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The situation in Kansas in the mid-1850s indicated the impracticality of popular sovereignty in the territories. The clash between Preston S. Brooks and Charles Sumner revealed the fact that passions over slavery were becoming dangerously inflamed in both North and South. James Buchanan won the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1856 because he was not associated with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The central plank of the Know-Nothing party in the 1856 election was nativism. Nativists in the 1850s were known for their anti-Catholic and antiforeign attitudes. The Republicans lost the 1856 election in part because of southern threats that a Republican victory would be a declaration of war.