The Civil War and Reconstruction YearsGenerally belligerent toward the South, the Republicans were regarded by Southerners with mingled hatred and fear as sectional tension increased. They were successful in the elections of 1858 and passed over their better-known leaders to nominate Abraham Lincolnin 1860. The party platform in 1860 included planks calling for a high protective tariff, free homesteads, and a transcontinental railroad; these were bids for support among Westerners, farmers, and eastern manufacturing interests.Lincoln's victory over Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell was the signal for the secessionof the Southern states, and the Civil Warfollowed. Union military failures early in the war and conservative opposition to such measures as the Emancipation Proclamationcaused the party to lose ground in the Congressional elections of 1862. But despite mutterings against his leadership, Lincoln, renominated on the Union (Republican) ticket in 1864, defeated Gen. George B. McClellan.
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