Political Realignment in the 1850s

Political Realignment in the 1850s - Americans formed new...

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Political Realignment in the 1850s The presidential election of 1852 marked the beginning of the end of the Whig party.  With its northern and southern wings divided over the Fugitive Slave Law, the best the  party could do was nominate another hero of the Mexican War, General Winfield Scott.  The Democrats turned away from Millard Fillmore, Taylor's vice president, who had  succeeded to the presidency upon Taylor's death in 1850, and chose Franklin Pierce of  New Hampshire as their candidate. Although both parties supported the Compromise of  1850, the Democrats were able to better overcome their internal differences, and Pierce  won a landslide victory in the Electoral College, 254 to 42. The Whigs never recovered  from the defeat. The election of 1852 was an important watershed. As the Whig party fell apart, 
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Unformatted text preview: Americans formed new political alignments. Southern Whigs moved into the Democratic party, while northern Whigs joined the new Republican party, formed in 1855. In addition, another party—the American party (also known as the Know-Nothings )— attracted anti-immigration nativists, opponents of the extension of slavery, and voters disillusioned with the performance of both the Whigs and Democrats. The year 1852 also marked the last election for eighty years in which candidates from both parties collected popular and electoral votes from throughout the country; party affiliation and voter support remained largely sectional until the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932....
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