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By Richard Allen Sauers

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By Richard Allen Sauers

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Democratic–Republican Party While Southerners applauded this law, many Northern Democrats opposed it. As the election of 1860 approached, the Democrats split into Northern and Southern factions, each of which nominated a candidate for president. A third faction, called the Constitutional Union Party, chose John Bell of Tennessee as a presidential candidate in a desperate attempt to keep the peace. Together, these factions received about 60 percent of the popular vote. Republican Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865), however, won about 40 percent of the popular vote but easily carried the Electoral College vote.

According to Jefferson, land ownership enabled a person to take pride in living off his own land as a small farmer protected by a distant government. Jefferson also believed in equality and in increased suffrage, or the right to vote. By 1824, most states liberalized their voting laws to enable more and more white men to vote. Property laws were repealed or relaxed, and electoral districts were made smaller, making it easier for voters to get to a polling place. Though Jefferson said that he believed in equality, he owned slaves.

Southern defenders of slavery argued along constitutional lines about whether or not Congress had the power to regulate slavery in the territories. Northern opponents of slavery contended that the Constitution gave Congress the power to regulate the territories and, after 1808, to control movement of slaves across state lines. The abolition movement had not yet become very strong in the North. Most of the people who wanted to restrict slavery were concerned about Southern political power based on slavery.

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