1860’s Politics: An Introduction

Emerging Civil War 1860's Politics Header

In case you’ve somehow missed the modern news…it’s a presidential election year! And while we think it’s best to let CNN or FOX cover 21st Century politics, the ECW members thought it would be enlightening to examine some of the elections and politics from the Civil War era.

We’ve been working behind the scenes for about a month to prepare this special blog series. Many members have contributed an article or two, and we’ll also be introducing a couple new guest authors.

Prepare to be amazed, intrigued, (and possibly annoyed) by the politics of the 1860’s! It’s a part of Civil War saga that usually gets lost in the shadows while the battles and generals take the spotlight.

We hope you’ll enjoy the history. Take a few minutes each week (or day) to escape from modern debates and learn about leaders, ideas, elections, voting, activists, and more in Emerging Civil War’s special series: 1860’s Politics.

8 Responses to 1860’s Politics: An Introduction

  1. I will be most interested to read the articles. Buffalo was a hotbed of Civil War politics. The Bishop of Buffalo, John Timon, was a former slaveholder as Vincentian Visitor and head of all Vincentian foundations in the USA. He was a Democrat and voted for Douglas. After Sumter he became very supportive of Lincoln and his prosecution of the war. His influence upon my grandfather caused him to join the Corcoran Brigade which eventually became a part of the Grand Army of the Potomac.

  2. I hope your series might be able to investigate the actual conduct of the voting, not just the Presidential canvass (I know 1848 was the first Presidential election when all states that had popular voting were required to conduct the vote on the same day), but also the House elections and Legislature-conducted Senate elections. Also how state canvassing boards accepted / certified the results and appointed electors.

    1. It may be difficult to do this much here at ECW. It is tedious work putting it together,but I will be giving it a try for 1864. Due to your post, however, I will try to add a few sources for Further studies. I warn you tho–it is like reading mud.One has to tease the story out from the statistics. I shall do my best, good sir.

  3. Looking forward to the articles. A life-long Civil Buff, I must admit this is one area of study I have overlooked. Looking forward to learning about the politics of 1860.

  4. You go for it Meg with out going over board as we have enough to try to sort out with our current elections now LOL. WILL BE INTERESTING TO COMPARE THE TWO WITH OUT GETTING TO TECHNICAL. THANK YOU

    1. Actually, I have been enjoying the heck out of all this–except for, maybe, the &^$%#-grabbing. The 1800s were a more genteel time, at least publicly. I think the end of the Whigs and the emergence of the Republicans is a fascinating time, and some has been said lately about the Know-Nothings lately. No one is surprised, I guess, that I am a liberal Democrat personally, but that is in this day and age. I was at a dinner for our retiring member of Congress here in San Benito County several weeks ago, and a speech-maker said something to the effect of “Yay Dems! Now and forever!” I just cringed!! Alas, I am old enough myself, and born in Oklahoma, to remember Dixiecrats! Let’s not discuss lynchings ere either! Anyway, it has always been fascinating to me. Politics put those men in the field, and kept them there for over four years. THAT is what we are here for, and to that I say “Huzzah!”

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