*This scenario was updated greatly by the Historical Scenario Commission on July 27, 2017. Version 2.0 can be downloaded here: United States – 1860 v. 2.0
The 1860 election takes place at the door step of separation. The major issues are States’ Rights and whether or not slavery should be contained or spread. The Republican Party has moderated its platform since 1856 and is now a viable opposition party to defeat the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has weakened and split due to fundamental differences between Northern and Southern members of their party. Former Whigs and Know Nothing/American Party members have formed a new party–the Constitutional Union Party–which hopes to hold the Union together by taking a moderate course based on compromise. Can any party prevent a Civil War?
For Republicans, the front runner is the leader of the party, William Seward. However, many in his own party do not want him to be president. As such, he faces tough competition from moderate and radical Republicans. Former representative Abraham Lincoln, a moderate Republican, has achieved recent fame for his debate on slavery against Stephen A. Douglas and for a recent recent speech at the Cooper Union building in New York City. Simon Cameron, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates and other Republicans are also in the race.
Northern Democrats are mostly rallying around front runner Stephen A. Douglas, who is an advocate for Popular Sovereignty on the slave question, which places him as a moderate. He faces a few challengers, but none that show a real threat to the nomination.
The Southern Democrats, have nominated their own candidates with sitting president James Buchanan’s VP, John C. Breckinridge, and Bourbon Democrat, Daniel S. Dickinson.
The Constitutional Union Party has an All-Star cast of rapidly aging candidates, including John Bell, Sam Houston, John J. Crittenden and others.
The Liberty Party fielded Gerrit Smith, a staunch abolitionist.
The election allows for many what-if scenarios:
- What if John C. Fremont and Charles Sumner ran for the Republican ticket?
- What if Horatio Seymour, Former President Franklin Pierce, Jefferson Davis, Lewis Cass and Incumbent President James Buchanan ran on the Northern Democrat ticket?
- What if Former President Millard Fillmore ran for the Constitutional Union ticket?
- What if incumbent President James Buchanan was supported for reelection with a unified Democratic Party to take on the Republican Party?
Each candidate’s bio lists the result if they are election. For example, if the Civil War occurs or not. Some candidate may make the border states secede; whereas, some candidates may make New England secede.
Feedback is desired.
18 thoughts on “President Infinity 1860 Election”
Going to slip my ancestor in to this as an endorser. Campaigned for Lincoln and gave speeches for him at 16….while I at 16 was afraid of girls! ha
Loving these new scenarios! I didn’t know that all of the three forgettable presidents before Lincoln were in such high demand in this period. Can’t wait for 1856!
There’s a book Keith that explains the ex-presidents and their relationship with Lincoln during the War. It’s the only time in our history that we had 5 living
That’s pretty interesting! I knew about Pierce’s apparent rivalry with Lincoln and the attempts to court him as a candidate, but I was unaware of Filmore’s continued political activity post-1856 and I couldn’t imagine a Buchanan comeback at any time.
In reality, Pierce was turning down offers. After 1856, Fillmore retired and endorsed Democrats. Buchanan was too old. Tyler was a Confederate senator. Van Buren was too old.
It is crazy to think that John Tyler, a former President, was a Confederate senator. When I first learned that, I was surprised at first.
May we have George Law as an American party nominee in 1856. What are your thoughts on Joseph Smith in 1844?
I’ve added George Law to 1856. It may take me a while to do 1856, because the editor is malfunctioning. Possibly because I’ve based every election on the election I’ve finished with previously. So, maybe it’s issues of long term inbreeding. I sent it to Anthony to see if he can fix anything. No response yet.
I’m not sure if I’ll add Joseph Smith to 1844. If I do, it will probably be in the updates. My main goal is to have playable scenarios of all these elections, before fine tuning them to perfection + adding minor candidates.
Fair enough. Just study Mormon history and his platform is pretty interesting (in a good way, such as using funds from the selling of Public lands to buy slaves from the South).
Suggestions for improvements:
1. Change the colors so they reflects this map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1860
2. Change the voters to a more realistic number
3. Make Missouri a little easier for a Southern Democrat to compete in. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_in_Missouri,_1860
It shows the Southern Democrats getting 18%. When i play i only get around 12% (not campaigning)
4. The flags of the Constitutional Union Party and the Southern Democratic Party should be replaced with something else than the socialist party logo.
Bragging: Played this wonderful scenario and got 24% of the popular vote and 102 electoral votes with the Breckingridge/Lane ticket.
Thanks for your feedback. This scenario, as the other scenarios, are all first drafts. I plan on doing a grand update to all of them once Anthony releases favorability and demographics, since this would require quite an overhaul. I’ll then update all the necessary constructive criticism that I find. Please play my other scenarios and offer feedback as well, since I will be checking all of these comments.
I’ve enjoyed it so far but there are some bugs. First, there are candidates that appear in North/South Democrat as well as Union Democrat, such as Buchanan and Breckenridge, and have the same ID. To debug I had to completely re-create both parties. Also, this may not be a function of your scenario, but I notice that ads will not run at all. If you create an ad, it will disappear by the next turn. If you create a 0-turn ad and start it right away, it always halts by the next turn for no apparent reason, even when the funds are fine. My guess is that there’s an inconsistency between ad costs, perhaps those costs are being taken from modern years, while the funds are in 1860 dollars.
The citizen amounts need to be updated. I’ll get right on it 🙂 On another note, may I suggest John Breckinridge as a Democrat? Maybe add a lot of the candidates from the Northern and Southern Democrat parties to the Democrat party as well.
Benjamin Fitzpatrick was the original choice for VP for the Northern Democrats. Additionally, Cassius M. Clay was nearly Lincoln’s VP, so I’d add him as an option if he isn’t already in.
Add the Chicago Press & Tribune as an endorser (it endorsed Lincoln for the nomination, IRL)
Add Nathaniel Banks