Today's History Lesson
Following on from the post further below about the election of 1884 (dirty!), we step back a couple of decades to the election of 1864 -- right in the middle of the Civil War.
A Republican President is in the middle of prosecuting an unpopular war, one with a large number of Americans calling for appeasement and bringing the boys home. His opposition is a former military man, seeing "death, debt, and destruction with no end in sight." There was an important social/moral issue creating controversy.
Strange parallels to today, yes? History is like that. Go and read it.