The Presidential election of 1860 took place against a background of bitter sectional tensions and political polarization. The contest involved four major candidates: Stephen Douglas, representing the national Democratic Party John Breckinridge, representing pro-slavery Southern Democrats who refused to endorse Douglas; John Bell, representing an ad-hoc alliance of conservative centrists calling itself the Constitutional Union Party and Abraham Lincoln, representing the relatively new Republican Party . This module shows the results of this tumultuous and divisive election, arguably the most confusing and most directly significant presidential election in the nation s history. The first map shows the presidential election by county. The second map shows the electoral vote by state. The final map compares the county and state data.