A leading historian of antebellum politics, Holt pulls no punches in his concise study of the election of 1860. So far as he is concerned, it was “the most consequential presidential contest in all of American history” (xi). Ironically, most voters opposed the victorious (Republican) party and simultaneously desired to “throw the Democratic rascals out” in a fit of “national, not…sectional, passion” (xiii). The book is of greatest service to historians and other scholars by de-centering Abraham Lincoln and the Republican victors. The increasing division in the Democratic Party between Stephen Douglas’ supporters and James Buchanan’s loyalists about popular sovereignty and slavery extension was crucial to Lincoln’s chances, as were Republican efforts to win over northern nativists. Southern Whig and northern conservative anger at Democratic corruption—including alleged bribery and fraud crucial to Buchanan’s 1856 victory in several northern states—was decisive in convincing many white southerners in the border states to...
Skip Nav Destination
August 01 2018
The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences.”
The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences.”By
University Press of Kansas,
John H. Matsui
Virginia Military Institute
Online Issn: 1530-9169
Print Issn: 0022-1953
© 2018 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2018) 49 (2): 340–341.
- Share Icon Share
- Views Icon Views
- Search Site
John H. Matsui; The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences.”. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2018; 49 (2): 340–341. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01286
Download citation file: