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Northern Men with Southern LoyaltiesThe Democratic Party and the Sectional Crisis$
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Michael Todd Landis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453267

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453267.001.0001

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“Though the Heavens Fall”

“Though the Heavens Fall”

1860 and Beyond

(p.226) Chapter 9 “Though the Heavens Fall”
Northern Men with Southern Loyalties

Michael Todd Landis

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the fate of the Northern Democratic Party after 1860. Democrats assembled in Charleston on April 23, 1860 for the national convention. Regular Democrats scored a victory on the second day of the convention with the election as permanent chairman of Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts, while day three saw a major triumph for Stephen Douglas's group. This chapter discusses the results of the 1860 Democratic National Convention and the 1860 elections and considers what happened to Northern Democrat notables such as James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce after the period. It argues that the Northern Democratic Party's efforts to please the Southern party bosses, purge their ranks of antislavery sentiment, and convince free state voters of the benevolence of the Slave Power, combined with their proslavery legislation and rhetoric, fractured and split the party, paved the way for Republican ascension and Southern secession, tore the nation apart, and led to civil war.

Keywords:   slavery, Democratic Party, Democratic National Convention, Stephen Douglas, South, 1860 elections, Franklin Pierce, antislavery sentiment, slave power, proslavery legislation

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