Road to Civil War I. Election of 1856

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Road to Civil War

I. Election of 1856
    A. James Buchanan nominated by Democrats

1. Pierce seen as ineffective and Douglas alienated the southern wing of the party after blocking the Lecompton Constitution.

2. Party platform: popular sovereignty in the territories.

B. Republicans nominated Captain John C. Fremont "Pathfinder of the West"

        1. 1st presidential election for the new Republican party
        2. Party platform: no extension of slavery in the territories.
C. American Party ("know-nothings") nativist in orientation
       1. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants opposed to Irish, German, Mexican and Chinese immigration.

2. Anti-Catholic--accused Fremont of being Catholic

   3. Ex-president Millard Fillmore nominated
   4. Received support from many members of the defunct Whig party.

D. Buchanan defeated Fremont 174 to 114; Fillmore 8.

        1. Southern "fire-eaters" threatened to secede if Fremont elected.

-- Called Fremont a "Black Republican"

2.    Fear of disunion caused many northerners to elect Buchanan.

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