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Election of 1856

Stephen A. Douglas coveted the Democratic nomination in 1856, but his reputation had been badly tarnished by the ongoing violence in Kansas. In his place the Democrats turned to James Buchanan, who had been the minister to Britain from 1853 to 1856 and was not linked to the Kansas issue. James Buchanan Further, Buchanan was popular in the South because of his part in the Ostend Manifesto.

The Republicans ran their first presidential campaign in 1856, choosing noted Western explorer John C. Frémont, "The Pathfinder." Frémont had no political record (regarded as a plus), but held abolitionist views (a negative in the eyes of many moderates).

The American Party (Know-Nothings) nominated former president Millard Fillmore and capitalized on nativist discontent.

The Republicans ran a campaign calling for repeal of the hated Kansas-Nebraska Act, opposition to the extension of slavery into the territories and support for internal improvement projects. They also took every opportunity to blame the Democrats for the horrors of "Bleeding Kansas."

Buchanan emerged the victor, but failed to gain a majority of the popular vote. In fact, a shift of a small number of votes in several states would have tipped the electoral tally to the Republicans. Mirroring the sectional feelings of the day, the Democrats were strong in the South, the Republicans in the North. The election in 1856 brought a weak president to leadership in a badly divided nation.

Election of 1856
Candidates

Party

Electoral Vote

Popular
Vote

James Buchanan (PA)
John C. Breckinridge (KY)

Democratic

174

1,832,955

John C. Frémont (CA)
William L. Dayton (NJ)

Republican

114

1,339,932

Millard Fillmore (NY)
Andrew J. Donelson (TN)

American

8

871,731


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Election of 1856
Election of 1856 2004 1968 1932 1896 1860 2000 1964 1928 1892 1856 1996 1960 1924 1888 1852 1992 1956 1920 1884 1848 1988 1952 1916 1880 1844 1984 1948 1912 1876 1840 1980 1944 1908 1872 1836 1976 1940 1904 1868 1832 1972 1936 19Election of 1856 2004 1968 1932 1896 1860 2000 1964 1928 1892 1856 1996 1960 1924 1888 1852 1992 1956 1920 1884 1848 1988 1952 1916 1880 1844 1984 1948 1912 1876 1840 1980 1944 1908 1872 1836 1976 1940 1904 1868 1832 1972 1936 1900 1864 1828 ...
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/showelection.php?year=1856

Presidential Election of 1856
... Convention Republcian Convention Popular Votes Electoral Votes States Votes The election of 1856 took place against the backdrop of civil war in Kansas and a country split over slavery. The traditional parties were in trouble andelection of 1856 took place against the backdrop of civil war in Kansas and a country split over slavery. The traditional parties were in trouble and a new party ...
http://www.historycentral.com/elections/1856.html

The Political Graveyard: Election of 1856
Questions? Return to The Political Graveyard main page. Election of 1856 Electoral College Details President JAMES BUCHANAN: 174 electoral votes Alabama (9), Arkansas (4), California (4), Delaware (3), Florida (3), Georgia (10), Election of 1856 Electoral College Details President JAMES BUCHANAN: 174 electoral votes Alabama (9), Arkansas (4), California (4), Delaware (3), Florida (3), Georgia (10), Illinois (11 ...
http://politicalgraveyard.com/offices/pres-vp-1856.html