Election of 1860 (Divine, 2007)

Robert A. Divine, et al., The American Story, 3rd ed., vol. 1. (New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007), 373.
The Republican platform, like the nominee, was meant to broaden the party’s appeal in the North. Although a commitment to halt the expansion slavery remained, economic matters received more attention than they had in 1856.The platform called for a high protective tariff, endorsed free homesteads, and supported federal aid for internal improvements, especially a transcontinental railroad. The platform was cleverly designed to attract ex-Whigs to the Republican camp and accommodate enough renegade Democrats to give the party a solid majority in the northern states.

The Democrats failed to present a united front against this formidable challenge. When the party first met in Charleston in late April, Douglas commanded a majority of the delegates but was unable to win the two-thirds required for nomination because of unyielding southern opposition. He did succeed in getting the convention to endorse popular sovereignty as its slavery platform, but the price was a walkout by Deep South delegates who favored a federal slave code.
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