Joan Waugh: What if Lincoln lost the election?
Professor of history at UCLA
If Abraham Lincoln had lost the election to the (Northern) Democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas, I do not believe that seven states of the Deep South would have seceded so quickly or formed a government in Montgomery, Ala., by February 1861. A wholly sectional party had come to power that threatened the slaveholders’ social and economic security, and that fact spurred secessionist action. But even if Douglas had won in 1860, would secession have come eventually, as so many Northern Democrats were in favor of limiting slavery’s expansion in the western territories? Maybe, but I suspect that Democrats would have found a way to compromise to at least delay it for a while.
| October 31, 2010; 10:32 PM ET
Categories: Views | Tags: Joan Waugh
Save & Share: Previous: Waite Rawls: What if Lincoln lost the election?
Next: Chandra Manning: What if Lincoln lost the election?
Posted by: potaboc | November 2, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: edallan | November 2, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jams4dad | November 2, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse