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Encyclopedia > Constitutional Union Party (United States)

The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860. It was made up of conservative Whigs who wanted to avoid disunion over the slavery issue. These former Whigs teamed up with former Know-Nothings to form the Constitutional Union Party. Its name comes from its extremely simple platform, a simple resolution "to recognize no political principle other than the Constitution...the Union...and the Enforcement of the Laws." They hoped that by failing to take a firm stand either for or against slavery or its extension, the issue could be pushed aside. A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... The United States Whig Party was a political party of the United States. ... The history of slavery in the United States began soon after people first settled in the area (and so even before the founding of the United States), and officially ended with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. ... The Know-Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1850s. ...


In short, it was a place to go for Whigs and Know-Nothings unwilling to join Democrats or the Republicans. Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, Henry Clay's successor in border-state Whiggery, set up a meeting among fifty conservative, pro-compromise congressmen in December 1859, which led to a convention in Baltimore the week of May 9, 1860, one week before the Republican Party convention. John Jordan Crittenden (September 10, 1786–July 26, 1863) was an American statesman. ... Henry Clay Henry Clay (April 12, 1777 in Hanover County, Virginia – June 29, 1852 in Washington, D.C.) was an American statesman and orator who served in both the House of Representatives and Senate. ... May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... The Republican Party, often called the GOP (for Grand Old Party, although one early citation described it as the Gallant Old Party) [1], is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ...


The convention nominated John Bell of Tennessee for President and Edward Everett of Massachusetts for Vice President. John Bell (February 15, 1797–September 10, 1869) was a U.S. politician. ... State nickname: Volunteer State Official languages English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Governor Phil Bredesen (D) Senators Bill Frist (R) Lamar Alexander (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 36th 109,247 km² 2. ... The President of the United States (fully, President of the United States of America; unofficially abbreviated POTUS) is the head of state of the United States and the chief executive of the federal government. ... Edward Everett Edward Everett (April 11, 1794–January 15, 1865) was a Whig Party politician from Massachusetts. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 44th 27,360 km² 305 km 80 km 25. ... The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest executive official of the United States government, the person who, in the words of Adlai Stevenson, is a heartbeat from the presidency. ...


In the 1860 election, the Constitutional Unionists received nearly all of their votes from former southern Whigs, and managed to win three states (Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee), although this was largely due to the split in Democratic votes between Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge. Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 35th 110,862 km² 320 km 690 km 7. ... Official language(s) English Capital Frankfort Largest city Louisville Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 37th 104,749 km² 225 km 610 km 1. ... State nickname: Volunteer State Official languages English Capital Nashville Largest city Memphis Governor Phil Bredesen (D) Senators Bill Frist (R) Lamar Alexander (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 36th 109,247 km² 2. ... The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. ... Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813–June 3, 1861), American politician from Illinois, was one of the Democratic Party nominees for President in 1860 (the other being John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky). ... John C. Breckinridge John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821–May 17, 1875) was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, Senator from Kentucky, the fourteenth Vice President of the United States, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. ...


Bell and many other Constitutional Unionists later supported the South during the Civil War, and the party and its purpose disappeared after 1860.


External links

  • Party Platform of 1860

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United States Constitutional Union Party - definition of United States Constitutional Union Party in Encyclopedia (227 words)
The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860.
The Constitutional Union convention was held during the week of May 9, one week before the Republican Party convention.
In the 1860 election, the Constitutional Unionists received nearly all of their votes from former southern Whigs, and managed to win three states (Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee), although this was largely due to the split in Democratic votes between Stephen A. Douglas and John C. Breckinridge.
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