Page:The Republican Party (1920).djvu/45

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The Leadership of Lincoln

his New Jersey votes and had twelve votes in all. Breckinridge carried eleven southern states with 72 votes. Bell carried Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee with 39 votes. Lincoln carried seventeen states beside New Jersey and secured 180 electoral votes. He had a large plurality though not a majority of the popular vote which was divided as follows: Lincoln, 1,866,452; Douglas, 1,376,957; Breckinridge, 849,781; Bell 588,879. At the same time Republican control of the next Congress was assured, a control which became overwhelming upon the withdrawal of Senators and Representatives from the seceding states. Thus the Republican party completed its formative period. It became a permanent, homogeneous organization. It adopted a policy for dealing with the transcendant issues of the day and also for serving the permanent interests of the country. It entered upon control of the executive and legislative branches of the national government at the most crucial crisis the United States had ever known. Its task was to save the Union, to free the slave and to reconstruct the nation.