The national elections were fast approaching. Key campaign issues included the spread of slavery into the territories and the measure of Federal control over the states and the people. There were four main candidates for the presidency, two in the North and two in the South. This reflected the deep sectional rift in America.
The presidential election had only caused more bitterness, animosity, and tension. President Buchanan opposed secession but felt legally unable to stop states from leaving the Union. Fire-eaters in the South continued calling for secession to avoid falling under the control of a Republican administration that had avowed to favor northern interests over theirs.
Last Updated: 12/18/2020