The Differences Slavery Made: A Close Analysis of Two American Communities

In the first half of 1860 Republican editors in Franklin's Repository and Transcript attacked slavery as a violation of nature that stole from the workingman the fruits of his labor; they focused mainly on slavery's potential to undermine free labor.

In the first half of 1860 Democratic editors in Franklin County emphasized slavery's compatibility with the Northern economy and society and Northern complicity in the South's institution.

In the heat of the campaign of 1860 both Franklin Democrats and Republicans shifted their emphasis on slavery.

Augusta's Whig Party emphasized that slavery was safer within the Union than without and that in the 1860 election slavery had become needlessly politicized. The Augusta Whigs moved to develop a new party around Constitutional Unionism.

Augusta's Democratic Party emphasized that slavery was the country's economic engine of success, protected in the territories by the Dred Scott decision, and they defended Stephen Douglas to the end as the best candidate to defeat Lincoln.

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