Teach PA History
Explore PA History
The 1860 Election in Pennsylvania
What to Know
Teaching Time
Three to Four Class Periods
Grade Level
High School
  • Civics and Government
  • Geography
  • History
Historical Period
  • Civil War and Reconstruction - 1856-1876
The election of 1860 was a watershed event in American history and Pennsylvania was an important state in that election. In this lesson students will compare the national candidates party platforms and will determine the best campaign strategy for Lincoln to win Pennsylvania's electoral votes.


Students will: 1. Analyze the political parties in the 1860 election by comparing their party platforms. 2. Apply their understanding of the sectional issues in 1860 by determining the meaning of a political cartoon. 3. Synthesize their understanding of Pennsylvania and the 1860 candidates to formulate an election strategy for Lincoln in Pennsylvania. 4. Predict the outcome of 1860 election in Pennsylvania.

Standards Alignment

  • Civics and Government

    5.3.12. E. Evaluate the roles of political parties in election campaigns.

  • Geography

    7.3.12. E. Analyze the significance of human activity in shaping places and regions by their political characteristics.

  • History

    8.1.12. B. Synthesize and evaluate historical sources.
    8.2.12. A. Evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to Pennsylvania history from 1890 to Present.
    8.2.12. B. Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts, and historic sites important in Pennsylvania history from 1890 to Present.
    8.2.12. D. Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in Pennsylvania history.

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