters of interest to political scientists as well as historians, Thomas E. Rodgers takes up the issue of voter turnout in a sophisticated analysis that emphasizes ideology. Political culture and context allow A. James Fuller to make revealing interdisciplinary connections while using the state of Indiana as a case study to test and refute realignment theory. Turning to observations from across the Atlantic, Lawrence Sondhaus offers a new approach to the election in his penetrating study of how Europeans viewed and misunderstood the U.S. presidential race.
This remarkable book breathes new life into political history and will serve as a primer for a generation of scholars interested in understanding the most important election in American history.
Published by: The Kent State University Press
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...9 âan inscrutable election?â: the historiography of the election ...
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Fig. 24. Bell and everett, Grand national Union Banner for 1860 122Fig. 25. the Union, the constitution and the enforcement of the laws 123...
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...in the months surrounding the 150th anniversary of the election of 1860, scholars around the country gathered for conferences dedicated to ana-lyzing this event. one such meeting was the third annual symposium of the civil war Study Group on September 17, 2010. hosted by the insti-tute for the Study of war and Diplomacy at the University of indianapolis ...
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...the most important presidential election in american history took place in 1860. the electoral contest marked the culmination of the sectional con-flict and led to the secession of the Southern states and the beginning of the civil war. over the past century and a half, scholars have offered a number of different interpretations of the election, but surprisingly few ...
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...âSeward will be first on the ballot, Chase nextâthen Bates or Cameron. . . . My policy has been to keep down my name everywhere as a candidate for the first office. . . . Sewardâs friends generally prefer me after himself,â and âi think without doubt chaseâs friends will go for me after himself.â this was the optimistic analysis of the 1860 republican convention that one of ...
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...on the evening of Saturday, august 25, 1860, a crowd numbering between four and six thousand people gathered before the steps of the court house in norfolk, virginia. Standing before them, the little Giant of illinois, the first presidential candidate in American history to stump personally for elevation to the chief magistracy, defended the idea of popular sovereignty ...
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...the campaign of John c. Breckinridge, the Southern Democratic candi-date for president, remains one of the most puzzling aspects of the elec-tion of 1860. why did the vice president of the United States, a young man with a bright political career and future, choose to accept the nomina-tion of the Southern Democrats, splitting his party and almost certainly ...
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...the election of 1860 featured four candidates for the presidency and actu-ally became two separate races as the republican abraham lincoln faced off against the northern Democrat Stephen a. Douglas in the free states, while the Southern Democrat John c. Breckinridge ran against the consti-tutional Union candidate, John Bell, in the slave states. although the other ...
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Secessionists vehemently branded abraham lincoln an abolitionist in ra-tionalizing their departure from the Union after his election to the presi-dency in november 1860. this view was arguably more the product of the growth of Southern nationalism and corresponding paranoia over the preceding thirty years than of any rational analysis of the position ...
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...in the voter turnout estimates published by walter Dean Burnham in 1975, the election of 1860 had the second highest turnout of any presiden-tial election in american history. Subsequent estimates have suggested a lower turnout but still rank the 1860 contest as having one of the highest turnouts in the three decades between the mid-1840s and the mid-1870s. ...
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...the election of 1860 was the most critical political contest in all of ameri-can history. it has been at the heart of the electoral-realignment genre, which includes the work of such political scientists as walter Dean Burn-ham, v. o. Key Jr., e. e. Schattschneider, and James l. Sundquist. Popu-lar among the historians of the ânew political historyâ in the 1960s and ...
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...in sharp contrast to the depth of european interest in the bloody war that resulted from it, the U.S. presidential election of 1860 attracted relatively little attention across the atlantic. Few european commentators foresaw the outcome of the election campaign or appreciated its significance after the results were known. Fewer still accurately predicted what would hap-...
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...âaltogether, it was a very curious, a very mixed, and except for its grand central result, a very inscrutable election.â So allan nevins in 1947 judged the presidential contest of 1860, back in an era when political history, and especially the political history of elections, was incontestably at the center outside of the immediate context of the argument nevins was mak-...
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...a. James Fuller is an associate professor of history at the University of india-napolis. He has published five books, including Chaplain to the Confederacy: Basil Manly and Baptist Life in the Old South and America, War and Power: Michael S. Green is a professor of history at the college of Southern nevada. he is the author, coauthor, or editor of seven books, including Freedom, Union, ...
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...âA. James Fuller has edited an excellent collection of nine essays that examine the mo-mentous and complicated election of 1860 from a variety of angles. Each of the four major candidates receives significant coverage, as do black abolitionists and European observers. Although the contest proved to be one of the most significant in American history, 1860 remains curiously understudied, and this splendid volume wonderfully ...
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Civil Waar in the North
Series Editor Byline: Gordon, Lesley