Was the electoral college unfair to the South in the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860? Yes

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There were 97 maximum electoral college votes for TX, LA, AR, MS, TN, AL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MO.

11 southern states were out represented by just 4 northern states alone - NY, PA, OH, IN = 98 electoral votes.

The South was clearly under represented.

http://www.270towin.com/1860_Election/

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The EC is an antidemocratic abomination... and perhaps the only institution in the "democratic" world where a candidate rejected by the people can still win... and be imposed on a nation that rejected them. We saw that in 2000 with the Bush Junta. This defect is compounded if there are multiple candidates... low turnout, AND the winner take all system.

If the EC exactly mirrored the electorate.... there's no need for it. If it only distorts or negates an election, that's good reason to abolish it. The only reason I've heard where it does any good is candidates will visit states that might be ignored. But that happens anyway. I live in Mass.... and in the general election it's ignored by both Dems who consider it a safe state and GOPers who don't want to waste time here given we're a winner take all state. Candidates spend most of their time in critical swing states. If there were a popular vote they'd have to fight everywhere for votes.

Given there's only one office to vote on in presidential elections the best course is to go with a popular vote with an instant runoff vote and if no one gets a majority in the first round... go with the IRV results.

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Ultrax I agree I agree I agree. The electoral college is an abomination. I also agree that different parts of the country though maybe less populated have different intrest which need representation, than other parts of the country.

Intresting Ultrax
Though flawed the electoral college is an indicator of political change. And from 1852 to 1856 to 1860 there is a cataclysmic dramatic change in the Democratic party.

http://www.270towin.com/1852_Election/

http://www.270towin.com/1856_Election/

http://www.270towin.com/1860_Election/

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Quote JohnMosby:Ultrax I agree I agree I agree. The electoral college is an abomination. I also agree that different parts of the country though maybe less populated have different intrest which need representation, than other parts of the country.

Any one person has multiple interests... with the big ones being ideological and regional. Our system is designed for regional representation (all House and Senate seats represent states and states run their own elections... even for president) with ideology etc superimposed atop. As such our system can't measure or represent ideological views that can't win any election... giving our system an artificially narrow political spectrum and essentially making our system ideologically braindead. Other nations more interested in democracy have adopted proportional representation to give citizens the right to vote their conscience and get some representation.

I agree that regions... be it for legitimate urban, rural interests etc... deserve some representation... but there are other ways to deal with this without resorting to antidemocratic solutions such as the US Senate, the EC, and the amendment process. All are designed to give SOME citizens more power than others based on state residence. That leaves us with the absurd situation of the EC installing Bush in 2000, 18% of the US population gets 52% of the seats in the Senate (with its exclusive power over nominations, treaties, and the power to block the House) and states with less than 4% of the population can block any amendment yet states with 40% can approve one.

We need to find a way give those minorities (not just racial) with legitimate interests some ability to protect them WITHOUT letting the minority have the power to rule on occasion. For instance any rural states might have more power in agricultural committees to shape only legislation... or we can write new protections into the Bill of Rights.

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Yes true Ultrax

Would a perfect Greek democracy survive? Could we? Should everyone be able to vote on the disposition of US nuclear weapons in this world? I don't think so. I think the level of competency its not there yet. Take one look on the highways to see how legal voters drive and that's a nightmare. I can't see how is mentally competent to allow people who speed jump in front of you and stomp on their brakes to be able to vote on the disposition of nuclear weapons. Yet that would be the perfect representation of everyone.

The Confederate Constitution gave more sovereign power to the individual states (also the State power to impeach Federal judges) yet nearly copied exactly the US Constitution' flawed electoral college. The Supreme Court as it exists today with 9 corporate lawyers would not have existed on a Confederate Federal level. The Confederate Constitution did not respect the "greek" popular vote of each individual for true representation. It is more than likely that the confederate states with thier own individual supreme courts would be just as corrupt as our Neoconservative Supreme court today.

A Bill of rights has to be enforced by the government powers in charge. That's changes with each election.

The unfortunate reality is that there is no perfect government because all governments are manipulated (however differently ) at one point or another to subdue the common law for the banks or otherwise investment financial powers that be.

Today as it was yester year the banks pay a way to manipulate the masses. As Texas Unionist govenor General Sam Houston said when Texas seceded and when thrown out of office that Texas was surrendering it's independence to a consortium of smaller states beholden to "King Cotton" and Southern plantocracy.

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The South was anything but underrepresented. Only African Americans were underrepresented, or rather not represented at all even though the South benefited from having 3/5ths of their corporeal beings counted toward State representation and therefore electoral representation,

I'm not questioning the wisdom of abolishing the electoral college. Clearly when you see that nearly 1.4 million popular votes yielded only 12 electoral votes for Douglas compared to 1.86 million popular votes yielding 180 for Lincoln you understand that something is amiss. Lincoln only got 40% of the popular vote but combined with the Constitutional Union Party, also anti-secessionists, the Democrats were both popularly beaten and electorally beaten. Those most underrepresented then were the more moderate Democratic or Republican voters in the Southern and mid Southern states.

I would say that your premise is flawed in that the electoral college was not unfair to the South per se in the election of Abraham Lincoln but rather the course of the electoral college was perverted by its electors to the purposes of the South even if those purposes were unsuccessful. It is true though that the electoral college can produce undemocratic, even perverse, outcomes but the fact that 4 Northern States had as many electors as 11 Southern States is not the relevant problem. Actually less populous states have an advantage since each state is given two electors representing its two senators. Notice that while Douglas won the popular Democratic vote by a wide matgin most of the Democratic electors went for John C Breckinridge. The problem comes with the fact that the winning party in a state appoints all of the electors for that state which then sets up a paradigm in which a minority of voters can prevail as in 2000 or a party can pervert the intent of the voters as happened in 1860.

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Mdhess what do you think of the huge transition of democratic party from 1852 to 1856 to 1860?

http://www.270towin.com/1852_Election/

http://www.270towin.com/1856_Election/

http://www.270towin.com/1860_Election/

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Not only did the South lose the presidency to Abraham Lincoln they also lost the House of Representatives and the Senate. They effectively had no power in the Federal government

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The abolitionists had won. They took over the power of the Federal government. It was only a matter of time before laws to abolish slavery in the South would have been passed. The rich in the South did as all rich has done throughout history and today. The banks protect thier money. And money back then was cotton. And slaves harvested cotton. So banks killed to protect thier money. The southern banks started war to protect thier money

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Quote JohnMosby:The abolitionists had won. They took over the power of the Federal government. It was only a matter of time before laws to abolish slavery in the South would have been passed.
Problem with your theory is Lincoln wasn't an abolitionist. He actually said if it were necessary to protect the union, he'd support an amendment to keep the federal government from ever ending slavery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corwin_Amendment

Quote Lincoln:

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that— I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html

Lincoln DID, however want to end the expansion of slavery into the territories.

Given the antidemocratic nature of our federal system... it would have been virtually impossible to get through a law or an amendment to end slavery. In fact the south was getting most of what it wanted in the 1850s... court decisions that protected slavery and lower tariffs. The slave states decided to secede anyway.

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Quote JohnMosby:Not only did the South lose the presidency to Abraham Lincoln they also lost the House of Representatives and the Senate. They effectively had no power in the Federal government

Uh? As long as the slave states stayed in the Union they could NOT lose their power in either the House or Senate. But as new Free States were becoming part of the Union their power was becoming diluted. Yet the Senate has always been an obscenely antidemocratic body... and more antidemocratic today. It could have vetoed ANY law or amendment proposed by the House.

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Lincoln believed the majority of southern people had been duped into war by “seceder politicians” propaganda, except for South Carolina. I think he was right. In Texas The hero of the Texas Republic General/President of Texas/Govenor of Texas Sam Houston who defeated Santa Anna and his Mexican army at the battle of San Jacinto was against disunion and was thrown out of office by the Texas secession convention for not swearing allegiance to the Confederacy. Lincoln offered Houston US troops. Houston refused because he would not be responsible for a Texas civil war.

Quote Abraham Lincoln before a special
session of Congress of July 4, 1861
:
It may well be questioned whether there is to-day a majority of the legally qualified voters of any State, except, perhaps, South Carolina, in favor of disunion. There is much reason to believe that the Union men are the majority in many, if not in every other one, of the so-called seceded States. The contrary has not been demonstrated in any one of them. It is ventured to affirm this even of Virginia and Tennessee; for the result of an election held in military camps, where the bayonets are all on one side of the question voted upon, can scarcely be considered as demonstrating popular sentiment. At such an election all that large class who are at once for the Union and against coercion would be coerced to vote against the Union.
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Quote ulTRAX:

Quote JohnMosby:The abolitionists had won. They took over the power of the Federal government. It was only a matter of time before laws to abolish slavery in the South would have been passed.
Problem with your theory is Lincoln wasn't an abolitionist. He actually said if it were necessary to protect the union, he'd support an amendment to keep the federal government from ever ending slavery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corwin_Amendment

Quote Lincoln:

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that— I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres31.html

Lincoln DID, however want to end the expansion of slavery into the territories.

Given the antidemocratic nature of our federal system... it would have been virtually impossible to get through a law or an amendment to end slavery. In fact the south was getting most of what it wanted in the 1850s... court decisions that protected slavery and lower tariffs. The slave states decided to secede anyway.

Yes Lincoln did want to stop expansion of slavery into the western territories which would have translated into more loss of political/electoral power for the southern states. In 1860, would the South have seceded if it had won the presidency and both houses? I don't think they would've. The loss of political power losing the presidency AND both houses of Congress was a definite blow to the South. It certainly helped the sophist propaganda lies of "seceder polticians" of the South who Lincoln blamed for the civil war as stated in his speech before a special
session of Congress of July 4, 1861-

Quote Abraham Lincoln before a special
session of Congress of July 4, 1861
:
"It might seem at first thought to be of little difference whether the present movement at the South be called "secession" or "rebellion." The movers, however, well understand the difference. At the beginning they knew they could never raise their treason to any respectable magnitude by any name which implies violation of law. They knew their people possessed as much of moral sense, as much of devotion to law and order, and as much pride in and reverence for the history and Government of their common country as any other civilized and patriotic people. They knew they could make no advancement directly in the teeth of these strong and noble sentiments. Accordingly, they commenced by an insidious debauching of the public mind. They invented an ingenious sophism, which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps through all the incidents to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the National Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully , withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State. The little disguise that the supposed right is to be exercised only for just cause, themselves to be the sole judge of its justice, is too thin to merit any notice.
With rebellion thus sugar coated they have been drugging the public mind of their section for more than thirty years, and until at length they have brought many good men to a willingness to take up arms against the Government the day after some assemblage of men have enacted the farcical pretense of taking their State out of the Union who could have been brought to no such thing the day before …"

Also for Lincoln it was unfair for creditors of bank loans for the seceded states to leave the union without paying their debt back to the union -

Quote Abraham Lincoln before a special
session of Congress of July 4, 1861
:
“…What is now combated is the position that secession is consistent with the Constitution--is lawful and peaceful . It is not contended that there is any express law for it, and nothing should ever be implied as law which leads to unjust or absurd consequences. The nation purchased with money the countries out of which several of these States were formed. Is it just that they shall go off without leave and without refunding? The nation paid very large sums (in the aggregate, I believe, nearly a hundred millions) to relieve Florida of the aboriginal tribes. Is it just that she shall now be off without consent or without making any return? The nation is now in debt for money applied to the benefit of these so-called seceding States in common with the rest. Is it just either that creditors shall go unpaid or the remaining States pay the whole? A part of the present national debt was contracted to pay the old debts of Texas. Is it just that she shall leave and pay no part of this herself?
Again: If one State may secede, so may another; and when all shall have seceded none is left to pay the debts. Is this quite just to creditors? Did we notify them of this sage view of ours when we borrowed their money? If we now recognize this doctrine by allowing the seceders to go in peace, it is difficult to see what we can do if others choose to go or to extort terms upon which they will promise to remain..."
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I think many would be surprised to know that the ideas of secession actually were started by northern states, not the south. The New England secessionist movement lost its bid for secession from southern states in 1804 when Burr killed popular Hamilton in thier duel.

see:

The Real Origin of the Secession Movement
Eberhard P. Deutsch
American Bar Association Journal
Vol. 55, No. 12 (December, 1969), pp. 1134-1140

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JohnMosby
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Quote JohnMosby:I think many would be surprised to know that the ideas of secession actually were started by northern states, not the south. The New England secessionist movement lost its bid for secession from southern states in 1804 when Burr killed popular Hamilton in thier duel.
Arguably secession goes back further. The basis of secession rest on a theory the US was merely a compact of independent states not a permanent union. Jefferson authored the Kentucky Resolution in 1799 to protest the Alien And Sedition Acts and hints Kentucky would not want to secede but it was within their rights. At this time they were declaring the right of nullification.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/kenres.asp

RESOLVED, That this commonwealth considers the federal union, upon the terms and for the purposes specified in the late compact, as conducive to the liberty and happiness of the several states: That it does now unequivocally declare its attachment to the Union, and to that compact, agreeable to its obvious and real intention, and will be among the last to seek its dissolution: That if those who administer the general government be permitted to transgress the limits fixed by that compact, by a total disregard to the special delegations of power therein contained, annihilation of the state governments, and the erection upon their ruins, of a general consolidated government, will be the inevitable consequence: That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who adminster the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers: That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy: That this commonwealth does upon the most deliberate reconsideration declare, that the said alien and sedition laws, are in their opinion, palpable violations of the said constitution; and however cheerfully it may be disposed to surrender its opinion to a majority of its sister states in matters of ordinary or doubtful policy; yet, in momentous regulations like the present, which so vitally wound the best rights of the citizen, it would consider a silent acquiesecence as highly criminal: That although this commonwealth as a party to the federal compact; will bow to the laws of the Union, yet it does at the same time declare, that it will not now, nor ever hereafter, cease to oppose in a constitutional manner, every attempt from what quarter soever offered, to violate that compact:

AND FINALLY, in order that no pretexts or arguments may be drawn from a supposed acquiescence on the part of this commonwealth in the constitutionality of those laws, and be thereby used as precedents for similar future violations of federal compact; this commonwealth does now enter against them, its SOLEMN PROTEST.

Approved December 3rd, 1799.

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Quote JohnMosby:
Quote ulTRAX:Lincoln DID, however want to end the expansion of slavery into the territories.

Given the antidemocratic nature of our federal system... it would have been virtually impossible to get through a law or an amendment to end slavery. In fact the south was getting most of what it wanted in the 1850s... court decisions that protected slavery and lower tariffs. The slave states decided to secede anyway.

Yes Lincoln did want to stop expansion of slavery into the western territories which would have translated into more loss of political/electoral power for the southern states. In 1860, would the South have seceded if it had won the presidency and both houses? I don't think they would've. The loss of political power losing the presidency AND both houses of Congress was a definite blow to the South.
Maybe creating more free states was Lincoln's long term game plan. But in an antidemocratic system such as ours, that wasn't a crucial factor in 1860. And if Lincoln had that long term game plan... he was undermining it with his support for the Corwin Amendment.

The slave states... and there were 15 in 1860 vs 18 free states, still had considerable power to block any legislation in the Senate using the filibuster, and if that failed... to block any amendment that threatened slavery in both in the House and Senate where a 2/3 vote was needed in each house and in the states where 3/4 of the states had to approve.

So in 1860 before SC's secession there were 33 states with 66 votes in the Senate. 44 votes would have been needed in the Senate... requiring 7 more free states to outvote the slave states.

The math gets unpredictable with SC seceding in late 1860 and 6 other slave states seceding before Kansas joins the union as a free state. Assuming none seceded and there were 34 states (15 slave 19 free)it still would have required 60 states to outvote the 15 slave states to ratify an antislavery amendment. 150 years later we still don't have 60 states.

So was secession a foolish, premature move? Even if Lincoln ran on preventing slavery in the territories didn't mean Congress would go along, and it has the exclusive power over statehood. And Lincoln would not be in office forever. Maybe the next president would cave as Lincoln was doing when he supported the Corwin Amendment.

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