Constitutional Union party


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Constitutional Union party,

in U.S. history, formed when the conflict between North and South broke down the older parties. The Constitutional Union group, composed of former Whigs and remnants of the Know-Nothings and other groups in the South, was organized just before the election of 1860. Delegates from 20 states attended the party convention at Baltimore in May, 1860, and John BellBell, John,
1797–1869, American statesman, b. near Nashville, Tenn. A leading member of the Nashville bar, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1827–41), was speaker in 1834, and for a few weeks in 1841 was Secretary of War under President William Henry
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, of Tennessee, and Edward EverettEverett, Edward
, 1794–1865, American orator and statesman, b. Dorchester, Mass., grad. Harvard (B.A., 1811; M.A., 1814). In 1814 he became a Unitarian minister in Boston, but, appointed (1815) professor of Greek literature at Harvard, he went abroad to study at the Univ.
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, of Massachusetts, were nominated for President and Vice President. The party recognized "no political principle but the Constitution of the country, the union of the states and the enforcement of laws." The party carried Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia in the election.