What were the causes of the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency?  

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not entirely certain that the election of Lincoln to the Presidency was rooted in reform movements as much as the reality of the slave issue proving to take a divisive hold in the nation.  The election of Lincoln symbolized the emergence of the Republican party.  It also brought to light the intense divisions in the nation regarding the slavery question.  With the South and North resulting in distinctly different voting patterns based on the perceptions of candidates in relation to the slave issue, the election of Lincoln represented a clear shift that North and South were moving in opposite directions.  The emergence of the reform movements that hoped to eradicate slavery in the North played a role in Lincoln's election, but also provided enough rationale to vote against him in the South.