Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States (1861–1865) and the first Republican to hold the office
Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States (1829–1837) and the first Democratic president.
Charles R. Jennison, an anti-slavery militia leader associated with the Jayhawkers from Kansas and an early Republican politician in the region
Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States (1837–1841) and the second Democratic president.
Chicago Wigwam, site of the Republican Convention
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States (1869–1877)
Senator Stephen A. Douglas
The South Carolina Institute located in Charleston. The Institute hosted the Democratic National Convention and December Secession Convention in 1860.
James G. Blaine, 28th & 31st Secretary of State (1881; 1889–1892)
The 1885 inauguration of Grover Cleveland, the only president with non-consecutive terms
Douglas/Johnson campaign poster
William McKinley, 25th president of the United States (1897–1901)
Leaders of the Democratic Party during the first half of the 20th century on 14 June 1913: Secretary of State William J. Bryan, Josephus Daniels, President Woodrow Wilson, Breckinridge Long, William Phillips, and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Maryland Institute Hall, Baltimore. The bolting delegates nominated Breckinridge before Richmond vote
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901–1909)
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, 32nd and 33rd presidents of the United States (1933–1945; 1945–1953), featured on a campaign poster for the 1944 presidential election
A Constitutional Union campaign poster, 1860, portraying John Bell and Edward Everett, respectively the candidates for president and vice president. Once Lincoln was inaugurated and called up the militia, Bell supported the secession of Tennessee. In 1863, Everett dedicated the new cemetery at Gettysburg.
Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States (1929–1933)
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, 35th and 36th presidents of the United States (1961–1963, 1963–1969)
Map of presidential election results by county
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1981–1989)
Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States (1977–1981), delivering the State of the Union Address in 1979
Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States (2017–2021)
Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States (1993–2001), at The Pentagon in 1998
Former Representative Abraham Lincoln
Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States (1923–1929)
Barack Obama speaking to College Democrats of America in 2007
Senator William H. Seward from New York
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th governor of California (2003–2011)
President Barack Obama meeting with the Blue Dog Coalition in the State Dining Room of the White House in 2009
Senator Simon Cameron
John McCain, United States senator from Arizona (1987–2018)
Eleanor Roosevelt at the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago
Governor Salmon P. Chase
Donald Rumsfeld, 21st United States Secretary of Defense (2001–2006)
President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law at the White House on March 23, 2010
Former Representative Edward Bates from Missouri
Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State (2001–2005)
Secretary of State John Kerry addressing delegates at the United Nations before signing the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016
Associate Justice John McLean
Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995–1999)
Shirley Chisholm was the first major-party African American candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns.
Senator Benjamin Wade from Ohio
Annual population growth in the U.S. by county - 2010s
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Immigration Act of 1965 as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and others look on
Former Senator William L. Dayton from New Jersey
This map shows the vote in the 2020 presidential election by county.
Then-Senator Barack Obama shaking hands with an American soldier in Basra, Iraq in 2008
Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois
Political Spectrum Libertarian Left    Centrist   Right  Authoritarian
President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978
Former Treasury Secretary James Guthrie
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with President Barack Obama at Ben Gurion Airport in 2013
Senator
Self-identified Democrats (blue) versus self-identified Republicans (red) (January–June 2010 data)
Senator Joseph Lane from Oregon
Higher percentages of Democrats than Republicans are members of union households.
Former Senator
Elected at age 33, Jon Ossoff is currently the youngest member of the U.S. Senate.
Senator Andrew Johnson
Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party.
Senator Jefferson Davis from Mississippi
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Former Senator John Bell of Tennessee
Vice President Kamala Harris
Governor Sam Houston of Texas
Julián Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Senator John J. Crittenden from Kentucky
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Former Senator Edward Everett from Massachusetts
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Former Senator William A. Graham from North Carolina
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
Former Senator William C. Rives from Virginia
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Former Representative Gerrit Smith from New York
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
Map of Republican presidential election results by county
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.
Map of Northern Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of Southern Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of Constitutional Union presidential election results by county
Map of "Fusion" slate presidential election results by county
Cartogram of presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Republican presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Northern Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Southern Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Constitutional Union presidential election results by county
Cartogram of "Fusion" slate presidential election results by county

Since the mid-1850s, it has been the main political rival of the Democratic Party.

- Republican Party (United States)

Its main political rival has been the Republican Party since the 1850s.

- Democratic Party (United States)

In a four-way contest, the Republican Party ticket of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, absent from the ballot in ten slave states, won a national popular plurality, a popular majority in the North where states already had abolished slavery, and a national electoral majority comprising only Northern electoral votes.

- 1860 United States presidential election

The incumbent president, James Buchanan, like his predecessor, Franklin Pierce, was a Northern Democrat with Southern sympathies.

- 1860 United States presidential election

Lincoln won on the third ballot and was ultimately elected president in the general election in a rematch against Douglas.

- Republican Party (United States)

The Democrats split over slavery, with Northern and Southern tickets in the election of 1860, in which the Republican Party gained ascendancy.

- Democratic Party (United States)

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Portrait by Alexander Gardner, November 1863

Abraham Lincoln

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American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.

American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865.

Portrait by Alexander Gardner, November 1863
The farm site where Lincoln grew up in Spencer County, Indiana
Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois
Lincoln in his late 30s as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Photo taken by one of Lincoln's law students around 1846.
Lincoln in 1857
Lincoln in 1858, the year of his debates with Stephen Douglas over slavery
A portrait of Dred Scott, petitioner in Dred Scott v. Sandford
Abraham Lincoln (1860) by Mathew Brady, taken the day of the Cooper Union speech
A Timothy Cole wood engraving taken from a May 20, 1860, ambrotype of Lincoln, two days following his nomination for president
Headlines on the day of Lincoln's inauguration portended hostilities with the Confederacy, Fort Sumter being attacked less than six weeks later.
March 1861 inaugural at the Capitol building. The dome above the rotunda was still under construction.
Lincoln with officers after the Battle of Antietam. Notable figures (from left) are 1. Col. Delos Sackett; 4. Gen. George W. Morell; 5. Alexander S. Webb, Chief of Staff, V Corps; 6. McClellan;. 8. Dr. Jonathan Letterman; 10. Lincoln; 11. Henry J. Hunt; 12. Fitz John Porter; 15. Andrew A. Humphreys; 16. Capt. George Armstrong Custer.
Running the Machine: An 1864 political cartoon satirizing Lincoln's administration – featuring William Fessenden, Edwin Stanton, William Seward, Gideon Welles, Lincoln, and others
Lincoln and McClellan
Lincoln, absent his usual top hat, is highlighted at Gettysburg.
An electoral landslide for Lincoln (in red) in the 1864 election; southern states (brown) and territories (gray) not in play
A poster of the 1864 election campaign with Lincoln as the candidate for president and Andrew Johnson as the candidate for vice president
Lincoln's second inaugural address in 1865 at the almost completed Capitol building
A political cartoon of Vice President Andrew Johnson (a former tailor) and Lincoln, 1865, entitled The 'Rail Splitter' At Work Repairing the Union. The caption reads (Johnson): "Take it quietly Uncle Abe and I will draw it closer than ever." (Lincoln): "A few more stitches Andy and the good old Union will be mended."
Shown in the presidential booth of Ford's Theatre, from left to right, are assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone.
Funeral of Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, painting by George Peter Alexander Healy in 1869
Lincoln in February 1865, two months before his death
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Lincoln cent, an American coin portraying Lincoln
Lincoln's image carved into the stone of Mount Rushmore|alt=See caption
Abraham Lincoln, a 1909 bronze statue by Adolph Weinman, sits before a historic church in Hodgenville, Kentucky.|alt=See caption
The Lincoln memorial postage stamp of 1866 was issued by the U.S. Post Office exactly one year after Lincoln's death.
Painting of Abraham Lincoln for the U.S. Capitol, by Ned Bittinger

He reentered politics in 1854, becoming a leader in the new Republican Party, and he reached a national audience in the 1858 Senate campaign debates against Stephen Douglas.

Lincoln ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North to gain victory.

Lincoln, a moderate Republican, had to navigate a contentious array of factions with friends and opponents from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

John C. Breckinridge

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American lawyer, politician, and soldier.

American lawyer, politician, and soldier.

Breckinridge in an undated photo
Breckinridge, circa 1850
Former Governor Robert P. Letcher was unable to unseat Breckinridge in 1853.
A campaign poster for Buchanan and Breckinridge
John C. Breckinridge, photograph by Mathew Brady
A marble bust of Breckinridge from the Senate's vice-presidential bust collection
Breckinridge in 1860 by Jules-Émile Saintin
States' electoral votes by candidate; Lincoln states are red, Breckinridge states are green, Bell states are orange, and Douglas states are blue
John C. Breckinridge by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
Bust of Breckinridge by T.A.R. Kitson, Vicksburg National Military Park
Breckinridge as a Confederate general
Breckinridge's statue formerly located at Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington
Breckinridge's party hijacking a larger boat
Breckinridge in exile in Paris
Breckinridge after the war
Breckinridge's gravestone

He was a member of the Democratic Party, and served in the U.S. Senate during the outbreak of the American Civil War, but was expelled after joining the Confederate Army.

These three men split the Southern vote, while antislavery Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won all but three electoral votes in the North, allowing him to win the election.

Photo by Mathew Brady

Stephen A. Douglas

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American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

American politician and lawyer from Illinois.

Photo by Mathew Brady
Stephen A. Douglas
Adele Cutts, c. 1860
The United States in 1849, with Texas's land claims on New Mexico shown
The United States after the Compromise of 1850
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler – An 1856 cartoon depicts a giant "Free Soiler" being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Douglas shoves a black man down his throat. A victim of lynching can also be seen in the background.
Stephen A. Douglas, photograph by Mathew Brady
Abraham Lincoln was Douglas's opponent in both the 1858 Senate election in Illinois and the 1860 presidential election.
Statue of Douglas at the site of the 1858 debate in Freeport, Illinois
Douglas (dark blue) had the support of most Northern delegates on the presidential ballot of the 1860 Democratic National Convention.
Douglas was defeated by Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election, as he won electoral votes from just two states.
Plaque at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, commemorating Douglas's "Protect The Flag" speech of April 25, 1861
Douglas's tomb
Douglas's widow, Adele, in mourning dress. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Douglas depicted on the Series 1875 $10,000 Certificate of Deposit

A senator, he was one of two nominees of the badly split Democratic Party for president in the 1860 presidential election, which was won by Republican Abraham Lincoln.

Portrait by Mathew Brady

Andrew Johnson

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The 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869.

The 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869.

Portrait by Mathew Brady
Johnson's birthplace and childhood home, located at the Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, North Carolina
Eliza McCardle Johnson
The Andrew Johnson House, built in 1851 in Greeneville, Tennessee
Portrait of Johnson, 1856, attributed to William Brown Cooper
Senator Johnson, 1859
Johnson in 1860
Poster for the Lincoln and Johnson ticket by Currier and Ives
1865 cartoon showing Lincoln and Johnson using their talents as rail-splitter and tailor to repair the Union
Contemporary woodcut of Johnson being sworn in by Chief Justice Chase as Cabinet members look on, April 15, 1865
Official portrait of President Johnson, c. 1880
Thomas Nast cartoon of Johnson disposing of the Freedmen's Bureau as African Americans go flying
"The Situation", a Harper's Weekly editorial cartoon, shows Secretary of War Stanton aiming a cannon labeled "Congress" to defeat Johnson. The rammer is "Tenure of Office Bill" and cannonballs on the floor are "Justice".
Illustration of Johnson's impeachment trial in the United States Senate, by Theodore R. Davis, published in Harper's Weekly
Illustration of Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate George T. Brown delivering a summons for the impeachment trial to Johnson at the White House on March 7, 1868
Illustration of Johnson consulting with his counsel for the trial
"Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness!": Harper's Weekly cartoon mocking Johnson on leaving office
Senator Andrew Johnson in 1875 (age 66)
The grave of Andrew Johnson, Greeneville, Tennessee

Johnson was a Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, coming to office as the Civil War concluded.

This led to conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1868.

The election of Lincoln, known to be against the spread of slavery, was unacceptable to many in the South.