Constitutional Union Party 1860

Concluding our series on party platforms of 1860, we look at the platform, or more correctly, the non-platform of the Constitutional Union Party.  There is an air of melancholy about the attempt by conservative Whigs to make one last effort to head off the conflict over slavery through the formation of the Constitutional Union Party.  It was born in December 1859 and died after the election of 1860 when it was obvious that the program of the Party to simply ignore the slavery issue had been resoundingly rejected by both the North and the South.

The convention of the party met in May of 1860 in Baltimore and nominated John Bell of Tennessee for President and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for Veep.  John Bell would go on to support the Confederacy after the election and Edward Everett,  who would speak before Lincoln at Gettysburg, became an ardent supporter of the Union war effort.  In the fall of 1860 the ticket won the electoral votes of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The platform of the party has the virtue of brevity.  It condemns party platforms as having a divisive impact on the nation and states that the platform of the party is simply the Constitution, the Union and the enforcement of the laws.  The platform of the Constitutional Union Party: (more…)

Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Constitutional Union Party 1860  
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