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Election of 1856

Source: The Library of Congress

In the 1856 presidential election, Democrat James Buchanan ran against Republican John C. Fremont and the Know–Nothings candidate, former President Millard Fillmore. Buchanan was from the North, yet he maintained ideological ties to the South, and he could count on Southern votes while retaining some strength in the North. Although Buchanan won the election, he did so without a popular mandate in a nation sharply divided over slavery and sectional issues.

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