The twentieth presidential election of the United States took place in 1864, in the latter stages of the American Civil War. Incumbent President Abraham Lincoln of the temporary National Union Party (which combined the Republican Party and the anti-Confederate wing of the Democratic Party) faced off against George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party. Despite receiving only ten percent more of the popular vote, this winning margin was spread across the majority of states in the Union, and gave Lincoln a 91 percent share of the electoral votes. Elections were also held in the military districts of the Confederacy's Louisiana and Tennessee, and had these votes been included in the final results they would have increased Lincoln's overall winning margin by 17 electoral points. Lincoln's running mate was the War Democrat Andrew Johnson, whose partnership with Lincoln displayed political unity between the parties during the war.
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was inaugurated for the second time on the 4th of March 1865, and in the wake of victory for the Union, Lincoln made plans for reconciliation with the secessionist states, rather than retribution. On April 14 1885, just five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee's forces to Ulysses S. Grant, (which effectively marked the end of the war) Lincoln was assassinated by the well-known actor John Wilkes Booth, while attending a play at the Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. The assassination was part of a larger plot to re-ignite the Confederate cause, where Lincoln, Grant, Johnson and other high-profile figures were targeted by Confederate agents (although the attempt on Lincoln was the only successful one). Booth, a Confederate sympathizer and spy, had made plans to kidnap or assassinate Lincoln in the early months of 1865, but the opportunity to execute these plans never presented itself; however, when collecting his mail at Ford's Theater at midday on April the 14th, Booth learned that Lincoln and Grant would be in attendance that night and Booth's plan was set in motion. After successfully assassinating Lincoln, Booth escaped and made his way to a farm in Virginia, where he was tracked down and murdered on April 26. Abraham Lincoln was mourned by both the north and south, with tributes coming from prominent Confederate leaders such as General Lee, and to this day, Lincoln is regarded by many as one of the greatest US presidents of all time.
Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 20th US presidential election in 1864
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ProCon. (June 30, 2011). Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 20th US presidential election in 1864 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from /statistics/1056495/distribution-votes-1864-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. "Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 20th US presidential election in 1864." Chart. June 30, 2011. Statista. Accessed April 30, 2021. /statistics/1056495/distribution-votes-1864-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. (2011). Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 20th US presidential election in 1864. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: April 30, 2021. /statistics/1056495/distribution-votes-1864-us-presidential-election/
ProCon. "Share of Electoral College* and Popular Votes** in The 20th Us Presidential Election in 1864." Statista, Statista Inc., 30 Jun 2011, /statistics/1056495/distribution-votes-1864-us-presidential-election/
ProCon, Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 20th US presidential election in 1864 Statista, /statistics/1056495/distribution-votes-1864-us-presidential-election/ (last visited April 30, 2021)