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The 1850s was a chaotic period in New York State politics. New Yorkers were at odds over slavery, immigration, intemperance, and more. Previously the Democratic and Whig parties dominated the state, but the two-party system collapsed as the debate over slavery intensified. By the end of the decade, the Democratic party was transformed, the Whig party had disappeared, and the Republican party was emerging as a new force on the political scene.

William H. Seward
Governor, Senator, Secretary of State
Broadside, Republican Candidates in Albany County, 1860
Abraham Lincoln
New York's Role in the
Election of 1860
New York Divided
Dred Scott
Nativist Flag, 1844
U.S. Map Showing Areas of
Freedom & Slavery, 1856