Civil War 150 -- Fissures in a Nation

Fissures in a Nation

The simmering national issue that pitted southern planter “aristocracy” against northern democracy was quickly coming to a boiling point by the election of 1860. The greatest issue of debate was whether or not slavery would be outlawed in the new westward states. Although the attitude of the nation seemed dualistic, four tickets ran for the election: Lincoln’s Republican platform called for the prohibition of slavery everywhere, Northern Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas ran a campaign stating that territories should make their own decisions about slavery, Southern Democrat John Breckinridge’s stance expounded that slavery should remain and expand to all states both new and old, and John Bell from the new Constitutional Union Party wanted to avoid the controversy and keep the Union and the U.S. Constitution intact and operating. Lincoln’s win signaled a turning point for the United States that resulted in four years of bloody war. This section displays objects that serve as evidence of the turmoil leading up to the election and the events that happened immediately after