Today in history, Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election to become the 16th president of the United States of America over a severely partitioned Democratic Party, thus, making him the first ever Republican to win the White House race. He was able to get only 40 percent of the electorate, yet Lincoln beat the other three different candidates from Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a onetime rival and U.S. congressman for Illinois.
Born and bred in Kentucky, Lincoln became a lawyer, and even the former Whig representative to the Congress. He gained popularity during the great debate against Stephen Douglas of Illinois for U.S. Senate seat in 1858. The senatorial battle highlighted an astounding arrangement of well-constructed open arguments on the matter relating to slavery, which is widely known as the "Lincoln-Douglas debates" where Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery, while Douglas argued that every region ought to have the privilege to choose whether it would turn out to be free or slave. In the final analysis, Lincoln lost the Senate race, however his campaign conveyed national awareness regarding the youthful Republican Party. Two years later, Lincoln won the party's presidential primaries.
At the presidential election in November 1860, Lincoln once again had to compete against Douglas, who is representing a faction of a vigorously separated Democratic Party, and additionally Breckinridge and Bell. The declaration of Lincoln's triumph flagged the withdrawal of the Southern states, which since the start of the year had been openly threatening to secede if the Republicans won the White House race.
As at the time of Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861, the Confederate States of America had been formally formed with only seven Southern Democratic states. The Confederate States decided to make Jefferson Davis as president of the newly established states. This event led to the American Civil War that started one month later when Confederate armies under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Eventually, in 1863, the Confederacy lost the battle, Lincoln liberated the slaves and in 1864, he was reelected for a second term as the president of the United States. At Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. in April 1865, a Confederate supporter named John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln. The assault came just five days after the American Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.
To this day, Abraham Lincoln is regarded as one of the greatest American presidents ever for his role in protecting the Union, abolishing slavery, and for his exceptional character and effective eloquence.