In the presidential election of 1860, republican and Kentucky-born lawyer Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States. With only 40 percent of the popular vote, Lincoln defeated Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, Constitutional Union Candidate John Bell and Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge in the presidential election of 1860. Having won the election, Abraham Lincoln became the first republican president in U.S. history.
Abraham Lincoln faced off against democratic senator Stephen Douglas in many debates that focused on the issue of slavery during the 1860 senatorial campaign. Even though he lost the Senate race, Lincoln did benefit enormously the national attention both he and the republican party received. The American Civil War began only one month after Lincoln was sworn into office, which was due to the fact that the Southern confederate states were against Lincoln being in office, and because they opposed the idea of slavery being abolished.