Honors Program


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Dubas, Lauren Alexandra. From the End of Politics to Legitimate Opposition: Political Perceptions of the 37th Congress of the United States in the North 1860-1862. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. March 2022.


Copyright Lauren Dubas 2022.


This paper intends to explore the political landscape of the Union during the first two years of the Civil War, specifically how the people in the North perceived what remained of the Congress from 1860-1862. I will be using a combination of primary and secondary sources to cover the 37th Congress of the United States, whose members were elected in 1860 and legislated until the next Congressional election in 1862. My research shows several significant stages in the political landscape during this period and uses these stages of partisan politics as the foundation for understanding how the federal government, specifically Congress, was perceived during this time. I touch on a few important influences on the political landscape including changes in or news about the Civil War, geography, state economic interests, and historical political ideology and partisan politics. Ultimately, I find that effective political opposition led to legislation and elections that legitimized the Northern Government to the people of the Union.