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Abraham Lincoln

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In part due to the ongoing violent political confrontations in Kansas, opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act remained strong throughout the North. As the 1856 elections approached, Lincoln joined the Republicans. He attended the May 1856 Bloomington Convention, which formally established the Illinois Republican Party. The convention platform asserted that Congress had the right to regulate slavery in the territories and called for the immediate admission of Kansas as a free state. Lincoln gave the final speech of the convention, in which he endorsed the party platform and called for the preservation of the Union. :216–221 At the June 1856 Republican National Convention, Lincoln received significant support to run for vice president, though the party nominated William Dayton to run with John C. Frémont. Lincoln supported the Republican ticket, campaigning throughout Illinois. The Democrats nominated former Ambassador James Buchanan, who had been out of the country since 1853 and thus had avoided the slavery debate, while the Know Nothings nominated former Whig President Millard Fillmore. :224–228 Buchanan defeated both his challengers. Republican William Henry Bissell won election as Governor of Illinois. Lincoln's vigorous campaigning had made him the leading Republican in Illinois. :229–230

Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars [5] and the public [6] as among the greatest U.S. presidents. Access hundreds of hours of historical video, commercial free, with HISTORY Vault . Start your free trial today.

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