Presidential Elections 1840 - 1880
James Garfield (Republican) defeated Winfield Scott Hancock (Democrat).
Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) defeated Samuel Tilden (Democrat). Tilden won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to Hayes after a heavily contested election. This election is often used to mark the end of Reconstruction following the Civil War.
Ulysses S. Grant (Republican) defeated Horace Greely (Democrat). As the general who had won the Civil War, Grant won re-election easily over Greely with 55 percent of the popular vote.
Ulysses S. Grant (Republican) defeated Horatio Seymour (Democrat). Grant won, in large measure, because of his reputation as the general who won the Civil War for the Union.
Abraham Lincoln (Republican) defeated George B. McClellan (Democrat). McClellan nearly defeated Lincoln, but Union victories just before the election helped swing sentiment in Lincoln's favor.
Abraham Lincoln (Republican) defeated Stephen A. Douglas (Democrat), John C. Breckinridge (Southern Democrat), and John Bell (Union). Lincoln's election was the first Republican president who prompted Southern states to secede from the Union in order to
James Buchanan (Democrat) defeated John C. Fremont (Republican) and Millard Fillmore (Know-Nothing). This was the first election where the Republican Party, rather than the Whigs, was the main opposition party to the Democratic Party.
Franklin Pierce (Democrat) defeated Winfield Scott (Whig).
Zachary Taylor (Whig) defeated Lewis Cass (Democrat). Taylor rose to national prominence during the Mexican-American War, and died in office in 1850.
James K. Polk (Democrat) defeated Henry Clay (Whig) in an election that focused on foreign policy, the issue of Texas annexation, and helped lead to the Mexican-American War in 1846.
William Henry Harrison (Whig) defeated Martin Van Buren (Democrat). Harrison died only 30 days after taking office, making John Tyler the first vice-president to ascend to the presidency.