The Presidential Election 1864


Map Code: Ax00065

As the Civil War raged on, the election of 1864 included only the states that had not seceded from the Union. The war had lasted longer than expected, there was division within the Republican party over slavery, disagreements over civil liberties and, in the North, voters were disheartened by Lincoln’s position on emancipation. The Democratic party were also split over the Civil War, but chose former Union army leader George B. McClellan as their presidential candidate to run against Lincoln. The Democrats appeased the Copperheads – a party faction seeking peace in the South – by offering them influence over the party platform. This, in turn, caused further division and served to weaken McClellan’s leadership quest. Lincoln’s position, meanwhile, was strengthened not least by the capture of Atlanta and he won the election with 212 votes, helped by the support of many Union soldiers voting in the field. Former Democratic senator Andrew Johnson became his vice president; he would become president after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

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