Republican Party Platform 1864

Last week we looked at the Democrat party platform of 1864.  Go here to read it.  It was one long attack on the conduct of the War by the Lincoln administration.  Today we look at the Republican platform.

Well, technically it was the platform of the National Union Party, a temporary name given to the Republican party in 1864, the better to attract war Democrat votes.  Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was dumped as Veep and Andrew Johnson, the military governor of Tennessee and life long Democrat, was nominated as Veep as part of this strategy.  The party convention was held in Baltimore, not the friendliest of venues for Republicans, on June 7 and June 8, when the War news was unremittingly grim.  It is striking therefore how uncompromising the platform approved on June 7 was in regard to the War and Emancipation.  Here is the text of the platform:

1. Resolved, That it is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union and the paramount authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that, laying aside all differences of political opinion, we pledge ourselves, as Union men, animated by a common sentiment and aiming at a common object, to do everything in our power to aid the Government in quelling by force of arms the Rebellion now raging against its authority, and in bringing to the punishment due to their crimes the Rebels and traitors arrayed against it.

2. Resolved, That we approve the determination of the Government of the United States not to compromise with Rebels, or to offer them any terms of peace, except such as may be based upon an unconditional surrender of their hostility and a return to their just allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that we call upon the Government to maintain this position and to prosecute the war with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression of the Rebellion, in full reliance upon the self-sacrificing patriotism, the heroic valor and the undying devotion of the American people to the country and its free institutions.

3. Resolved, That as slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength of this Rebellion, and as it must be, always and everywhere, hostile to the principles of Republican Government, justice and the National safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic; and that, while we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defense, has aimed a deathblow at this gigantic evil, we are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States.

4. Resolved, That the thanks of the American people are due to the soldiers and sailors of the Army and Navy, who have periled their lives in defense of the country and in vindication of the honor of its flag; that the nation owes to them some permanent recognition of their patriotism and their valor, and ample and permanent provision for those of their survivors who have received disabling and honorable wounds in the service of the country; and that the memories of those who have fallen in its defense shall be held in grateful and everlasting remembrance.

5. Resolved, That we approve and applaud the practical wisdom, the unselfish patriotism and the unswerving fidelity to the Constitution and the principles of American liberty, with which ABRAHAM LINCOLN has discharged, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, the great duties and responsibilities of the Presidential office; that we approve and indorse, as demanded by the emergency and essential to the preservation of the nation and as within the provisions of the Constitution, the measures and acts which he has adopted to defend the nation against its open and secret foes; that we approve, especially, the Proclamation of Emancipation, and the employment as Union soldiers of men heretofore held in slavery; and that we have full confidence in his determination to carry these and all other Constitutional measures essential to the salvation of the country into full and complete effect. (more…)

Published in: on September 5, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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The Corrupt Bargain

After the collapse of the Federalist party, James Madison ran for re-election in 1820.  What a difference four years made!  Like most political parties that achieve political victory over a rival party, the Republicans quickly factionalized.  John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William Crawford and Henry Clay ran.  The election resulted in Jackson with 99 electoral votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41 and Clay with 37.  With no candidate having a majority, for the second time in a quarter of a century, the race was decided by the House of Representatives.

Ironically, Henry Clay, Speaker of the House, was eliminated due to the Twelfth Amendment limiting the candidates that the House would vote on to the top three.  For Clay it was an easy decision to decide who to support.  Crawford had no hope.  Clay heartily detested Jackson:  “I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy.”  Adams and Clay had similar views regarding tariffs and internal improvements.  With Clay’s support, Adams was chosen as President on the first ballot in the House. (more…)

Published in: on November 2, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Corrupt Bargain  
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Why Many People Hate Politics

A fine example of what a modern political attack ad would look like if deployed against Abraham Lincoln.  Considering what was said about Lincoln in the 1860 and 1864 election in partisan newspapers, I think the above would have been a fairly mild sample of the vitriol that would have graced steam operated televisions!

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Presidential Election 1812

The Presidential election in 1812 was one of the more interesting in our history.  James Madison was running for re-election on the Jeffersonian Republican ticket.  Dewitt Clinton, who was simultaneously Mayor of New York and Lieutenant Governor of New York, received the nomination of a dissident faction of the Jeffersonian Republicans, along with the nomination of the dying Federalist party. (more…)

Published in: on August 24, 2012 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Presidential Election 1812  
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