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The country had been steadily moving toward Civil War arguably since the Missouri Compromise, which first prolonged the fight over slavery in the United States. In these chapters, Wilentz discusses how Lincoln won his party’s nomination and why his election was the breaking point for most Southerners. The Southern Democrats had been fighting a more radical Republican opponent in William Seward in the years leading up to the 1860 election. After John Brown’s raid of Harpers Ferry, the Republicans realized that radical Republicans could ruin their chance of winning an election. Seward, while not as radical as the Democrats made him out to be, seemed to be driving votes away as people attached Brown’s actions to him. This connection between Seward and Brown helped give the primary to Lincoln, who received his nomination after focusing his campaign in Chicago, near his hometown of Springfield. While other western-born candidates had won the presidency, Lincoln’s base in the lower north became even more integral to this election, since the Border States, or the Lower North, had the important swing votes from non-slaveholders who still benefited from a slave-holding economy. Lincoln was then able to win the general election mostly because the Democratic Party split during the nomination process and chose two candidates, splitting the party’s voters. Wilentz writes about Lincoln just as Davis does and backs up Mac’s point (http://sites.davidson.edu/his141/lincoln-moral-idol-yet-still-a-politician/) that while “historically, we see Lincoln as the just idol,” he still had to be a politician. He was not as radical as other Republicans of the time, and he won the Presidency by playing off the split in the Democratic Party. While Lincoln did run a politician’s campaign, he was committed to his platform of halting the spread of slavery, but at the same time would not interfere with slavery in the slave states or the Fugitive Slave Law. What seemed to scare Southerners the most about Lincoln was his commitment to the law. He would not do anything outside of the powers stated in the Constitution, whether they would benefit his party’s motives or not. Therefore, the Democrats could not fight him as easily because he never said he would use his powers illegally. His pledge to this platform is where the image of a “just idol” comes from.