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Arguing until DoomsdayStephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy$
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Michael E. Woods

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469656397

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469656397.001.0001

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Countries over Party

Countries over Party

(p.212) Epilogue Countries over Party
Arguing until Doomsday

Michael E. Woods

University of North Carolina Press

After playing conspicuous but ineffective roles in the final search for compromise in 1861, Jefferson Davis and Stephen Douglas faced the reality of their failure to maintain the Union while aligning the Democratic Party behind their competing agendas. Forced by secession and the outbreak of the Civil War to choose between party and patriotism, both embraced the latter, but this only widened the breach between them. Davis cast his lot with the Confederacy, over which he would preside during the most famous chapter of his long political career. Ironically, as Confederate president he would confront familiar problems of balancing property rights with majority rule. Meanwhile, Douglas rallied reluctant northern Democrats behind a war effort led by Abraham Lincoln, throwing his considerable influence into the war for the Union before dying in June 1861.

Keywords:   Civil War, Democratic Party, Union, Abraham Lincoln, Secession

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