War Democrats

War Democrats

War Democrats were those who broke with the majority of the Democratic Party and supported the military policies of President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War of 1861–1865. In the 1864 presidential election, War Democrats and the Republicans jointly nominated Lincoln, a Republican, for president and nominated Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, for vice president in what was called the "Union Party" ticket.

To court Democrats, Lincoln appointed many to high civil and military offices to win over some Democratic votes. Some joined the Republican Party, while others remained Democrats. Their opponents in the Democratic party included Peace Democrats or Copperheads, Democrats who remained loyal to the concept of Union but either advocated negotiated settlement with the Confederacy or openly supported the "state's rights" underpinnings of the Confederate policy.

Prominent War Democrats included:
*Andrew Johnson, the U.S. senator and then military governor of Tennessee who was elected Vice President in 1864 on a ticket with Lincoln. After Lincoln's assassination, he served as President from 1865–69.
*John Brough, Governor of Ohio.
*Benjamin F. Butler, Congressman from Massachusetts; general
*John Adams Dix, of New York. Buchanan's Secretary of the Treasury, general
*Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois; Democratic Party's northern candidate in the presidential election of 1860; he died when the war was just a few weeks old.
*Ulysses S. Grant, storekeeper in Illinois; general
*Joseph Holt, Kentucky; Buchanan's Secretary of War; Lincoln's Judge-Advocate General of the Army
*Francis Kernan, Congressman from New York
*John A. Logan, Congressman from Illinois; general
*George B. McClellan, railroad president; general; Democratic presidential nominee in 1864
*Joel Parker, Governor of New Jersey
*David Tod, Governor of Ohio
*Edwin M. Stanton, Ohio; Buchanan's Attorney General; Lincoln's Secretary of War

Other usage

The term is also used, albeit not as widely, to describe Democrats who support President George W. Bush's prosecution of the War on Terror following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some prominent modern-day "War Democrats" include Senator Joe Lieberman, former Senator Zell Miller, former House majority leader Dick Gephardt, and commentator Tammy Bruce. [On September 5, 2006, Bruce, a registered Democrat, [http://tammybruce.com/2006/09/defeatist_democrats_arent_anyt.php| criticized members of her own party] for being "defeatists" in the War on Terror.]


*Silbey, Joel H. "A Respectable Minority: The Democratic Party in the Civil War Era, 1860-1868" (1977)


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