Why did Breckinridge do so well in Connecticut in 1860?
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September 30, 2022, 08:47:19 AM
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  Why did Breckinridge do so well in Connecticut in 1860?
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Author Topic: Why did Breckinridge do so well in Connecticut in 1860?  (Read 712 times)
Southern Delegate and Atlasian AG Punxsutawney Phil
TimTurner
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« on: August 23, 2022, 04:38:24 PM »

Connecticut has a reputation as a Yankee state (for good reason). Why did Breckinridge win over 20% there, almost taking more than Douglas?
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2022, 11:17:20 PM »

If you mean to combine opposition to ethnic minorities into a single category identified more with one party or another, that's impossible to do for most of American political history because the parties interests diverged depending on the particular race and social characteristics of the minorities in question.

In the second party system, Whigs were (among other things) the party of middle class Protestant social and moral reform. This meant they were on the whole relatively more humane than the Democrats when it came to blacks and indians, but also led to opposition to what they saw an invasion of illiterate Catholics who would threaten the character of the nation. Outside the South, these Whigs mostly joined the Republicans eventually, along with free soil Democrats, and some new immigrant communities (ex St Louis Germans).

Still among the Democrats you could find plenty anti-immigrant sentiment also, leading to intraparty battles, in some elections splitting the party in two.  (iirc there was an antebellum mayoral election in New York City fought mainly between two Democratic factions over nativism.)  The 1860 split between the Democrats was mostly regional (North v South), but immigration also mattered. Immigrant communities tended to support Douglas, even in the South where most Democrats supported Breckenridge. In Connecticut, Breckenridge had the support of half of Democrats - those who held more conservative, agrarian, and nativist views.
Thanks for helping answer something I asked a few days ago.
I viewed Breckinridge as the candidate of just Southern Democrats exclusively...

There has long been something of a WASP versus ethnic/Catholic divide within the Democratic Party, even in the North and you see this impact in the 1860 election for sure, but also later on as well. You see echoes of this to the present day, especially in places like New York and Massachusetts where Democrats have absorbed so much of the former, and yet still hold so much of the latter group as well.

To add to what I said in the other thread above.

Some other factors that would be playing a role:
1. More trade focus and thus more oriented towards shipping and thus a contingent hostile to GOP protectionism. Even in later elections CT would be the New England state most likely to flip in the Cleveland years, when trade was more centrally focused on.

2. Religion. Republicans were more low church, while CT always gave me the impression of being more high church.

3. Playing off of number 1, ties into coastal trading, means more ties to the South as well.

4. Closer ties to New York City and its influence politically and economically.
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2022, 12:16:36 PM »

Here is a twitter thread that gives more detail to what I said here:





articles excerpted:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/365104
https://www.jstor.org/stable/364033
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Southern Delegate and Atlasian AG Punxsutawney Phil
TimTurner
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 12:47:26 AM »

Here is a twitter thread that gives more detail to what I said here:





articles excerpted:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/365104
https://www.jstor.org/stable/364033

Thanks for finding this.
This was fascinating to read.
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bagelman
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2022, 11:37:51 AM »

Biden won both Douglas and Breckinridge towns 57-42. Rest of the state went about 60-39. This data is completely pointless but I'll post it anyway.
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